FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former All-Summit League player and MLB Draft pick Craig Parry has been named the volunteer assistant coach for the Razorback baseball program, head coach Dave Van Horn announced today.
Parry, a native of Colstrip, Montana, is an alum of South Dakota State where he played for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. After his senior year, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 50th round and spent two seasons as a catcher and an outfielder in the minor leagues.
“With the excitement of Arkansas baseball over time and especially right now, I’m glad to be able to join this staff and work with them to put the best product out there and compete for championships,” Parry said. “It’s hard not to get excited about the team we’re (Arkansas) going to have in 2018. The possibilities are endless. You can tell with the players and coaches that are around, the excitement and energy they have talking about the upcoming year is contagious.”
“We’re excited to get Craig on board,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He’s done a tremendous job in his career working with catchers and hitters and he’ll have the same role here. Craig’s gotten a lot of experience at this level and he’s going to make our staff even better.”
The Montana native was recently part of Division II Southern Arkansas University coaching staff as an assistant coach, which claimed the Great American Conference championship last year. 2017 was his only season with the Muleriders as he worked with the hitters and the catchers and helped develop infielder Trevor Rucker, who was named the 2016-17 GAC Male Athlete of the Year.
Rucker was also named a first team All-American by the National College Baseball Writers’ Association (NCBWA) and Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA), as well as being named a four-time All-GAC selection and a finalist for the Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year.
The Muleriders finished 39-16 last year and hit .309 as a team to advance to the NCAA Central Regional for the 11th time in program history. The offense led the GAC in all major offensive categories including average, slugging (.505), doubles (125), triples (19), home runs (66), runs scored (408), and hits (568).
Prior to SAU, Parry spent three seasons at Dallas Baptist University as an assistant coach, working alongside current Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson. Under the guidance of head coach Dan Heefner, Parry and Johnson transformed Dallas Baptist into a perennial mid-major power, winning a school-record 46 games and hosting its first NCAA Regional in 2015. Combined, the Patriots went 130-55 (.703) with a pair of Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament Championships with Parry on staff.
In his final year with the Patriots, Parry coached Second Team All-Missouri Valley and MVC All-Defensive Player Matt Duce, who was selected in the 14th round by the New York Mets in this summer’s draft. Duce batted .320 or higher in each of his last two seasons and tied for second on the team with 55 RBIs as a junior.
In 2015, Parry helped standout catcher Daniel Salters become one of the nation’s elite catchers, as he threw out 23-of-49 would-be base stealers. Following that season, Salters was selected in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians and he is currently playing in High-A for the Lynchburg Hillcats.
Before signing on at DBU, Parry coached for one season at Sacramento State under his former South Dakota State head coach Reggie Christiansen as a volunteer coach. In his lone season with the Hornets, Parry worked with outfielders and assisted with the hitters and catchers. He also served as the team’s first base coach.
Parry got his coaching start at Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana, where he spent two years. In each season, the Pioneers fell just short of a NJCAA Division II World Series berth. During Parry’s stint at MCC, he coached the hitters, outfielders, and catchers, helping the Pioneers achieve a combined record of 65-36-2.
As a player, Parry began his collegiate career at Miles where he played third base and was a two-time All-Conference selection and All-Region honoree as a sophomore. Parry then transferred to South Dakota State University, where he combined to hit .334 over two seasons with 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 34 doubles, and eight triples while playing third base, left field, and catcher for the Jackrabbits. Parry was also named to the All-Summit League First-Team, as well as being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second-Team.
Following his career as a Jackrabbit, Parry was taken in the 50th round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and played two seasons as a catcher and outfielder in their minor league system.
Parry earned a Bachelor’s degree from SDSU in 2010 before earning a Master’s in Sports Management from American Public University in 2012.
He is married to the former Morgan McCloy.
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