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Baseball Coaching Staff

Published or Revised June 29, 2017

Head Coach Clay Cox

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Clay Cox

Clay Cox, who has served as assistant baseball coach for Paris Junior College this past year, has been named to replace longtime baseball coach Deron Clark.

In 2015-16, while Cox was assistant coach, the Dragons doubled their win total and improved in every offensive category, including leading the conference in stolen bases. He coached five All-Conference selections and one MLB draft Pick (Chad Hardy who went in the 33rd Round to the Boston Red Sox).

Cox came to PJC from the University of West Alabama where, in 2015, he helped lead the Tigers to a 42-11 (26-6) record, a Gulf South Conference regular season title and GSC tournament championship. The Tigers were ranked seventh in the country and set a school record in winning percentage (.792). UWA had a Division 2 best and school record 20-game win streak.

While Cox coached infielders, the Tigers set a school record for fielding percentage (.967) which was ranked tenth nationally. UWA finished in the top three in their conference in (Batting Avg, Runs, Hits, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, Slug %, BB, SB). UWA was also ranked 25th nationally with 53 HR’s. Cox coached 11 all-conference selections, a GSC Player of the Year, five all-region selections, three All-Americans, and two MLB draft picks while at UWA.

In the summer of 2016, Cox coached his third and final season with the Brazos Valley Bombers of the Texas Collegiate League. They finished ranked third in the country for the second straight season. The Bombers finished with a 48-7 record and an unprecedented fourth straight Texas Collegiate League title. 2016 was a summer of records for the Bombers, breaking the TCL record for stolen bases (159), winning streak (21), regular season wins (47), and half-season record (28-2).

During the two preceding years he helped the Bombers to back-to-back-to-back TCL titles, finishing 2015 with a record of 45-9 winning the regular season, TCL title and finishing ranked third in the nation. The Bombers finished 2014 with a 45-15 record, a TCL title and a national ranking of fifth. Cox was selected to the Texas Collegiate League North All-Star coaching staff in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He has helped the Bombers lead the league in ERA, Batting Average and fielding percentage in all three seasons as well. Cox has coached 16 Major League draft picks with Brazos Valley. Cox also served as head coach of the 2016 TCL Red All-Star Team.

Prior to UWA, Cox coached at Rockdale High School, where he was the head varsity baseball coach for two seasons. During that time Rockdale won more games than in any other two year span in school history. Under Cox, Rockdale set school records for win streak (11), stolen bases in a single game (20), and stolen bases in a season (135). He coached two all-star selections, four all-state choices, seven academic all-district selections and three academic all-state honorees.

Before Rockdale, Cox was the head baseball coach at Jacksboro High School. He also had coaching stops at James Bowie High School in Simms.

His career totals as a prep head coach include 16 all-district selections, nine all-state choices and five all-star selections. He twice produced the 3A Baseball “Hitter of the Week” by TxHighSchoolBaseball.com.

Cox earned his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas A&M in 2008 with a minor in coaching. He holds two masters degrees: a 2014 Master of Arts in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University – Irvine and a 2015 Master of Arts in Teaching – Physical Education from the University of West Alabama.

Assistant Coach Nathan Lawrence

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Nate Lawrence

Nate Lawrence begins his second season as Assistant Baseball Coach filling the roles of pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the Dragons. His first season saw each of the graduating sophomore pitchers sign with a Division 1 university. In the spring of 2017, Coach Lawrence helped the Dragons reach the Region XIV tournament; their first appearance since 2013.

The Nixa, Missouri native comes to Paris following coaching stints at College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri; Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas; and Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Oklahoma. After six years of collegiate baseball coaching experience, Lawrence has gained experience as both a hitting coach and pitching coach at the collegiate level.

Lawrence’s collegiate playing career was at College of the Ozarks, where he went on to become an assistant coach in 2012, coaching the catchers and hitters. 
From 2013-2015, Nate served as the Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas. At PCC under Coach Lawrence’s guidance, the pitching staff saw their wins and strike outs increase while their losses, walks, and ERA decreased. Recruiting classes saw student athletes from five states and four countries. Lawrence became known for his ability to recruit impact players from Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

In the summer of 2015, Coach Lawrence accepted a position with Eastern Oklahoma State College as their Recruiting Coordinator, Hitting Coach, and Head JV Coach. Lawrence helped guide the Mountaineers to winning the Region II Championship - EOSC’s fourth championship in seven years. Eastern finished the year with a .325 team batting average, 494 runs, 630 hits, 97 doubles, 21 triples, and 74 homeruns. As the recruiting coordinator, Coach Lawrence worked to recruit top tier players from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. During the Region II tournament in 2016, Eastern had six players receive All Region Tournament Team honors. After winning the Region II tournament, Eastern Oklahoma State traveled to New Orleans to play in the South Central District Tournament hosted by Delgado Community College.

Lawrence has coached summer collegiate league baseball in Springfield, Mo. in the MINK League and in Sag Harbor, New York in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. While serving as an assistant coach for the Springfield Generals, six players went on to play professional baseball including the 2012 MINK League Most Valuable Player, Nick Billinger. Nick finished the summer season batting .416 with 106 hits, 72 runs and 54 RBI. He collected 20 doubles and four home runs. In the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, Coach Lawrence was the head coach for the Sag Harbor Whalers. The Whalers enjoyed a considerable amount of success, and Lawrence was named to coach the pitchers in the HCBL All Star Game. He was also elected to throw in the HCBL All Star Game Home Run Derby. Throwing to Griffin Dey (Yale University), he came in second place by only one home run to Aaron Ping (San Francisco University).

Always looking for ways to further his education in baseball, Nate received his certification in biomechanics from the National Pitching Association in the fall of 2014.
After just six years of coaching college baseball, Lawrence has been fortunate to work with very talented groups of players. Over that span, he has helped send 14 players to move on to play at Division I universities. Fourteen players have received All Conference honors and five players have gone on to play professional baseball.

 

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