The Alexandria Aces have assembled a coaching staff for the 2010 season, one with a distinctly Louisiana flavor.
The team announced Tuesday that Mike Byrnes, head coach at Louisiana College, will serve in the same capacity for the Aces in their first season in the Texas Collegiate League.
Byrnes will be joined Chris Bertrand, associate head coach at LSU-Shreveport, and Freddy Rodriguez, the head coach at Texas College. Alex Goodling, Byrne’s assistant at Louisiana College, rounds out the staff.
Byrnes has rebuilt the program at LC since taking over in 2000. He has reached the postseason in seven of nine seasons, including consecutive appearances in the NCCAA World Series in 2002 and 2003, and he’s posted a .500 record entering this spring. More recently, he guided the Wildcats to four straight American Southwest Conference tournament berths. This is especially remarkable considering Louisiana College compiled a winning percentage under .400 in the more than 30 years prior to his arrival.
Louisiana College players have won three major ASC awards during Byrnes’ tenure. In 2002, Nick Pontifex became the first Wildcat to earn All-American honors. Byrnes also has an impeccable record for developing well-rounded student athletes. In 2009, LC set a record by placing 16 players on ASC All-Academic Team, and no baseball team has had more players so honored in the last three years.
The 1978 graduate of Louisiana College has done more than simply rebuild his alma mater’s baseball program, he’s done the same to its field. He has raised more than $750,000 to improve Allgood Field, including everything from a new scoreboard to new seats. The facility’s newest addition is Skip Converse Fieldhouse, a 2,400 square-foot facility with lockers rooms and offices.
Sharing in Louisiana College’s success over the last decade is Goodling, who has been Byrnes’ assistant since 2000. Goodling serves as the Wildcats’ hitting and baserunning coach, as well as the team’s recruiting coordinator. Under his tutelage, the squad has set school records in nearly every offensive category.
A fellow alum of Louisiana College, Goodling graduated with the school’s single-season and career records for triples and stolen bases. His career steals mark still stands.
Bertrand is in his fifth season with LSU-Shreveport and his first as associate head coach. He spent the prior three seasons as the team’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. In those three years, Bertrand’s recruits compiled a record of 134-47 (.740) and qualified for the NAIA national tournament. His charges also captured three straight Gulf Coast Athletics Conference tournament titles, from 2006 to 2008.
Bertrand and Byrnes are no strangers. After earning all-conference honors at Bossier Parrish Community College, Bertrand was a catcher for Byrnes at Louisiana College in 2004 and 2005.
Rodriguez is in his fourth season at the helm of Texas College, an NAIA school in Tyler, Texas.
The Aces will open their first TCL season June 3, when they host the defending champion North Texas Copperheads at Bringhurst Field.