Bethune Cookman, after an extensive search, has announced the hiring of Jonathan Hernandez as the third Wildcats baseball coach since the 2012 season.
Hernandez replaces Barrett Shaft, acting head coach this past spring filling in for Jason Beverlin who decided to step down from the baseball program after leading the Cats to the finals of the NCAA Gainsville Reginal against the eventual national champion Florida Gators.
Hernandez takes over a program that is ideally located within the recruiting radius of some of the best baseball programs not only in the state, but in the country. The athletic department felt it was imperative to select a head coach who not only confirmed this fact, but embraced it and would continue to pursue its recruiting efforts in this manner. With this in mind, it became clear that Hernandez would be the next head coach for BC-U baseball.
His approach to developing players and providing an overall well-rounded student-athlete experience was impressive at the junior college level. Hernandez has passion for leading young men and it will drive him to capitalize on the recruiting relationships for top talent within the state and nationally while pursuing academically and athletically talented players.
Hernandez was named the new head coach for the Bethune-Cookman University baseball program and was announced Tuesday afternoon by Bethune-Cookman Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lynn W. Thompson.
“We are delighted to have Jonathan Hernandez join us as the new head coach for our Wildcats Baseball program,” stated Thompson. “After a thorough national search, it was clear that Johnathan was a rising talent that we couldn’t allow to pass us by.”
Coach Hernandez brings confidence and an enthusiasm for the game. He will energize a stout team and see that the team continues to improve its level of play both on and off the field.
After his hiring, Hernandez stated “I am extremely excited about being head coach for such a prestigious baseball program like Bethune-Cookman University. I just want to thank Interim President Hubert Grimes, Mr. Lynn Thompson and everyone at the university for trusting in me to lead this team and program.”
Hernandez comes to BCU after spending four years at ASA College in Miami. Prior to joining the staff at ASA College, he was the head coach for six years at Hialeah High School from 2008-14. While with the ASA Silver Storm, he claimed a JUCO Division 2 Region 8 Conference runner-up finish in 2016 and was crowned Division 2 Region 8 conference champion in 2017. Under Hernandez, ASA won more than 20-plus games in each of the last three seasons.
The athletic department received some big names in their head coaching search. They interviewed Brad Frick of Florida State College at Jacksonville and Joel Sanchez, former head coach at North Carolina A&T and a minor league coach with the Minnesota Twins farm system.
Hernandez, a Miami native, holds a B.A. in Marketing Communications and is married and have a son and a daughter.