Bethune Cookman Announced Assistant Barrett Shaft As Acting Head Baseball Coach

It was made official Thursday evening by Bethune-Cookman University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lynn W. Thompson that Barrett Shaft will serve as Acting Head Coach for Bethune-Cookman Baseball for the 2018 campaign. His role in the Acting Head Coach title begins immediately.

“After careful thought, deliberation and – most importantly – prayer, I came to the conclusion that it should Barrett Shaft to serve as Acting Head Coach for our baseball program in 2018,” said Thompson. “He has the seniority, so to speak, of being here the longest amongst the other staff members, and it is only right that he fill the role we need him to play for the upcoming season. 

“We have a very good team returning, along with some good incoming players. While Barrett [Shaft] may be the Acting Head Coach, it will be a collective duty of the entire staff we already have in place to make sure the success we enjoyed last year under Jason Beverlin does not fade.”

 Shaft, now in his eighth year with the Wildcats program, arrived to Bethune-Cookman in the summer of 2011 with former head coach Jason Beverlin.

In his time with the BCU program, Shaft has worked primarily with infielders/outfielders, as well as serving as the hitting coach for the Wildcats. After just a year with the program in 2011-12, he was elevated to the role of Recruiting Coordinator for the Maroon and Gold following the 2012 season. In his role as the hitting coach, Shaft has helped increase the team batting average each season since 2014.

During the course of the historic 2017 campaign for the Wildcats, Bethune-Cookman batted at a .288 clip as a team.

“I am going to continue investing in the players as individuals and college student-athletes, and I will get them ready for a higher level of baseball, hopefully for the major leagues after Bethune-Cookman,” said Shaft. “Coach [Jason] Beverlin was an excellent mentor, and he was amazing to watch and learn from as a head coach and so much more in order to prepare me for this role.

“I feel pretty confident that we as a staff – that includes Jason Bell and Keith Zuniga, will be able to maintain a high level of play on the field and high character off the field.”

Shaft came to Bethune-Cookman from the University of Tennessee, where he was the volunteer assistant coach during the 2011 season alongside Jason Beverlin who served as the pitching coach at the time for the Volunteers in Knoxville.

A native of Lilburn, Georgia, Shaft enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Western Carolina University, finishing as the school’s career leader in hits (336) and ranked eighth in the program annals with a .362 batting average. He also ranks among the top 10 in career at bats, games played, runs scored, doubles, total bases, hit by pitch, sacrifice flies and sacrifice bunts for the Catamounts.

Shaft wrapped up a successful collegiate playing career in 2008, during which he earned a number of accolades, including being named to the 2008 Preseason All-Southern Conference First Team, 2008 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Award Watch List and 2007 All-Southern Conference Second Team.

Following his collegiate career, Shaft played professionally with the Midwest Sliders of the Independent

Frontier League in 2008.

In 2008, he received his B.S. in Sport Management from Western Carolina. He would go on to complete his Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology at Tennessee in 2011.

The 2018 Bethune-Cookman Baseball season gets underway when the Wildcats visit Mercer for a three-game series beginning February 16, in Macon, Georgia.

Courtesy Bethune Cookman Sports Information

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