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Janssen to lead Northeastern State baseball as head coach

Image of Travis Janssen.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. --- Travis Janssen has been named head baseball coach at Northeastern State University, according to director of athletics Tony Duckworth.

Janssen, an assistant at Jacksonville (Ala.) State from 2006-2011, replaces Sergio Espinal who resigned in May after 11 seasons.

"I have dreamed of being a head coach for a long time, and I would like to thank Mr. Duckworth and Northeastern State for making that dream come true," said Janssen. " My family and I can’t wait to get to Oklahoma and begin closely working with the NSU and Tahlequah community.

" We are going to work very hard to continue to build a program that people will be proud of. We are looking to recruit quality people that will have good character that act in a productive way off of the field. On the field we are going to build a team that will play with passion, energy, and play extremely hard. We will be aggressive in all facets of the game, and will be a team that gets after it, and gets dirty. It will be a brand of baseball that people will enjoy watching and one of which people will be proud."

While at JSU, Janssen's primary coaching responsibilities were coaching infielders and hitters, while serving as third base coach. The Gamecocks won at least 30 games during his six seasons, made two NCAA regional appearances, won a pair of Ohio Valley Conference titles and had two other OVC runner-up finishes. JSU also boasted the highest MLB draft pick from the state of Alabama in 2009 & 2010.

Duckworth said his first Northeastern State hire is a great one.

"Travis Janssen embodies the characteristics we sought during our national search for a new head baseball coach at Northeastern State," said Duckworth. "Coach Janssen has been mentored by outstanding collegiate baseball minds, he has strong recruiting ties to this region and it is clear how well he will fit into the NSU community. Finally, his work ethic and analytical approach to baseball will position us well in our upcoming MIAA partnership."

Janssen began his coaching career as a student assistant at Kansas State in 1996. A year later he moved to Butler County (Kansas) Community College and also served as an associate scout for the Florida Marlins. From 1998-2001 Janssen was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Arkansas under legendary coach Norm DeBriyn. He helped lead the Razorbacks to a 42-23 record and NCAA Regional berth in 1999 as the team claimed the Southeastern Conference regular season championship and a runner-up finish in the SEC Tournament that year.

He also had coaching stops at Northwestern (La.) State and Hawaii, along with extensive experience coaching summer camps.

"I have had the privilege of being around so many quality coaches along the way," said Janssen. "Though there are too many to name individually, I would like to mention Jim Case, head coach of Jacksonville State. Along with being a very good coach, he understands priorities. He has helped teach me what it means to be a quality husband, father, along with being a coach. What is special about him is that he always puts others ahead of himself. I was lucky to spend six years with Coach Case along with assistants Steve Gillispie and Shayne Kelley."

A native of Manhattan, Kan., Janssen earned his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University. He was an All-Region VI choice at Butler County and played his final two seasons at New Mexico State. There, he was a 3rd Team NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association) All-America selection as a junior and hit .401 before a season-ending injury cut short his senior campaign. He also played one year with the Adirondack Lumberjacks in the Northeastern Independent League.

Janssen is married to the former Christy Brown, from Springdale, Ark. The couple has two children, Avery Catherine (6) and Tate Alan (4), and are expecting another child in August.

"I feel I am prepared for this job for many reasons, but there is one reason that is bigger than the others: I’ve been surrounded by quality people for a long time," Janssen said. "I’m so blessed to be married to a wife who truly understands what it means to be a great wife and great mom. She has so much patience and does a good job of keeping things running smoothly with our family. She really understands the demands that are put on a coach, and she does a great job balancing those demands with taking care of our kids."

"One of my former coaches told Mr. Duckworth that I did my best recruiting job when I married my wife. That is the truth."

Janssen will begin his duties at Northeastern State in the next few weeks.

What others say about Travis Janssen

--- Jim Case, head baseball coach, Jacksonville State University
Travis has done a tremendous job for our program at Jackson State, we are excited for Travis and his family. Travis is a tireless worker, who has taken the necessary steps to accept a head coach’s position. He is a great recruiter who has made many contacts across the states.

--- Norm DeBriyn, former head baseball coach, University of Arkansas
Travis is perfect for the job. He is very intuitive to baseball, recruits well, and recognizes talent. Travis did an excellent job with our program and was recognized as a well respected coach at the University (of Arkansas). Coach Janssen put in many hours working on motivational films and slides from games and was always well dedicated.

--- Mitch Gaspard, head baseball coach, University of Alabama
Travis will do a terrific job at Northeastern. He is highly qualified, energetic and has great vision to run a baseball program. During his time here (Northwestern State), he demonstrated focus and was a very organized recruiter. Travis is a great teacher of the game and is excited to accept the head coach’s position.

--- B.D. Parker, former head baseball coach, Nicholls State University
Northeastern is fortunate to have Travis Janssen as head baseball coach. Travis will be a great ambassador and will run a clean program. Coach Janssen will work very hard to make NSU baseball a well respected program. The whole community at Northeastern will benefit from having Coach Janssen and his family there.

--- Greg Burke, director of athletics, Northwestern State (La.) University
I couldn't be happier for Travis. He is a guy who has worked extremely hard to position himself as a head coach. Travis is "head coaching material." He is driven to win but is also focused on running a quality program. Travis is passionate about coaching young people and is very community oriented. 

Published: 6/29/2011 5:21:10 PM

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