Diamond Hogs hire Missouri State's Thompson as assistant

By: Bob Holt
Published: Friday, June 16, 2017
Missouri State assistant Nate Thompson watches during a game against Arkansas on Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Missouri State assistant Nate Thompson watches during a game against Arkansas on Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Nate Thompson, who as Missouri State's hitting coach helped the Bears beat Arkansas in the Fayetteville NCAA Regional this season, has joined the Razorbacks' staff.

Thompson has been hired as Arkansas' hitting coach and recruiting coordinator, Razorbacks Coach Dave Van Horn announced Friday night.

Thompson is replacing Tony Vitello, who left Arkansas after four seasons to become Tennessee's head coach.

Thompson was a Missouri State assistant the previous three seasons starting in 2015, when the Razorbacks beat the Bears in a super regional in Fayetteville.

"Arkansas is a premier place,” Thompson said in a news release. "Coach (Dave) Van Horn is a legend and a proven winner everywhere he has gone.

"To get the opportunity to coach at a place like Arkansas, to recruit with the resources and have the fan support that is here is tremendous."

Thompson’s players at Missouri State included All-American junior third baseman Jake Burger, who was the 11th overall pick in this week’s Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox. Burger (22) and Missouri State All-American sophomore shortstop Jeremy Eierman (23) combined to hit 45 of the Bears’ 80 home runs this season.

Before going to Missouri State, Thompson was an assistant coach at Hutchison (Kan.) Community College.

A native of Goodland, Kan., Thompson was an outfielder at Garden City (Kan.) Community College and Dallas Baptist.

From 2008-10, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Nebraska under Mike Anderson, Van Horn's predecessor and former hitting coach with the Cornhuskers.

“I am very excited to add Nate Thompson to our coaching staff,” Van Horn said in a news release. “He brings a lot of energy and experience in recruiting for this region, as well as Texas."

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