Lopez Names Jeff Pickler Assistant Baseball Coach

Oct. 6, 2008

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona baseball program has named Jeff Pickler an assistant coach, Head Coach Andy Lopez announced on Monday. Pickler fills a vacancy on the coaching left by former assistant Jeff Casper, who has left the program to pursue other career interests.


Pickler, a consensus All-American and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1998 at the University of Tennessee, joins the Arizona program after working in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization as an advance scout and consultant to the major league staff since 2006.


“We are extremely fortunate to be able to add Jeff Pickler to our staff,” Lopez said. “But we are going to miss Jeff Casper. He was a valuable asset to our program and we wish him the best in his future. I cannot thank him enough for everything he did for us and I am very happy for his new opportunity.”


“Jeff Pickler is going to be able to step right in and help our team,” Lopez said of his newest assistant. “He brings invaluable experience both on and off the field and he has the type of strong character that our program represents.”

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Pickler in the 11th Round of the 1998 draft after he led the SEC with a .445 average, which ranked eighth nationally and was the sixth-highest in league history. Pickler batted .299 for his career in eight minor league seasons while playing for affiliates of the Brewers, Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies.


In 2006, Pickler joined the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in a non-playing capacity as an advance scout. With the Diamondbacks, Pickler helped develop and implement game strategy for the major league club and aided the general manager in player acquisitions contract negotiations and player evaluations.


“I’m grateful for the opportunity to become part of a university and a baseball program that I have long held in high regard,” Pickler said.


“I would be remiss in not expressing my gratitude and admiration for the Diamondbacks’ organization during my time with the ball club,” Pickler added. “However, as the son of a college baseball coach, I believe that going to work every day on Jerry Kendall Field is truly going to feel like where I belong. I look forward to working with the staff to help lead a passionate group of Wildcat student-athletes on and off the diamond.”


Casper, who served on the Arizona coaching staff in different capacities for five seasons, recently left the program to pursue other career interests locally. A four-year letterwinner as a catcher and infielder at Arizona from 1998-2001, Casper, in addition to his responsibilities of developing Arizona’s outfielders and hitters, assisted with recruiting, scheduling, and travel plans.


The Wildcats, who finished with a 42-19 record in 2008 after advancing to the NCAA Super Regional Round, will begin it’s Fall practice on Monday, October 13.


The Pickler File


1995 – 1998      University of Tennessee

                        - 1998 SEC Player of the Year

                        - 1998 Consensus 1st Team All-American

                        - 1987 and 1998 Academic All-American

                        - B.S., Business Administration – Emphasis: Marketing

                        - Graduated magna cum laude

                        - 1998 Scholar-Athlete of the Year


1998 – 2001      Milwaukee Brewers Organization

                        - Member of 2000 Triple-A World Series Championship team


1999 – 2006      Cypress Community College

                        - Assistant Baseball Coach (Fall Semesters)


2000 – Present Next Level Coaching Clinics

                        - Director and Head Coach

- Developed, marketed and instructed the first Southern California baseball clinic designed specifically for elite high school middle infielders


2002 – 2004      Texas Rangers Organization

                        - Professional Baseball Player


2003 – Present Inventor and Sole Proprietor of Next Level Lineup Cards


2005                 Colorado Rockies Organization

                        - Professional Baseball Player


2006-2008         National University

- M.Ed., Teaching and Learning


2006 – Present Arizona Diamondbacks Organization

                        - Advance Scout, Consultant to Major League Staff

                        - Developed and implanted game strategy for major league team

- Aided General Manager in player acquisitions, contract negotiations and player evaluations.




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