Owls Fight To Stay In League’s Regular Season Chase
First Place on the Line as League Co-Leaders Go Head-To-Head This Weekend
First Pitch Friday Set For 6:30 PM at Reckling Park
Owls Then Return Home For C-USA Weekend Series vs. Western Kentucky
Rice Baseball Team Continues Drive In League Standings
A native of Austin, Texas, Shepperd works with the hitters and outfielders, and he assists with the Owl catchers. On game day he coaches at first base.
Shepperd previously served five seasons as a coach at his alma mater, Concordia University in Austin, where he was a four-year baseball letterman. At Concordia his main responsibility was as the team’s hitting coach.
Shepperd was a member of Concordia’s American Southwest Conference West Division Coaching Staff of the Year, as the Tornados were also ranked as high as fourth nationally during the season and finished with a school-record 37 victories (in the program’s NCAA Division III era). All of the regular starting infielders and catcher that Sheppard mentored garnered all-conference postseason honors while leading the Tornados to their second-straight ASC Tournament crown and NCAA West Regional appearance.
All in all, Shepperd has mentored one D3Baseball.com All-American, one All-West Region selection, two ASC West Division Players of the Year, one ASC West Division Freshman of the Year, four All-ASC First Team selection and seven student-athletes who have been honorably mentioned for All-ASC laurels.
Prior to coaching to Concordia, Shepperd served as an assistant at Sam Houston State University under head coach Mark Johnson during the 2007-08 academic year. In this position, he helped with the training and development of the infielders, catchers and hitters while also assisting with the playing surface of Don Sanders Stadium. With Shepperd on the staff the Bearkats squad won the Southland Conference Championship and made a second straight NCAA Division I Tournament appearance.
Shepperd started his coaching career at Concordia as a volunteer assistant coach. He served as the first base coach, recruiting coordinator and assistant hitting coach for the 2007 season. He also gained coaching experience as an assistant on the Anchorage Bucs staff in the Alaskan League during the summers of 2007 and 2008.
Before beginning his coaching career, Shepperd lettered with the Tornados for four years (2003-06) as a catcher and was also a player-coach during his junior and senior seasons. He helped the squad advance to the ASC Tournament every year during his playing career. The Tornados posted a 103-62 record and were co-West Division regular-season champions in 2004.
He comes from a coaching family. His grandfather, Cliff Gustafson, was the former winningest coach in Division I baseball history, registering a 1,427-373-2 ledger over 29 seasons (1968-96) at the University of Texas, and is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame.
Shepperd earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Concordia in 2007 and is nearing the completion of a master’s degree in education. He is married to the former Vanessa Van Hook of Brenham, Texas. The couple celebrated the birth of their first child, Marlene Jane, in April of 2014.
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