Britt Bonneau will return for his 22nd season as the Wildcats’ head baseball coach in 2018.
Lee De Leon, director of athletics, confirmed in his De Leon Point newsletter on Monday that Bonneau had been given a one-year extension in light of a promising recruiting class for next season.
“Coach Bonneau has been a loyal servant to the university for two decades,” De Leon said. “We signed a really promising recruiting class for next season, and in the end we decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and let him coach the players he signed.”
De Leon said when he and Bonneau met he was pleased about the direction Bonneau wanted to go with the program coming out of the Div. 1 transition. Including changes in the recruiting philosophy and coaching staff for next year.
“The transition was really hard on a lot of programs, but especially hard on our baseball program,” De Leon said. “I felt as if he deserved the opportunity to compete for postseason play after enduring the transition. We both are definitely on the same page in what we are wanting and expecting for the upcoming season.”
In his head coaching career at ACU, Bonneau led the Wildcats to a record of 735-478 and a Div. 2 College World Series in 2003. He also coached just one team with a losing record from 1997 to 2013.
However, as a Div. 1 competitor the team is still searching for its first 20-win season, and is coming off a 13-43 2017 campaign.
“Britt Bonneau is one of the most competitive people I have ever met and no one wants to win more than his does,” De Leon said. “He and I are both optimistic about the future of the program because of some changes he’s made with his coaching staff and recruiting philosophy.”
Bonneau said he is very grateful for the opportunity to coach one more year at ACU.
“We’re thankful that Lee showed favor in our direction and we’re thankful that our administration feels that our future is bright and I look forward to continue serving in the capacity I am in,” Bonneau said.
Next year the baseball team, along with the rest of the athletics program will be eligible to battle for a Div. 1 postseason birth. Bonneau said this has been a point of emphasis over the last year in recruiting and preparation for the 2018 season, and he is looking forward to the chance to compete without any restrictions.
“We’re excited about being able to coach with no restrictions,” Bonneau said. “We’re excited that next year we get to play for a championship, to go to the playoffs. We’re so excited that we’re moving passed that, out of our transition and we’re looking forward to taking this program to the next level.”
De Leon also highlighted the extensions of head softball coach Bobby Reeves and head tennis coach Hutton Jones in his newsletter.
Reeves led softball to a second-place conference finish this year and its first-ever postseason tournament. Jones was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year while leading the men’s and women’s teams to first and second place conference finishes respectively.