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Coach Profiles

CHRIS COOK
Head Baseball Coach, 3rd Season

Email: cook@nmmi.edu
Phone: 575-624-8282

New Mexico Military Institute announced the hiring of head baseball coach Chris Cook in May of 2012.  Even with limited time to recruit, the Bronco Baseball program saw a transformation In Cook’s first year at the helm. The 9 WJCAC victories is only two shy of equaling the number of conference wins in each of the previous three years combined.  In addition, the season win total of 18 included a school record 15 wins over junior college opponents.

The Bronco Baseball program took another step forward in year two, with 21 overall victories against junior college programs and 12 WJCAC victories (both new school records). The conference win total in year one and two nearly quadrupled the average conference win total of the previous 12 seasons. Offensively, the Broncos were also able to eclipse a school record with 32 home runs on the year. In addition to the school records, several players accomplished significant feats in years one and two. Both Austin Grier and Joe Galindo earned National Player of the week honors and Correy Davis broke a school record with 17 doubles while tying a school record with 48 runs.

Over Cook’s first two seasons, the Broncos have sent players and a manager to the following college baseball programs:  

NCAA I

NCAA II

NCAA III

NAIA

New Mexico

Azusa Pacific (CA)

Gordon College (MA)

Fisher College (MA)

New Mexico State

Newman University (KS)

US Merchant Marine (NY)

Presentation (SD)

Northwestern State (LA)

Oakland City Univ. (IN)

Hardin Simmons (TX)

Evangel (MO)

U. Arkansas- Pine Bluff

Eastern New Mexico Univ.

 

Tougaloo (MS)

Army (West Point) (NY)

 

 

LSU- Alexandria (LA)

U. of Texas- Pan American

 

 

TBA-Jewell

Austin Peay State Univ. (TN)

 

 

Embry Riddle (FL)

Grambling State (LA)

 

 

Lyon College (AR)

Manager- Arkansas State

 

 

 


With another strong recruiting class and a core group of returners, Cook expects to continue building: “On the field, in the class room, and in the core, these first two squads helped to set a high expectation level on campus and in the WJCAC. With a new group of players and some very talented sophomores, we expect to compete every game. We preach constantly about controlling what you can control, and that no one individual can dictate wins and losses. The overall approach and mindset of a team is what gives them a chance to be successful. With the discipline, accountability and physical strength that comes with being a student at NMMI, this group is ready to elevate the expectation level for Bronco Baseball.”

Cook’s third season with the Bronco’s will mark his 17th overall at the collegiate level. Cook has spent half of his career at the NCAA Division I level. The 6 years prior to arriving at NMMI, Cook served as an Assistant Coach at Arkansas State University.

At ASU, Cook served as recruiting coordinator, in addition to coaching infielders and hitters. Cook was a part of some of the most exciting moments in ASU baseball program history. By winning two games at each of the last three conference tournaments, the Red Wolves were able to accomplish something in three consecutive years that had not been done even once since 1997. Only two SBC teams won more SBC tournament games during Cook’s last three seasons at Arkansas State.

The 2012 team led the Sun Belt Conference in victories (19) and battled to the conference tournament championship game. The 34 season victories ranks 4th all time and had not been accomplished for 15 years. Also in 2012, Cook assisted the defense to an ASU team record .973 fielding percentage. During the 2011 campaign, Cook helped the hitters achieve top 10 all time team statistics in runs, hits, RBI, walks, and fielding percentage. In 2010, Cook helped the Red Wolves improve to a .312 team batting average that currently ranks second in team history. The Red Wolves also boasted a school record 647 hits. In 2009, Cook helped coach the Red Wolves to team batting average of .296, which ranks fourth all-time in ASU history. Arkansas State belted out 557 hits with 242 walks, 337 runs, 291 RBI, and 242 walks, all ranking in ASU’s top 10 all time team statistics.

Cook came to Arkansas State after serving as an assistant for one season at Austin Peay State, where he coached current Bronco Pitching Coach Rowdy Hardy. Prior to his experience at Austin Peay, Cook spent three seasons as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C., where he led the Bearcats to one of the top team ERA's in Division II baseball. Cook was part of a coaching staff that led Lander to a spot in the NCAA Division II National Poll each season, including a ranking of seventh nationally in 2005.

In his career, Cook has coached over 60 players who have gone on to play professional baseball, including the first five Lander players to ever play professional baseball and another five who have made it to the Major Leagues. Cook has also assisted in recruiting three nationally ranked recruiting classes, the 2003 Winthrop incoming class, and each of the 2007 and 2009 ASU recruiting classes. Before coaching at Lander, Cook held coaching positions at Winthrop University, Collin County (Texas) Community College and at his alma mater, Rockford College. Cook also spent two summers as a head coach in the Coastal Plain League, one as head coach of the division champion Durham Americans and the second as head coach of the Wilson Tobs.

Cook earned his Business Administration and Marketing degree at Rockford College. He is married to the former Wendy Mazan, who works as the Marketing and Community Relations Manager for Comfort Keepers of Roswell. They have a daughter, Julianna, born March 21, 2009.

CHRIS COOK AT A GLANCE
Collegiate Coaching Career
1999-2001: Rockford College, NCAA III, (assistant coach/recruiting coordinator)
2001: Collin County Community College, NJCAA I, (assistant coach/assistant athletic director)
2002: Winthrop University, NCAA I, (assistant coach)

2002-2005: Lander University, NCAA II, (pitching coach/recruiting coordinator)
2006:  Austin Peay State University, NCAA I, (assistant coach)
2006-2012: Arkansas State, NCAA I, (assistant coach/recruiting coordinator)
2012-present: New Mexico Military Institute, NJCAA I, (head coach)

Summer Collegiate League Coaching Experience

2003: Durham Americans (Coastal Plain League) (head coach)

2004: Colleyville Lone Stars (Texas Collegiate League) (pitching coach)

2005: Wilson Tobs (Coastal Plain League) (head coach)

Playing Career
1993-96: Lane Community College
1996-98: Rockford College

Education
B.S. Business Administration and Marketing
Rockford College, 1998

Family
Wife: Wendy
Children: Julianna (5)



ROWDY HARDY
Assistant Coach, 3rd Season

Email:hardy@nmmi.edu
Phone: 575-624-8448

Former Minor League pitcher Rowdy Hardy has been named the new pitching coach for NMMI baseball. Hardy, 29, joins newhead coach Chris Cook to start a new chapter in Bronco baseball. 

Quote from Coach Cook- “I was extremely excited when I was able to lure Coach Hardy here to NMMI to help me rebuild this program. I have fond memories watching him compete at the college level while we were together at Austin Peay State. His mental makeup, competitive drive and ability to dominate the strike zone, were traits of his that I feel he can develop into our pitching staff. He understands the game and relates well with players. I am truly excited about what he’s going to be able to do with our pitching staff.”

 

Signed by the Kansas City Royals after his senior season at Austin Peay State, Hardy played 6+ seasons in professional baseball with the Royals and Atlanta Braves. Hardy spent several years in the “upper minors” reaching AAA with the Gwinnett Braves in 2011.

The native of Bethel Springs, TN., attended Austin Peay and became the Ohio Valley Conference’s all-time leader in wins with a 32-12 record.  He also finished in the top ten in several school categories: career era (2.71 – 6th), BB/9 (1.74 – 1st), shutouts (2 – tie 3rd), complete games (19 – 3rd), games started (45 – 4th), career innings pitched (346 – 2nd), and career strikeouts (255 – 2nd).

Hardy enjoyed success at the professional level and was named Organizational Pitcher of the Year for the Kansas City Royals in 2007. He posted his best season that year with a 15-5 record, a 2.48 era, and allowed just 16 walks in 167 innings pitched. In 2010, Hardy was selected in the Rule Five draft by the Atlanta Braves during the Triple A phase. That year he posted a 0.00 era in Gwinnett in 7.2 innings while striking out eight.  Hardy had a career 40-32 record in 649 innings with a 3.30 era and a 1.68 BB/9.



ALEX GARZA
Assistant Coach, 3rd Season

Email: dgarza15@gmail.com

Phone: 575-624-8448

Alex Garza enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Broncos, working primarily with the outfielders. He also assists in camp coordinating, recruiting, pre-game preparation and alumni relations. Garza pitched collegiately for the Broncos from 2004-2006 under pitching Coach David Gomez (current Alcorn State Pitching Coach). He graduated from NMMI with an Associates of Arts and a rank as a Staff Sergeant in the corps of cadets. Alex moved to Peoria, AZ and played in the Peoria city baseball league for three years. Alex then moved back to Roswell, NM and joined Dane Kyser’s coaching staff at Roswell High School.

Quote from Coach Cook- “When I accepted the position here at NMMI I immediately decided that I needed to find an assistant coach who knew what it was like to be a Bronco student-athlete. Coach Garza is a 2nd Generation NMMI student athlete and he understands completely the nature of this institution. He’s a very hard working coach who wants to see his alma mater reach new levels on the baseball field. We are fortunate to have someone on staff with his recruiting and alumni connections throughout this region."

Coach Garza was born in San Antonio, TX, then moved to his father’s native Roswell, NM, where he attended high school and played football and baseball. Alex's father, Gustavo Garza Jr., also attended the Institute and played football before commissioning into the Army. Garza is in his last semester at Eastern New Mexico University where he is pursuing a degree in education. Coach Garza is married to Geanie Garza and they have a two year old daughter Isabella.



STEVE KLETKE
Volunteer Assistant Coach, 1st Season

Phone: 575-624-8448

Steve Kletke joins NMMI Baseball for the 2014-2015 season as the Volunteer Assistant and Camp Coordinator. Kletke will work with catchers while assisting in all other areas of the program.

Coach Kletke makes his way to Roswell after spending the last year and a half running private lessons and youth travel ball in Ruston Louisiana. Prior to working in the private sector he spent three years as an assistant at Grambling State University.

Kletke started his college playing career at Iowa Western Community College, hitting .381 and helping them reach the NJCAA World Series while being named Second Team All Conference.  He spent his sophomore year at Colby Community College hitting .407 and again earning Second Team All Conference honors. After Colby C.C. he transferred to Division 1 and South West Athletic Conference member Grambling State University where he played two seasons and in his senior season helped lead GSU to a SWAC championship and a NCAA Regional birth while leading the conference in home runs, and being named to the SWAC All Tournament Team.

Kletke was born and raised in Altona Manitoba, Canada. He earned a bachelors degree in Marketing and his Masters in Sports Administration while at Grambling State. He is married to the former Dejanee Mitchell. They have one dog Isabelle that they rescued in February of 2014.