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Rardin announces additions to WKU baseball coaching staff

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Baseball head coach Marc Rardin announced the arrival of Rob Fournier and Dillon Napoleon as assistant coaches to his team.

Fournier joins the Hilltoppers after spending the past 26 seasons as head coach at Wabash Valley College, while Napoleon continues his partnership with Rardin after three seasons as pitching coach at Iowa Western Community College.

The Fournier file

During his 26 seasons at Wabash Valley, Fournier racked up 1,106 career wins as a head coach while his Warrior teams won 14 Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC) championships. In his first year at the helm, he helped turn a 12-win team into a 37-win mark in the 1997 season. The program has since recorded 26 consecutive winning seasons, recording at least 30 wins in each campaign while amassing 17 total seasons of 40+ wins.

Fournier’s teams have made two NJCAA D1 World Series appearances, earning a third-place finish in 2017 and a fourth-place finish last season in 2022. For his success at the helm, Fournier has won 14 GRAC Coach of the Year awards and has was inducted in 2022. into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.

In addition to team success, Fournier’s tutelage also led to the individual success of his student-athletes. During his tenure, Wabash Valley saw more than 390 players transition to NCAA Division I programs, while 93 players were drafted or signed professionally.

Prior to his time at Wabash Valley, Fournier spent two years as a hitting coach and scouting coordinator for MacMurray College in 1995 and 1996. During those two seasons, MacMurray produced a 62-22 record while making two appearances regional. Fournier also has professional scouting experience as an associate, spending seven years with the Cleveland Guardians and the past 10 years with the Philadelphia Phillies.

As a player, Fournier spent two years as a shortstop for Ventura Community College (CA) in 1991 and 1992 before transferring to MacMurray College for his final two seasons, where he became an all-around center fielder. by earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and physical education.

Fournier is from Ojai, Calif., and his wife, Jennifer, is from Ft. Branch, Ind.

The Napoleon file

During Napoleon’s three seasons as an assistant coach at the Iowa Western, the Reivers sent 30 pitchers to NCAA Division I schools and saw six pitchers earn honors from all regions in the NCAA. ICCAC. The Iowa Western pitchers have also won back-to-back ICCAC Player of the Year awards, with Evan O’Toole accepting the honor in 2021 and Brant Hogue earning the accolade in 2022. In 2021 and 2022, staff of the Iowa Western pitchers ranked among the best. five among all NJCAA Division I programs in the ERA, while the 2022 staff also racked up a program record 620 strikeouts. Napoleon mentored two MLB draft picks during his time at the Iowa Western, along with pitchers Tanner Kohlhepp (Detroit Tigers, 5e Round) and Jack Neely (New York Yankees, 11e round) being selected in the 2021 MLB Draft.

Prior to his move to Iowa Western, Napoleon spent two seasons at Northwestern University, where he served as an assistant coach, camp coordinator and video coordinator for the Wildcats. Napoleon helped develop three MLB rookies at Northwestern, as the program saw Nick Paciorek (New York Yankees, 7e round), Alex Erro (Boston Red Sox, 17e Round) and Jack Dunn (Washington Nationals, 20e Round) all taken in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Prior to working at Northwestern, Napoleon spent five seasons at Berry College as a pitching coach, strength and conditioning coach, and video coordinator. In the same 2019 MLB Draft that featured three Northwest selections, Napoleon also saw former Berry College student-athlete Dylan Beasley taken in the 32n/a round by the Washington Nationals.

As a student-athlete, Napoleon began his college career at Heartland Community College, where he compiled a 19-1 record on the mound in two seasons while earning NJCAA All-American honors and being named pitcher. the Midwest Athletic Conference year as a sophomore. Napoleon then transferred to UAB, becoming the first player in program history to be named Conference USA Newcomer of the Year while earning All-Conference USA Second Team honors.

Napoleon earned an associate’s degree from Heartland Community College in 2010 and a bachelor’s degree in communication management from UAB in 2012 before receiving a master’s degree in sports leadership from Concordia-Chicago in 2018.

Napoleon and his wife Bethany have four daughters: Evelyn, Cora, Margot and Bonnie.

Quotation

Marc Rardin on the addition of Rob Fournier:

“For a lot of people, Rob Fournier was an off the beaten path choice for me as an assistant coach. I saw it as the best move for an assistant coach on staff who is an elite contender on the recruiting track. Fournier has 26 years of college experience. His program at Wabash Valley was stellar in every way – talented, prepared and very competitive every year. No one knows this seven-state region better than Coach Fournier. The reputation he has built with high school coaches, some ball clubs and scouts in the MLB area is extremely impressive. I am delighted to have him on board and I am sure he will have an immediate impact on this program in many ways.

Rob Fournier upon his arrival at the WKU:

“I am really grateful to Marc Rardin and the WKU administration for this great opportunity. I will get to work bringing in student-athletes that the WKU can be proud of. My wife Jen and I are thrilled to join the Bowling Green community.

Marc Rardin on the addition of Dillon Napoleon:

“I knew having Dillon Napoleon on the team was a must for me when I moved to WKU. His knowledge and skills in communicating with the staff and individuals of today’s pitchers is nothing short of amazing – I’ve watched him first hand over the past three years. He increases the development of every guy in every category. He’s been a game-changer for our program at Iowa Western and I don’t see that changing here at WKU. The efforts Dillon’s recruiting efforts to find the best guns available are tireless. It’s not just the best guns, but he can see the potential and what the raises can be. He’s a real young talent in the world of pitching coaches and I am delighted to have him and his family with us at WKU.

Dillon Napoléon upon his arrival at the WKU:

“I am thrilled to be joining the WKU baseball program. Having the opportunity to continue working for Coach Rardin is a blessing to me and my family. I am thrilled to return to Conference USA to participate in one of the best conferences across the country. I look forward to recruiting and developing student-athletes on the Hill.