GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- University of North Dakota Head Baseball Coach Jeff Dodson announced promotions within his staff Monday. Assistant coach J.C. Field has been elevated to associate head coach while assistant coach Brian DeVillers adds recruiting coordinator to his job title.
"I am very excited to have these two guys on my staff," Dodson said. "They have worked really hard through our transition to Division I and have been a major factor in getting the caliber of kids in our program that led us to our first winning season last year."
Field, who is going into his sixth season at UND, serves as the primary hitting and catching coach for the program as well as the team’s third base coach. Last season, North Dakota etched numerous outstanding offensive achievements, leading the Great West Conference in hitting with a .292 clip and scoring runs in bunches down the stretch. An April 14th game saw UND score 12 runs in an inning for a 23-7 win at regular-season champion Northern Colorado. Less than a month later, North Dakota busted loose for 25 runs against New Jersey Tech, the seventh-most runs in a single game in school history.
The offense had five regulars hitting above a .300 clip for the second straight season. In 2012, freshman Tyler Follis recorded a new UND mark for hits in a season (74) while fellow freshman Jeff Campbell clubbed 12 homers en route to being named the first Freshman All-American for UND in the Division I era. Field has had five batters hit over .300 in a season in three of his five years as hitting coach.
Prior to joining the UND coaching staff, Field served with Dodson at Southeast Missouri State as a volunteer assistant. He coached outfielders and was the Redhawks’ first base coach. He was also involved with the development of catchers and hitters, as well as recruiting.
Before his move into the coaching ranks, Field played professionally for the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. With the Otters, he started 46 games at catcher. He also spent a season as the baseball color commentator for ESPN Radio 1580 KTGR, where he covered his alma mater -- the University of Missouri.
Field graduated in 2006 from the University of Missouri, where he helped guide the Tigers to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances and the Malibu Regional Championship in 2006, where he earned All-Malibu Regional Team accolades. Field also played two years at Pima Community College, where he was an all conference catcher both years and received an associates degree in liberal arts in 2004.
Former UND standout Brian DeVillers begins his seventh season as an assistant coach at his alma mater. DeVillers’ primary role is serving as the infield coach, as well as assisting with hitters, acting as the club’s first base coach, and as the primary contact in Midwest recruiting.
Senior shortstop Kris Kwak set the UND career mark for walks in 2013 in a solid all-around effort by the infield. Patrick Vandoorne made just two errors all season at second base and third baseman Ryan Reese was named to the All-Great West Conference Second Team under DeVillers' tutelage.
The 2012 edition saw first baseman Jeff Campbell become the school's first Division I All-America honoree when he took home Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America accolades. Campbell hammered a dozen homers with 47 RBI and a .326 average and was an All-GWC First Teamer. Third baseman Kyle Bolander was a second team honoree.
In 2011, first baseman Jake Magner concluded his career as one of the top defenders in school history. He made only three errors over his past two seasons in 764 chances. Magner also climbed the all-time charts in career home runs (second; 39). DeVillers was also instrumental in the development of Kwak, who earned All-Great West second team honors after raising his batting average 143 points from his freshman season.
Prior to joining the UND coaching staff, he served as the assistant coach at Grand Forks Red River High School from 2004-2007. During his four years there the team made two state tournament appearances.
A former third baseman and graduate of UND with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, DeVillers was a two-time All-NCC selection (‘01 and ‘03) during his playing days. He ranks in the top 10 in on UND’s all-time list in runs (10th, 127), triples (seventh, 5), home runs (tied for sixth, 31), runs batted in (seventh, 136), total bases (sixth, 297), and walks (sixth, 84).
A Grand Forks native and Red River High School graduate, he was an honorable mention USA Today All-American in 1999. That same year he helped lead the Grand Forks Royals to the State American Legion Championship, while setting single season and career records in home runs and runs batted in, and also being named North Dakota Non-School Athlete of the Year by the North Dakota Associated Press.
North Dakota enjoyed its most successful season at the Division I level, finishing with a 25-22-1 record. That mark set a new standard for victories in UND's D-I era and North Dakota etched wins in its first two games at the Great West Conference Tournament for the third consecutive season. North Dakota will join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2013-14.