Former professional player and Lipscomb University assistant coach Brad Coon has been named head coach of Lipscomb Academy’s high school varsity baseball program, athletic director Mike Roller announced today.
Coon, who played professional baseball for eight years in the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays organizations and has more than 15 years of playing and coaching experience, will officially begin his work with Lipscomb Academy on Nov. 1. He will lead a Mustang baseball program that has a long tradition of success with seven state championships and two state runner-ups in 14 state tournament appearances.
“Baseball has had a tremendous impact on my life, and I am excited about the opportunity to use the platform of baseball to pay it forward by impacting the lives of young people,” said Coon. “Building on the solid foundation that is in place, I look forward to leading this Lipscomb Academy baseball program that not only prepares our student athletes to do their best on the baseball field, but more importantly to instill in them lessons of faith, perseverance and character that will continue to impact them for a lifetime.”
Coon will be the head coach for the high school varsity baseball team and will oversee all of Lipscomb Academy’s baseball teams and player development programs. He will lead the Mustang Baseball program after spending the last five years as an assistant coach on Bison Head Coach Jeff Forehand at Lipscomb University.
“Coach Coon’s knowledge of the game, talent, experience and vision will build on the solid foundation that is in place to take this program to the next level,” said Roller. “His experience at every level of the game gives him a unique knowledge not only of the game but also about how to develop players to pursue their goals. He understands the game both from a player’s and a coach’s perspective, and this experience along with his enthusiasm and love for our students and his commitment to our mission will be beneficial as he leads this program.”
Prior to his college coaching career, Coon was an outfielder for Forehand at Trevecca Nazarene University during the 2004 and 2005 seasons and was named the TranSouth Athletic Conference and NAIA Region XI Player of the Year in 2005. Following the 2005 season, he was selected in the 15th round (463rd overall) by the Anaheim Angels of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft, winning the Pioneer League Championship as a rookie. He is the highest draft pick and one of only eight players to ever be drafted from Trevecca.
Coon spent six years inside the Angels organization, reaching as high as Triple-A. During his professional career, he played for Angels affiliate teams including the Orem Owlz, Cedar Rapids Kernels and Salt Lake Bees. In 2010 and 2011, he played for affiliates of the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers before signing his final professional contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. He also played four years of winter ball in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Mark Trumbo, first baseman and outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles and former teammate of Coon’s said the new Mustang coach will have a profound impact on the Lipscomb Academy program.
“There are few people who have the passion and baseball IQ that Brad Coon has,” said Trumbo, who played with Coon in the Angels organization. “His energy, knowledge of the game and his depth of experience will change the landscape of a high school baseball program. Lipscomb Academy has gotten a good one! I am excited for him to have this opportunity to grow and shape a program in a way that will make an impact on so many others.”
Known for his expertise in developing players at the collegiate and professional levels, a number of Coon’s former players and those he has taught in private lessons and camps through the years have competed at those levels.
“Coach Coon had an instrumental role in developing my swing during my high school years and instilled in me the importance of not only doing the big things right, but also making sure to take care of the little details as well,” said Bryan Reynolds, former Vanderbilt Commodore who was drafted in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants. “That had a huge impact on how I play and helped me to pursue my dream of playing baseball at the collegiate and professional levels.”
Coon was also instrumental in developing Lipscomb University standout Michael Gigliotti, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 first-year MLB player draft following an outstanding career for the Bisons that included a .308 average,193 hits, 31 doubles, 11 homers and 69 RBI.
“I am not only the player that I am today because of Coach Coon, but I am the man that I am today because of the way he not only helped me to develop my skills and helped me to reach my full potential on the playing field, but also in the way he modeled for me what it means to be a person of integrity and character off the field. I am so grateful for the impact he has had on my life and I know he will have a big impact on the lives of the players he will coach at Lipscomb Academy.”
As assistant coach at Lipscomb University, Coon helped lead the Bisons to a 2015 ASUN Championship and a berth in an NCAA Regional and helped develop nine players who were selected in the MLB baseball drafts.
Coon succeeds longtime Mustang baseball coach Ernie Smith who became head coach of the baseball program in 1978, whose more than 950 wins makes him the winningest coach in Lipscomb Academy history. In addition to coaching Mustang baseball, Smith led the varsity girls’ basketball program from 1980 to 2015, winning a state championship during the 1985-1986 season and more than 900 games in his career. Smith retired after the end of the 2018 season.
Coon is married to former Trevecca women’s basketball player Candice McCool Coon, an accountant in Lipscomb University’s business office. They have two children, Ellie, 2, and Harper, 6, who are both students at Lipscomb Academy.