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Brock Nehls Hired as Blue Dragon Baseball’s New Head Coach

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Hutchinson CC Sports Information

 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (bluedragonsports.com) – Brock Nehls has been hired to be the new head baseball coach at Hutchinson Community College.

Nehls is no stranger to the Jayhawk Conference, playing baseball for Barton Community College and serving as an assistant coach at Dodge City, Cloud County and Barton community colleges.

Nehls replaces Ryan Schmidt and becomes the 11th head coach in a Blue Dragon Baseball history that dates back to 1975.

“I am excited to welcome Brock Nehls as the next head baseball coach of Blue Dragon Baseball,” Hutchinson Athletic Director Josh Gooch said. “Coach Nehls has all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach. He is a tireless recruiter, a great baseball mind and a leader and developer of young men.

“I am looking forward to moving Blue Dragon Baseball forward with him and his staff.”

Nehls takes over a Blue Dragon program that finished 30-28 in the 2023 season, finishing in a tie for fifth place in the Jayhawk West. The Blue Dragons return all-league players Cody Gunderson and Ethan Giesbrecht among the 2023 freshmen returning for next season.

Nehls comes to Hutchinson after serving four seasons as the pitching coach at Emporia State University. Before Emporia State, Nehls was the head coach at William Woods University from 2017 to 2019. Prior to William Woods, Nehls was the assistant coach at Dodge City Community College from 2012 to 2016 and at Cloud County in 2011.

“These are exciting times,” Nehls said. “I would like to thank Dr. Carter File and Josh Gooch for the opportunity to lead this program. I’ve been a part of the Jayhawk before and I know the history of Hutchinson baseball and what it takes to be successful. I’m fired up to be here.”

A native of Hays, Nehls graduated from Hays High in 2004. He played for Mike Warren at Barton in 2005 and 2006, earning all-Jayhawk West honors as a pitcher in 2006. Nehls moved onto Emporia State where he was all-MIAA as a pitcher in 2008. Nehls also had professional stints with the Harlingen Whitewings of the United Baseball League and the Evansville Otters of the Frontier league.

Nehls started his coaching career at Barton in January of 2009 with primary duties as pitching and strength and conditioning coach for one season. In the summer and fall of 2009, Nehls was a coach at the Emporia Baseball Academy, assistant coach for the Emporia Senior Legion team and the head coach of the Emporia Aeros Fall Program. In 2010, Nehls was an assistant coach at Cloud County.

From July 2011 to July 2016, Nehls was an assistant coach for Phil Stephenson at Dodge City Community College. The 2015 Conquistadors won the Region VI Tournament and tied for sixth place at the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. The 2015 Conquistadors went 42-20 and led the Jayhawk West in team ERA at 4.20.

Nehls’ first collegiate head coaching position came at William Woods University, located in Fulton, Missouri. From 2017 to 2019, Nehls’ coaching record was 81-82-1 with a 31-24 record in 2018 and were ranked No. 20 in the NAIA that season.

The past four seasons, Nehls was the pitching coach at Emporia State. Nehls’ pitching staff in 2022 posted Top 5 MIAA rankings in ERA (5th), strikeouts per nine innings (4th), strikeout-to-walk ratio (5th) and fewest walks per nine innings (3rd).

“From a recruiting standpoint, we need to hit the ground running,” Nehls said. “I’m building a staff that will be the hardest working staff in the country. We will do everything we can to bring the right type of student-athlete to represent this community and this college in the right way.”

Nehls and his wife, Ashley, have three children: Kyndal, Hudson and Chance.

Schmidt resigned after the completion of the 2023 season as Blue Dragon baseball’s all-time coaching wins’ leader with a record of 384-220 with four Jayhawk West championships.