Van Horn named Arkansas baseball coach

Friday, June 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Nebraska baseball coach Dave Van Horn was named as the new coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, ending more than a week of speculation.

Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles formally announced the decision at a news conference. Van Horn will succeed Norm DeBriyn, who is retiring after 33 years with Arkansas.

Van Horn once played for DeBriyn and was an assistant coach.

``As a former Razorback, he embodies everything we are looking for in a coach to carry on the rich tradition of Arkansas baseball,'' Broyles said.

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Byrne wasted little time in replacing Van Horn, naming Nebraska assistant Mike Anderson to the top job.

Anderson, 37, has been on the NU staff since 1995 and is the lone assistant remaining from the staff of former head coach John Sanders, who was fired in 1997 before Van Horn took over the program.

Anderson was an assistant at Northern Colorado, where he played from 1983 to 1986, before coming to Nebraska. He also was a head coach with the Northern Colorado Lab School and a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.

At Nebraska, Van Horn was seen as the savior of a once-floundering baseball program. He was hired in 1998 and chalked up a 214-92 record. He led his teams to the College World Series in 2001 and 2002. Two years ago, the Huskers fell one game short of making the World Series.

``We are extremely excited to have Dave Van Horn as our new baseball coach,'' Broyles said. ``He has already proven to be one of the nation's best coaches as evidenced by his record and impressive list of accomplishments.

Before coming to Nebraska, Van Horn spent three seasons as coach at Northwestern State in Louisiana. Before that, he led Central Missouri State to the 1994 NCAA Division II national title.

Van Horn inherits a team that is coming off 35-28 season and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional. The Razorbacks were within one game of advancing to the program's fifth NCAA College World Series before losing the final two games of the regional to the Clemson Tigers. The Razorbacks will return 20 letterwinners from the 2002 squad including five freshmen.

Van Horn served as a graduate assistant coach with the Razorbacks from 1985 to 1988. Arkansas amassed a 184-71-1 record in that four-year span and advanced to the NCAA College World Series in 1985 and 1987.

Van Horn also enjoyed a successful playing career with the Razorbacks. While at Arkansas, he was an All-Southwest Conference infielder in 1982, earning team most valuable player honors and SWC Newcomer-of-the-Year honors in his only season in a Razorback uniform.

Following his junior season, he was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 10th round of the 1982 draft, and spent the next three seasons in the Braves organization.