Dax Norris named UNO pitching coach
Published 3:14 pm Wednesday, September 15, 2021
New Orleans head coach Blake Dean announced the hiring of Dax Norrisas the program’s pitching coach. Norris joins the Privateers after five seasons at FIU.
Norris spent the first three seasons for the C-USA’s Panthers as the pitching coach before transitioning to the hitting coach in 2020.
“Dax is a throwback grinder in the game,” said Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves manager and a member of New Orleans’ Top 50 Greatest Players in Program History. “He played the game with everything he had and approaches coaching the same way. He will bring much knowledge and experience to help all of the New Orleans student-athletes and staff.”
“I’m excited to bring Dax on board,” said Dean. “He is a baseball lifer who brings a ton of experience and diversity to our staff. Loyalty and trust are two things I place a high value on when hiring for a position. After numerous calls, everyone spoke highly of Dax’s character. I’m excited to see how he improves our pitching staff and catchers.”
“Buy-in is much higher on a team with a great culture built on trusting coach-athlete relationships,” said Norris. “I’ve known and followed Blake’s entire career as a player and now successful coach. The first time we spoke, he immediately touched on the great culture at UNO. It’s a great foundation and something my family and I want to be a part of and develop.”
He was the architect behind FIU’s conference-leading ERA during the 2019 regular season. Six Panther pitchers were drafted between 2017-19.
Prior to his time in the Sunshine State, Norris began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Alabama, as the hitting instructor from 2008-10, before shifting to work with the pitching staff and tutoring the catchers in 2011.
The Alabama pitching staff collected 452 strikeouts and posted a 3.46 ERA during the 2016 campaign, one season after the Crimson Tide staff finished with 479 strikeouts, the most since 2010. Two pitchers were selected in the 2015 draft.
Pivotal in recruiting in Alabama, the Tide entered the 2013 season with one of the top incoming classes in college baseball – No. 4 by Baseball America and No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball.
As hitting coach in 2009, Alabama ranked in the top 25 in nine offensive categories, earning Norris SEC Assistant Coach of the Year.
His coaching career began at Niceville (Fla.) High School working with hitters and catchers.
An All-America catcher for the Crimson Tide in 1995-96, Norris was the captain on the 1996 SEC championship team that finished with a then-school record 50 wins en route to hosting an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history.
During his senior campaign (1996), Norris led the Tide to the first College World Series appearance since 1983 after batting .370 with seven home runs and 49 RBI.
He went on to be drafted in the 23rd round by the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and played 11 years of professional baseball in the Braves and Houston Astros organizations.
He reached Triple-A with both clubs and was voted to the 2002 Triple-A All-Star team as a member of the Richmond Braves. He played in 846 career minor league games with 73 home runs and 421 RBI.