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Coaches

Danny Higginbotham – Head Coach

Danny Higginbotham was hired as Head Coach for the Macon Bacon on August 16th, 2017. He is entering his first season with Macon Bacon and his fourth in the Coastal Plain League.

Higginbotham spent his last two seasons at the helm of the Martinsville Mustangs. In the 2017 season he led the Mustangs to a (14-13) first half record. This was the first winning record the Mustangs had seen in the first half of the season since 2007. Overall, in his two seasons, Martinsville had an overall record of 48-60. He spent the 2015 season as the Pitching Coach for the Morehead City Marlins.

Currently, Higginbotham is a Volunteer Assistant at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. At SDSU he works with the catchers and the hitters along with the coordination of camps. Prior to SDSU, he was an Assistant Coach at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa. At ICCC he worked with the catchers and hitters on a daily basis. During that season at ICCC, the Tritons went (38-16) and were Region 11 Champions. Before joining the ICCC staff, Higginbotham spent two years at Arkansas Tech University as the Graduate Assistant and Recruiting Coordinator.

During his playing career, Higginbotham caught at Arkansas Tech University from 2009-2011 where he earned Gulf South Conference Academic Honors in each of his three seasons. During his three years at ATU, they compiled a record of 88-65 and earned bids to the Gulf South Conference Tournament in 2010 and 2011. Higginbotham started his college playing career at Howard College in Big Spring, TX in 2008.

Coach Higginbotham is a fan of the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys. Since he was a catcher himself, his all-time favorite player is Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. In high school, he faced former Texas Rangers 1st Round Pick, Blake Beavan. He hit a solid ground ball almost past the second basemen. He claims that he “just missed it”.

Coach Higginbotham is originally from Bedford, Texas and graduate from Euless Trinity High School in 2007. He earned his B.S. in Business Administration from ATU in 2011 and his M.S. in College Student Personnel from Arkansas Tech University in 2016.

He and his staff are responsible for building the team roster. Coaches and Players can reach him at [email protected].

 

Ryan Vruggink – Pitching Coach

Ryan Vruggink will be joining the inaugural coaching staff of the Bacon as an assistant coach in charge of working with the pitchers. He has served as Coach Higginbotham’s pitching coach the last two years in Martinsville. 

 

During the fall and spring, Ryan serves as an assistant for the Mineral Area College Cardinals. A NJCAA Division 1 program located in Park Hills, MO. It will be his second year on staff there. In his first year, the pitchers improved on ERA, WHIP, opponent batting average against, and their strike out to walk ratio. 

 

Ryan, a native of Houston, TX, started his career at the University of Houston where he was a member of the Cougar bullpen. He transferred to Arkansas Tech University and was also a member of the Wonderboy bullpen. During his time at Tech, he had the opportunity to play for Coach Higginbotham who was serving as the Wonderboy’s Graduate Assistant. Ryan graduated from Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Marketing and Management. He will be completing his Masters of Education with an emphasis in Sports Administration in the summer from the University of Central Methodist. 

 

Ryan is a fan of all Pittsburgh sports and spends the majority of his free time on the golf course. When he was 10, Bryce Harper hit a home run off him that to this day hasn’t landed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Higuera – Hitting Coach

David Higuera will be joining the Macon Bacon staff in the inaugural season in the Coastal Plain League. He will be the Hitting coach for the Bacon this summer.

David Higuera is in his third year as an Assistant at Georgetown College in Kentucky. He is the Outfield Coach and Co-Hitting Coach for the Georgetown College Tigers. In his first two seasons of coaching the Outfielders at Georgetown he saw 2 players earn Gold Glove honors in the Mid-South Conference. He has also helped over 10 players to be named to the Mid-South All Conference team in his first two seasons. Last summer he coached 2 of the top 3 hitters in the California Collegiate League and One of them was named a Perfect Game All-American.

David Higuera prepped at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, California where he helped the Lancers win the National Classic tournament as well as the CIF-SS baseball title at Dodger Stadium. After High School, he continued his baseball career at Georgetown College where he lettered for 4 years and was named Captain. In his Freshman year, he helped lead the Tigers to their first Mid-South Conference Title. Also, in his Freshman year he hit .349 and was named to the All Mid-South Conference 2nd team. In his Junior year, he helped the Tigers win another Mid-South conference title and make their 2nd appearance ever to the NAIA World Series.

David, earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies with a Minor in Psychology at Georgetown College. He recently earned his Master of Arts in Education also at Georgetown College. David’s favorite sports teams are the Los Angeles Rams, Lakers, and Angels. He was high school teammates with current Atlanta Brave, Rio Ruiz.

 

 

Jake Schuster – Assistant Coach/Clubhouse Manager

Jake Schuster will be joining the Macon Bacon’s this summer as the third assistant/club house manager. This will be his first season under Coach Higginbotham and his first season in the Coastal Plain League.

Jake has spent two years as a bullpen catcher for Clemson University, one year as the video coordinator for Clemson, and spent this past baseball season as the student bullpen assistant coach for Clemson.

Jake is a native of Charlotte, NC and just finished his fourth year to Clemson University. Jake has been using this time as a stepping stone to become a coach after his time at Clemson is over. Jake has graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in Management and is currently working on his Masters in Athletic Leadership. Jake is looking forward to sharing his baseball knowledge as well as washing and folding the team laundry because no one can fold a jersey like Jake Schuster.

Jake is a Minnesota Twins fan and loves the outdoors and reading when he is off the field.