The Troy University baseball and softball teams have hired additional assistant coaches this year, Blake Beck and Jaycee Affeldt, respectively.
The baseball team hired Beck, a native of Hamilton, who served two years as Troy’s video coordinator and two years as Mississippi State’s video coordinator, a position he left last year.
Beck moves into the position of volunteer assistant coach following Logan Pierce’s departure to the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Beck is one of four coaches on Troy’s staff, working alongside assistant coaches Brad Phillips and Shane Gierke, as well as first-year head coach Mark Smartt.
Beck graduated from Troy in 2014 and is currently earning his master’s degree in sport pedagogy at Mississippi State. He played two years of junior college baseball at Shelton State in Tuscaloosa.
“After I was done playing, I coached a little American Legion ball,” Beck said.
According to Beck, he sees himself as a “middle man” between all the coaches and the players.
“I am a little bit younger, so I can kind of bridge the gap a little bit with them,” he said.
Beck also said that he would be working mostly with the outfielders, while also helping out with hitting.
The softball team hired a familiar face for its coaching staff as well. On Thursday, Jan. 7, head coach Beth Mullins announced that former Troy pitcher Jaycee Affeldt would be working as a volunteer assistant with the team.
Affeldt said that this job was a good fit for her because she has all the experience that an assistant coach needs. She worked as a student assistant during the Trojans’ fall season.
Affeldt got the job after Taylor Smartt was promoted to a full-time assistant coach. Mullins said that Affeldt was the obvious choice for the position, and that she was glad to have her.
“I tried to hold myself to the same standard last semester because I knew I was going to be the volunteer this spring,” Affeldt said.
She also said that the program has given her so much, and that she is just trying to give back.
“I just want to help this team win,” Affeldt said. “I just want to help the program grow. I want to see the program flourish, and just be better than it ever has before.”
Affeldt said that she has been helping out in the bullpen since she was a pitcher. She said that since she is a volunteer, she is just trying to learn as much as she can.
As volunteer coaches, both Affeldt and Beck will not receive pay, but rather will use their positions to gain experience.