West Lafayette, Ind. — Purdue baseball head coach Mark Wasikowski has completed his coaching staff for the 2018-19 school year with the hiring of Pepperdine recruiting coordinator and Indiana native Cooper Fouts as an assistant coach. Fouts joins recently hired pitching coach Elliott Cribby, assistant coach Greg Goff and director of operations John Madia to round out Wasikowski’s staff.
Fouts brings 13 seasons of collegiate coaching experience to West Lafayette, highlighted by five seasons over two stints at Wasikowski’s alma mater Pepperdine (2011-12, 2016-18). In his new role, Fouts will lead the recruiting efforts alongside Cribby. In addition, Fouts will coach and develop Boilermaker catchers and assist with the Purdue offense.
Fouts was born in Kokomo, Indiana, living there until his family moved to Indianapolis in 1990. He has three aunts that are Purdue alumnae and a cousin that is a current student. He attended high school in Las Vegas after his family moved west in 1994.
“Cooper has established himself as one of the hardest working assistants in college baseball,” Wasikowski said. “His energy, work ethic and positive attitude are all trademarks of what Cooper brings to the table. In addition to assisting in the development of multiple MLB draft picks, he has also constructed NCAA Regional teams at his previous stops. We are thrilled to bring Cooper, his wife Bri and their three children back home to the state of Indiana to join the Boilermaker Family.”
“My family and I are very grateful for the opportunity Coach Wasikowski has provided me to join the Boilermaker Baseball family,” Fouts said. “Coach Waz has done an amazing job putting Purdue baseball back in the national spotlight, and I am excited to work alongside him and the rest of the staff. When you combine a world class education and playing in the Big Ten, Purdue University is an unbelievable choice for any student-athlete looking to excel. Boiler up!!”
Fouts graduated from Las Vegas’ baseball powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School in 2001. He was selected in the 26th round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, but opted to enroll at the College of Southern Nevada. After one season, he made the move to the Division I level. He played in over 150 games as a three-year starting catcher for Texas Tech from 2003 to 2005.
Fouts helped Pepperdine win West Coast Conference titles in 2012 and 2018. He worked under current Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez during his first term with the Waves. Wasikowski and Rodriguez were both starting infielders on Pepperdine’s 1992 College World Series championship team.
Current Pepperdine head coach Rick Hirtensteiner brought Fouts back to Malibu in the summer of 2015. Fouts has also served as an assistant coach at Utah Valley (2013-15), College of Southern Nevada (2007-10) and Lubbock Christian University (2006). His final season at CSN featured Bryce Harper winning the Golden Spikes Award and being selected No. 1 overall in the 2010 MLB Draft. The Coyotes won 52 games and finished third at JUCO World Series that season.
In Lubbock, Fouts caught future big leaguer Dallas Braden as well as his brother Nathan during his three seasons as a Red Raider.
In his second stint at Pepperdine, Fouts’ recruits helped the program post an 11-win improvement in 2018. The Waves won the WCC with a 17-10 record after being 8-19 the year prior. Pepperdine’s 2012 team won 36 games and was a finalist at the Palo Alto Regional.
Pepperdine has had multiple players drafted for seven consecutive seasons. All-American utility man Jordan Qsar, who led the WCC with 63 RBI and also recorded seven saves, headlined the Waves’ 2018 draftees.
Fouts also served as a recruiting coordinator at Utah Valley, where he helped the Wolverines win 71 games over three seasons. But more importantly, he helped build a roster that went on to lead UVU to 37 wins and an NCAA Regional berth in 2016 as the Western Athletic Conference Tournament champion.
In Fouts’ final season at College of Southern Nevada, nine pitchers were drafted that June and 14 more student-athletes were signed by NCAA Division I programs. CSN won three conference titles, two Region 18 championships and Western District tournament in 2010 during his four seasons on the coaching staff.
Fouts was part of a pair of NCAA Tournament wins as a junior at Texas Tech. He helped TTU’s 2004 team win 40 games and earn the No. 2 seed at the Atlanta Regional. As the Red Raiders’ starting catcher in all four games of the regional, he helped TTU defeat Mississippi State twice and earned a spot on the All-Regional Team. He was recognized as honorable mention All-Big 12 as a senior after again being among the top defensive backstops and top-throwing catchers in the league.
Fouts earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science from Texas Tech in 2006. He and his wife, Bri, were married in 2010 and have three children – Harper, Emmit and Nash.