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Van Horn says bye to C Clark
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calling_the_hogs Offline
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UA baseball soap opera continues to turn
"Hog Calls" by Nate Allen

While scouting talent at a tournament Monday in Chicago, new Razorback baseball coach Dave Van Horn announced his new pitching coach, bid best pro ball wishes to last season's No. 2 starting pitcher, and explained he also wishes the best to last season's transferring catcher.

In order, Van Horn was discussing new pitching coach Dave Jorn, Gary Hogan Jr., the Razorback pitcher passing up his senior year by signing Monday with the Texas Rangers; and transferring junior-to-be catcher C Cody Clark.

Van Horn, the Razorbacks' second baseman in 1982, had indicated Friday he was about to hire Jorn. Jorn was the Razorbacks' pitching coach from 1983-88 which included Van Horn's 1985-88 tenure as a graduate assistant coach under former longtime coach Norm DeBriyn That tenure included College World Series trips in 1985 and '87.

"He was the guy I wanted all the way along," Van Horn said Monday. "I trust him. He's a great instructor. He has a great reputation developing pitchers. Plus he's a very good recruiter and knows talent and is a solid pitching coach and baseball person. I think the players he'll have are really going to benefit by having him as their pitching coach. I saw his style and I know he was a great pitching coach back in the '80s and like hopefully most of us do, he'll get better with age. I feel real fortunate to have him."

Jorn has been involved in professional baseball since leaving the Razorbacks in January of 1989.

A former minor league pitcher, including a tenure with the Arkansas Travelers, Jorn has worked for the New York Yankees, New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks as a minor league pitching coach and manager. He has been a scout with the Yankees since 2001.

"I never wanted to leave Arkansas in the first place," Jorn said. "The only reason I did was to pursue a dream to be a big leagues guy. But after 13 or 14 years, I saw that wasn't going to happen."

Jorn had talked with DeBriyn about possibly returning to the UA five years ago before Tim Montez, just named the pitching coach at Fresno State, was hired.

"I'm excited about coming back to Arkansas," Jorn said. "Everything was great before and I'm looking forward to even bigger and better things the second time around."

Jorn said he relishes being a hands-on coach again and said all that pro scouting entails will make him a better recruiter.

"Scouting is all about evaluating talent," Jorn said. "And it's recruiting, too, building a relationship with the prospect and making in-home visits with the family."

North Little Rock's Hogan, 3-6 this past season but with a tough-luck, 1-0 loss to Kentucky and a shutout victory over SEC West champ Alabama plus three saves as a late-season closer, was only drafted in the 32nd round of the June draft by the Rangers but said he signed for a lot better money than that.

"I got 11th through 15th round money," Hogan said without disclosing specifics. "I was planning on coming back to Arkansas but the Rangers came back with an offer I couldn't turn down. And they said they would take care of a year of school. I've got a year and a half to graduate. I'm going to miss not getting to play for Coach Van Horn. He's a great coach, but that life."

Hogan said he reports Wednesday to the Rangers' minor league team in Pulaski, Va.

"I knew he was going to sign when he called me last night," Van Horn said of Hogan. "I was happy for him. I would have loved to have had him come back, it's hard to replace that experience, but they made him a good offer and I understand and wish him the best of luck."

Former Razorback pitching coach Jay Eddings is the Rangers' scout who signed Hogan.

Van Horn, who couldn't be reached for comment last Friday night when it was learned that Clark, the junior All-SEC Tournament catcher from Fayetteville, had received a letter of nonrenewal for his scholarship, explained Monday the letter's circumstances.

Doug Clark, Cody's father, was the Razorbacks' hitting coach the past 26 years under DeBriyn but has been replaced on Van Horn's staff by Texarkana Community College coach Matt Deggs.

"It's one of those things that's tough on both parties," Van Horn said. "It would be tough for a young man to come to a school where his dad was the coach and now he's not. He can come back if he wants. But we had talked to Doug and they are shopping around trying to find a place for him to go. So

in the meantime, while he's looking around, I didn't want to commit a scholarship knowing they are looking to find another school. Now if he decides, 'I guess I want to come back,' we can work it out.' But they are

working hard to find another school. I've never really talked to him, but I've heard he is a great person and a good baseball player. I hope it works out for him whatever he decides to do."

Clark plans a recruiting visit to Wichita State Wednesday. He has been granted a release with immediate eligibility.
07-10-2002 01:08 PM
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