Joe Blackwell enters his third season at the helm after taking over the Southwestern Christian University baseball program prior to the beginning of the 2015 season.
In his first year, SCU upped its overall win total by 18 from the 2014 season and won seven more games in Sooner Athletic Conference play. The Eagles finished the season at 26-26, made a deep run in the SAC Tournament and competed in the NCCAA Central Region Tournament.
Blackwell and the Eagles reached new heights in the in the 2016 campaign going 44-17 overall and 16-8 in SAC play. SCU spent much of the season as the top-ranked team in NCCAA baseball and broke into the NAIA baseball top-25 coaches poll for the first time in program history.
The Eagles finished the regular season third in the SAC standings and participated in the NCCAA World Series for the first time in program history.
Blackwell joined the SCU coaching staff in its inaugural season in 2014 as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. He also serves as SCU’s Associate Vice President of Athletics and Operations.
Prior to joining the SCU baseball staff, Blackwell spent 11 years coaching travel/select teams that participated in events in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Blackwell is certified with the National Federation of High School Coaches as an accredited interscholastic coach. In addition to his travel/select team experience, Blackwell spent five years working with the baseball program at Tuttle High School.
Blackwell, a native of Oklahoma City, graduated from Moore High School and played collegiately at Rose State. After his playing career, Blackwell graduated with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Southern Nazarene. He received his MBA from Concordia University in May 2015.
Blackwell and his wife, Dana, have been married 20 years and have two children, Blake and Shelby.
Record at SCU
Overall: 70-43 (.619)
Tim Braaten enters his fourth season as a member of the Southwestern Christian University coaching staff. Braaten serves as associate head coach and as is in charge of player development.
Braaten, a native of Broken Arrow, Okla., joined the SCU baseball program in 2014 after serving as an assistant coach at Bethany High School. At Bethany, he served as hitting coach and worked with the team’s infielders. Braaten also runs a summer baseball organization called the Bethany Bulls. The Bulls compete on the high school level in American Legion as well as on the collegiate level in Kansas’ Jayhawk League.
Braaten graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social studies and education from Southern Nazarene and is currently pursing a master’s degree at SCU.
Braaten and his wife, Nikki, live in Bethany, Okla.
Kyle Vail joins the Southwestern Christian University coaching staff for the 2017 season as pitching coach.
Vail, a native of Moore, Okla., spent the last two seasons as a member of the Eagles’ starting rotation, going 15-11 with an earned run average of 3.69. He is SCU’s all-time strikeout leader with 208 career Ks. Vail was twice named to the all-Sooner Athletic Conference team as well as the NCCAA all-Central Region squad. in 2015 he was named NCCAA Central Region Pitcher of the year and was an NCCAA all-American.
Vail began his college career at Wichita State where he posted a 2.45 ERA in four appearances. Prior to joining the Eagles in 2015, Vail played one season at Southern Nazarene where he notched a 5.18 ERA in 57.1 innings of work.
Vail is set to graduate in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor's degree in Sports Management.