- Cross Country
Travis Watson is entering his first season as the Head Baseball Coach for Tennessee Wesleyan.
Prior to joining the Bulldogs, Watson served as the Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for Faulkner University. At Faulkner, he dealt with day to day operations of the program, as well as served as the outfield and hitting instructor for the Eagles. Watson assisted as the Camp Director, scheduling, and field maintenance. During his 5 years at Faulkner, the Eagles made four trips to the NAIA World Series and won the NAIA National Championship in 2013. In 2014 he was named Alabama Baseball Coaches, Assistant Coach of the Year. There have been 32 former players who have signed professional contracts under his leadership.
Prior to joining the Eagles, he spent seven years at Lee University, where he established himself as one of the top recruiters in the NAIA. While with the Flames, Watson helped lead five teams to the World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. He worked primarily with the hitters and infielders and well serve as the first base coach.
Watson played baseball for Roane State Community College, Tennessee-Martin and Mobile.
Watson coached at Hiwassee College and Middle Tennessee State. In that time he helped produce 12 All-Americans, eight of which were first team selections.
Watson is a native of Sweetwater, Tenn., and he and his wife Eleanor have two children, Leah and Brody.
Brad Neffendorf will be entering his first season as the Bulldog pitching coach and recruiting coordinator after serving the same titles the previous five years at Campbellsville University in Kentucky, which is part of the Mid-South Conference.
In five of six years with the Tiger Baseball program, he helped lead them to their seventh and eight Mid-South Conference titles in 2012 and 2015, their 11th NAIA opening round appearance, an NCCAA Regional Championship and a NCCAA World Series berth, finishing third. Neffendorf has groomed 11 pitchers to all-conference honors with Michael McBride being crowned the MSC Pitcher of the Year in 2011. In 2013, Patrick McMeel was named 2nd team NCCAA All-American and regional pitcher of the year.
His pitching staffs compiled some of the nation’s best numbers over his five years including a program best ERA in 2012 of 2.65 (#3 Rank in NAIA) and 2015 an ERA of 2.66 which was second best in program history (#2 Rank in NAIA). 2015 his staff lead the nation in BB per game with a total of 58 on the season in 43 games while Junior RHP Mario Morales set and tied a new National Record with 3 total BB in 70 innings with current TWC Bulldog, Chris Washington. In 2012 his staff had the sixth best OBA in all of NAIA and the fourth least amount of walks allowed in the nation at 1.86 AVG/G and also set the school record for saves in a single season. His 2013 staff tied a program history best in strikeouts with 425 at 7.03 AVG/9 (#3 Rank in NAIA) and a top 20 nation’s best ERA at 3.26. In 2011, his first year as the Tiger pitching coach, his staff compiled the 10th best opponent batting average in the NAIA, 27th most strikeouts, and the 27thbest ERA.
In 2014 and 2015, he managed the Front Royal Cardinals of the Valley Collegiate League, one of the Nation’s Premier Collegiate Summer Leagues compiling 52 wins between the two years. Neffendorf lead them into the playoffs back to back years which was the organization’s first play-off appearance in four years, he was selected to manage the North squad of the Valley League All-Star Game in 2014. In 2015 he lead them to the organization’s first Northern Division Title since 2009 and in 2014 they had 9 more wins than the previous year. The Cardinals had 10 All Valley League players and 12 selected to the All-Star game in two years. In 14’ Jake Harper a LHP was named the VBL Pitcher of the Year. 2014’s Squad saw 5 players taken in the 2015 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
In 2011, He was the pitching coach for the Winchester Royals of the Valley Collegiate league where he helped lead them to the Northern Division title, 33-18 final record, and a ranking as high as No. 18 nationally by Perfect Game Collegiate Summer Rankings.
Neffendorf has also had stints as a two-year head High School Coach in Oregon at Aloha High School, one year at the JUCO level at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon and has also ran two of the Northwest’s elite summer select club’s with Northwest Star Academy and Portland Baseball Club. In 2008, Northwest Star Academy won the 19U Babe Ruth World Series in Newark, Ohio, was named the Oregon Team of the Year Award, and seven players from that team are still present playing with Major League Organizations. In 2010 He Lead Portland Baseball Club to a 2nd place finish at the Babe Ruth World Series and a Pacific Northwest Regional Title.
Neffendorf received his Associates Degree from Clackamas Community College, Bachelors of Arts in Education from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon and an MAOL at Campbellsville University in December, 2011. He is engaged to TWC assistant athletic trainer, Meghan Roth.
DJ King begins his 10th year coaching collegiate baseball and his first at TWC. He spent 3 seasons with Andrew College (GA), where he was the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. He also spent 3 seasons at Kennesaw State University as the volunteer assistant coach. The past three seasons he was at University of South Carolina Aiken where he was the pitching coach for two years, along with recruiting, strength and conditioning, alumni coordinator, and stadium supervisor.
King was the Head coach of the Dubuque Waves in the River Valley League (Iowa) for one summer where he was selected to manage the League’s all-star team. He was also the Head Coach of the Waynesboro Generals in the Valley Baseball League (Virginia) for the last two summers where they won the Valley League Championship in 2014 and fell just short in 2015, losing in the semi-final round.
Prior to his coaching career, King won back-to-back state championships at Parkview High School where he played for legendary coach Hugh Buchanan. He played his collegiate ball at Chattahoochee Valley where he was an All-Conference pitcher. He concluded his playing career at Shorter College.
King holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Shorter College. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree.
Jason Howard begins his 3rd season as assistant coach at Tennessee Wesleyan College. He will oversee the Bulldog Catchers, while also helping with the Bulldog Hitters.
Howard attended Meigs County high school in Decatur TN, where he was a 4 year letterman and starter in both football and baseball. Garnering All-State in both sports his senior year.
He then attended TWC for the next 4 years, while playing at TWC Howard was apart of 3 AAC conference championships, a Region championship, and the school’s first ever Super-Regional appearance. Howard was a four year starter at Catcher/1stBase, with a career batting average over .400 with over 45 HRs in his career. He was a two-time AAC All-Conference selection (2002.2003). Howard also participated in 2 different National Collegiate wood bat league (Clark Griffith 2002 and Coastal Plains League 2003) He was named an all-star during both summers.
After Graduating from TWC with a B.S. in Physical Education, Howard went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Tech University. Howard became an assistant baseball and football coach at McMinn County high school, where he currently teaches Physical Education/Wellness. After one season Howard was selected to be the Head Baseball Coach in which he served for the next 7 years, winning a District and Region Championship while advancing to the sub state in 2009. He has been with the Bulldogs the last two seasons, helping the Bulldogs win 2 regular season AAC crowns and a AAC conference tourney championship as well as participating in the NAIA opening round both seasons.
Coach Howard resides in Athens TN with his wife Jacqueline Traer, who played soccer for the Lady Bulldogs from 2000-2004. The have three kids Mackenzie, Cooper, and Charlotte