Aug. 11, 2011
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Both Wilson and Snider come to Tallahassee with impressive backgrounds within the sport. Wilson, a New Zealand native, has extensive experience as a professional baseball player and instructor in the United States as well as being a member of the New Zealand Black Sox, a professional softball team.
Snider has made a positive impact in his eight-year coaching career, with his last stop being a four-year stint at Stephen F. Austin. Specialized as a hitting and infielders’ coach, Snider helped the Southland Conference program experience an unprecedented offensive stretch during his tenure.
“I am honored to bring in a new staff that has a tremendous amount of credentials,” Alameda said. “They have the drive and determination to continue to build on the foundation that has been laid. Craig Snider and Travis Wilson are family men, fundamental coaches and experienced winners. They have both been part of championship programs and are very excited to hit the ground running in Tallahassee.”
From 1996-2004, Wilson played seven seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization covering all stops from Rookie Ball to Triple-A. He enjoyed much success in his professional stint, being named an All-Star for the Appalachian League (1998), South Atlantic League (1999) and the Carolina League (2000). He was named Carolina League Player of the Year for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, and led the Grapefruit League in hitting for the Braves during spring training in 2001.
Wilson ended his professional career in 2004 with the Cincinnati Reds’ organization in Chattanooga, Tenn. As a professional softball player in New Zealand for the Black Sox, he made his debut as a 16-year old in 1994 and was named both the New Zealand Softballer of the Year and the Canterbury Softball of the Year following a team-best .396 batting average in 1996. He would earn the Canterbury Player of the Year honor multiple times and become one of his country’s biggest softball ambassadors. He continues to play professionally today.
Wilson’s most recent baseball stint was as an instructor for the Idaho Falls, a Rookie League team of the Kansas City Royals. His tasks included scouting the Pioneer League, writing reports and utilizing video while communicating with the Royals organization on several prospects. His efforts have helped the Royals claim their status of having the best farm system in Major League Baseball, as asserted by several minor-league publications. On the field, he helped his players develop in their infield/outfield skills, base running and hitting mechanics. Wilson also served as expert commentator for the ISF Men’s World Softball Series, and was fielding coach and video analyst for the Black Caps of the New Zealand Cricket Association.
“Travis is from both professional baseball and the New Zealand National Program,” Alameda added. “From the first time I met Travis I knew he would be a great fit for our program. It is not often you come across someone that has played the same game that the girls do and yet has 10 years of MLB experience. He is personable and he has won at the highest level of this game from the men’s side. He has played every position you can on the field and has been among some of the world’s best in men’s fastpitch. I believe Travis will be able to relate to the players on a unique level as he stills plays the game. He is excited about this opportunity and can help our program get to the next level.”
At Stephen F. Austin, Snider took on several roles in guiding the program toward its recent success. He devised hitting and defensive workouts during the fall, directed all aspects of camps, developed team-building exercises, served as a fundraising arm, handled much of the recruiting and recruiting databases and oversaw his student-athlete’s academic progress.
Snider took over as hitting coach in 2007 follow a season in which the Ladyjack’s finished with a .229 batting average. Over the next three seasons, SFA batted .274 (2008), .275 (2009) and .278 (2010). He also led it to sharp spikes in home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, as SFA recorded 43 round-trippers in Snider’s first season after hitting just 16 the season before.
The Franklin, Ky. native previously assisted in producing three All-Americans at Oklahoma from 2005-06, and played a large role in creating scouting reports as a graduate assistant coach for the Sooners. At his alma mater, Centenary College of Louisiana, he helped lead it to two Mid-Con Tournament championships while providing analysis for recruiting, hitting, fielding and putting together chart systems.
“I’m extremely impressed with Craig’s character,” Alameda said. “He is a genuine person who works hard and loves the game. He has been a part of bigger programs as well as mid majors and I believe that makes him a tremendous coach as you have to be very creative in your coaching as you relate to different styles of athletes. Craig also brings a wealth of recruiting connections. He is very good with people and respected by many and he will now embrace those relationships as a Seminole.”
“I’m thrilled to help coach at such an established program that is coming off another conference championship and has great things going for it,” Snider added. “FSU’s history of softball success was such a motivating factor for me to come here, and I have no doubt that through the hard work of this current coaching staff and our student-athletes, we can take this program to the next level.”
FSU softball will prepare for another season with fall practices and exhibitions. A completed fall schedule will be announced at a later date and will be posted on Seminoles.com.