Ryan Cougill – Head Coach
Ryan Cougill, enters his third season as head coach at Yavapai College. This will mark Cougill’s seventh season as a member of the Roughrider staff and 11th overall.
In 2013, Cougill led the Roughrider baseball program to a 43-15 record (.741) and another birth in the Region I tournament.
The 2013 sophomore laden roster saw all thirteen of Cougill’s sophomores move on to either four-year universities or professional baseball ranks: (Tim Arakawa, Oklahoma State; Humberto Aranda, Grand Canyon; Aaron Blair, West Texas A&M; Jordan DePonte, Hawaii; Jacob Doyle, Oklahoma City; Michael Howard, Oregon State; Krysthian Leal, Maryland; Peter Lenstrohm, Tennessee; Austin Murphy, Oklahoma City; Ryan Petersen, New Mexico St.; Matt Southard, Philadelphia Phillies; Kyle Toth, Mississippi, Drew Turbin, Dallas Baptist.
Leal, Petersen, Turbin, and Lenstrohm all graduated with above 3.4 gpa’s while Turbin garnered Academic All-Americans honors. The 2013 Roughrider offense led the conference in every major regular season team statistic (R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI).
While serving as an assistant, Cougill handled the recruiting responsibilities and served as the infield and hitting coach for the Roughriders. Roughrider All-American catcher, Nolan Clark had a breakout season in ‘11, ranking amongst the top of the conference in hits and batting average with an impressive .390 clip. The’11 Roughriders again posted above a .300 team batting average following the 2009 and 2010 seasons which saw the Roughriders lead the ACCAC in hitting.
The 2009 and 2010 YC offenses led the ACCAC in batting average, home runs and doubles. 2010 Roughrider outfielder Demarcus Tidwell had a breakout season in his first season at Yavapai, leading the conference in hits, average, and triples. The ’09 Roughriders had 2 players end the regular season with batting averages above .400, seven players hit over .350 and eleven players hit over .300.
Prior to Yavapai College, Cougill spent the 2008 season as an assistant at New Mexico Junior College. That ’08 NMJC team captured the WJCAC Championship with a remarkable team batting average of .376, belting 78 homeruns, a mark good enough for third in the country. The ’08 Thunderbirds were equally as impressive defensively, finishing second in the country in team fielding percentage.
In 2006-2007, Cougill served as an assistant coach at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, IL. Joliet, a perennial powerhouse in the Div III NJCAA ranks saw back to back trips to the Junior College World Series, finishing 3rd in ‘06 and runner up in ’07.
Cougill spent one season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. He served as the infield coach on a team that finished second in the Mid-Continent Conference and one game away from earning an NCAA Division I Regional birth.
From 2001-2002, Cougill played at Joliet Junior College for hall of fame coach Wayne King, where he earned All-Conference honors in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns. He then transferred to Western Illinois University where he played for the late Stan Hyman. Cougill was named to the All Mid-Continent Conference team in 2003 and 2004. Cougill left his mark at WIU finishing his career amongst the top of the record books in single season hits, runs scored, and career batting average.
Cougill earned his B.S. in Exercise Science from Western Illinois University in 2004. He is married to Jennifer (Ekstrand) Cougill from Tempe, AZ. Jennifer serves as a Physician’s Assistant in the Emergency Room at Yavapai Regional Medical Center.
Jerry Dawson – Pitching Coach
Jerry Dawson enters his fifth season as pitching coach for the Roughriders staff after serving as the head baseball coach at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona for the 37 years. Dawson owns the most high school career victories in the state of Arizona with 774. His teams enjoyed tremendous success over the years, qualifying for post-season play 35 of the 37 years of the program’s existence.
The Riders’ staff has enjoyed much success over the years. Three Roughrider arms were taken in the 2011 MLB amateur draft, including 7th round draft pick and current Philadelphia Philly, Kenny Giles. Through Dawson’s tutelage Giles ended the 2011 season as one of the Nation’s premiere Junior College arms and boasted a 100 mph fastball, 1.20 ERA and 2 strikeouts per inning.
During his time at Chaparral, the baseball program elevated itself into the upper echelon of Arizona high school athletics and was recognized nationally, claiming eight state championships—four of those teams became nationally-ranked.
Coach Dawson was the only Head Coach in the history of the school which has produced over 150 graduates who continued their baseball careers at the college or professional levels. Most notable are current Major Leaguers Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox), Brian Bannister (Kansas City Royals), and Ike Davis (New York Mets), and Charles Brewer (Arizona Diamondbacks). During his tenure at Chaparral, he coached teams that won or tied for 24 Region Championships and finished as state runner-up on four occasions, in addition to the eight state championships. Coach Dawson has been named National High School Coach of the Year on 5 occasions and has been elected to the Arizona Coaches Association, Arizona Baseball Coaches Association and the National High School Baseball Coaches Association Halls of Fame.
Dawson taught Physical Education at Chaparral for 30+ years, served as the Physical Education Department Chairman for 25+ years and was the school’s Athletic Director for 20+ years before retiring in 2004. In 2003-04 Dawson was selected as the Arizona’s Victory with Honor Coach of the Year, which is given by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (A.I.A.) to the outstanding coach for all sports in Arizona.
Dawson served as a member of the USA Baseball Junior National team staff in 2004, which competed in the World Games in Taipei. He also served as the Head Coach of the Junior National team in 2005 when it competed in the Pan Am games in Mexico, winning the silver medal.
Jerry has a B. A. in Education from Southwest Missouri State University and a M. A. in Education from Arizona State University. He served as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army including a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam.
Josh Garcia – Assistant Coach
Josh Garcia enters his second season on the Roughrider coaching staff after spending two prior seasons at the University of Arizona. While at Arizona, Garcia’s primary responsibilities included working with the team’s outfielders, hitters, coaching first base, scouting and coordinating the Andy Lopez Baseball Academy camps.
In 2012, Garcia joined the Arizona staff following two successful seasons as a first baseman and designated hitter. Garcia played a vital role in guiding the Wildcats to their fourth national championship and a share of the Pac-12 Conference title.
In his two-year playing career as a Wildcat, Garcia played in 65 games and made 47 starts. He hit .259 with 11 home runs, 31 runs scored and 43 runs batted in. As a senior in 2011, Garcia belted a team-leading eight homers.
Prior to his enrollment at Arizona, Garcia starred at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Ariz., during the 2008-09 seasons. He was named to the All-ACCAC team as a sophomore after hitting.360 with five home runs and 13 doubles. He was also named All-Region and All-Conference as a freshman.
Garcia was selected in the 46th Round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 1,354th overall pick following a successful career at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Ariz. As a senior in 2007, Garcia hit 13 home runs and was named to the Arizona Republic’s 5A All-State team. He was also recognized on the Rawlings and Louisville Slugger All-American teams.
Garcia earned his degree in religious studies with a minor in sociology from the University of Arizona in 2012. His primary responsibilities on the Roughrider staff will be to serve as the Recruiting Coordinator and the hitting and outfield coach. He will also head up the Mile High Baseball youth camps.