MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Walters State has a new assistant baseball coach, and he won't need much time to acclimate himself to his new surroundings.
Mark Allen Bounds, a member of the 2008 JUCO World Series team with the Senators as a collegiate freshman, takes over the recruiting coordinator position left open by the departure of Skylar Barnett to become the head coach at Milligan College. It's the second straight offseason the Senators have had an assistant coach leave for a head coaching job, as Dan Skirka just recently completed his first season as head coach at NCAA Division I Murray State.
Bounds joins head coach Dave Shelton and assistant coaches Sean Robinson and Jeff Birkhofer on the Senators coaching staff after having served four years as an assistant to Tom Griffin at nearby Carson-Newman University. During his four seasons as pitching coach in Jefferson City, the Eagles steadily improved under the guidance of Bounds.
While at Carson-Newman, Bounds recruited a future 10th round pick of the Atlanta Braves and tutored a pitcher selected in the 21st round by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
At Columbia State Community College, Bounds was in charge of the Chargers' pitching staff and played a significant role in recruiting potential student-athletes for Columbia State.
Bounds helped coach the Chargers to TCCAA regular season and tournament championships in 2014 and a spot in the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado, where Columbia State finished sixth. The Chargers were ranked second in the final poll of the regular season.
Bounds joined the Chargers for the 2013-14 season, after spending the previous year at Murray State University as a volunteer assistant coach for the Racers. During his time there, Bounds worked closely with the pitching staff and assisted with hitting instruction. Bounds also held duties which included first base coaching responsibilities, field maintenance and was in charge of the player placement to summer collegiate wooden bat leagues.
Bounds' collegiate playing career took him from Walters State to Milligan to Austin Peay from which he graduated in May 2012 with a B.S. in Health and Human Performance – Physical Education K-12 Licensure.
During his only season at WSCC, the Senators were the TCCAA regular season champions, NJCAA Region VII champions, and NJCAA East Central District champions, making it to the 2008 JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado, where the Senators finished sixth and ended the year ranked No. 2 in the final NJCAA Division I Poll.
In his two seasons at Austin Peay, the Governors captured back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference regular season and tournament championships. APSU advanced to NCAA Regional in Atlanta in 2011 and made it to the NCAA Regional Final in 2012 in Eugene, Oregon, facing the host Oregon Ducks.
Bounds made 11 appearances on the mound over his two seasons. As a senior Bounds made his first career start against the University of Tennessee on April 24, 2012. As a junior, he posted a 1-0 record in nine appearances and earned the victory by throwing two shutout innings against Illinois State.
In the summer of 2010, Bounds was selected as a Prospect League All-Star while playing for the Slippery Rock Sliders.
Prior to his time with the Governors, Bounds spent two seasons at Milligan College. He tossed 11 1/3 innings in his sophomore season as he helped the Buffaloes to a school-record 40 victories.
A Strawberry Plains native, Bounds graduated from Carter High School in 2007, where he was a three-sport standout for the Hornets as he lettered four years in baseball, three years in basketball and three years in football.
Bounds earned All-District honors in baseball as a junior and senior. In his senior season, he hit .446 with five home runs and 23 RBIs. He also went 7-2 on the mound, with a 1.83 ERA, striking out 105 in 57.1 innings. On the gridiron, Bounds was named the 3A Region 1 Player of the Year as a quarterback.