UMN Crookston announces assistant baseball coaches

The University of Minnesota’s Crookston baseball program has announced the addition of Dalton Parks and Clarke Peterson as assistant baseball coaches. Parks and Peterson are both college alumni, helping coach Steve Gust establish a strong culture of success for Golden Eagle baseball, including four appearances in the NSIC tournament in the past seven seasons.

“I’m more than happy with the staff we have at Minnesota Crookston,” said head coach Steve Gust. “These guys have a passion for the game and will do whatever it takes to make our players and this program successful. They are hardworking, knowledgeable and want nothing more than to see this program continue to move forward.

Parks returns to UMN Crookston after spending two seasons as a graduate school assistant at NCAA Division II University of West Alabama in Livingston, Alabama. He will serve as the hitting / outfield coach for UMN Crookston. Parks oversaw the outfielder, assisted hitter, on and off campus recruiting, practice planning, field work and other assigned duties in West Alabama. Parks helped the Tigers to a 22-32 combined record in two seasons. In 2021, West Alabama reached 0.277 as a team with 195 points, 53 doubles, four triples, 18 homers and 166 RBIs. They posted a base percentage of 0.369 and an OPS of 0.751. The Tigers walked 137 times and had a 0.382 slugging percentage.

“This position requires someone with a strong work ethic and knowledge of the offensive philosophy of our program, and Dalton fits that description very well,” said Gust. “He’s been in baseball since he left our program as a player. It shows the passion and the desire that we look for in a coach. His experience, knowledge of the program, and typing philosophy are exactly what we need. “

Prior to West Alabama, Parks was an assistant coach at Clarendon College, a Division I junior college in Texas. During his time he worked with hitters and also helped with practice planning and recruiting. For the 2019 season, Clarendon hit 0.321, with a base percentage of 0.426, a slugging percentage of 0.534 and 47 home runs.

In addition, Parks was the head coach of the Muhlenberg County Stallions, an Ohio Valley League summer varsity baseball team. Additionally, he worked as an assistant coach for the Sunflower Collegiate League Derby Twins during the 2019 summer season.

Parks’ first job out of high school was as an assistant coach for Hunter HS in West Valley City, Utah. His responsibilities included conducting training, setting up the roster, training third base, working on and off the field, and field maintenance.

Parks played for the Golden Eagles during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, helping Coach Gust inject a strong culture into the program. Parks was part of the first UMN Crookston baseball team to compete in the NSIC tournament since 2001. He was a recipient of the NSIC All-Academic Team. Parks has appeared in 33 games and started 14 as a senior as the Golden Eagles have won 25 games in his senior year. As a junior, Parks started 49 of the 50 games played by UMN Crookston.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Sports and Recreation Management from UMN Crookston. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in physical education at the University of West Alabama.

Peterson returns to Minnesota Crookston after a season as an assistant coach at Northland Community and Technical College. He will coach Minnesota Crookston’s pitching, strength and conditioning. Northland reached 0.296 as a team in the 2021 season, with 105 runs scored, 27 doubles, 17 homers and 95 RBIs. On the mound, they had 110 strikeouts for 81 walks.

“Clarke’s passion for this program is unmatched,” said Gust. “As a player he was a passionate teammate and eager to learn and improve every day. He has a training conducive to the coaching profession. He has worked hard for the past two years to learn the new science of pitching, body biomechanics, strength and conditioning.

As a player, Peterson played for the Golden Eagles for five years as a receiver and pitcher. He was a team leader during his time at UMN Crookston. As a junior in 2019, Peterson appeared in seven games and started two. Peterson made an appearance on the mound in 2020, pitching a white inning, with a hit and one strikeout.

Peterson received his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota Crookston in 2020.

Dalton Parks


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