Will Hoover, a former scout, coach and minor league baseball player, enters his third season as assistant coach with the Penn State baseball program.
Hoover contributes to much of the day-to-day coaching of the Nittany Lions. His main focus is the hitters, working with them in outlining the offensive approach, various hitting drills and performing video analysis. Other duties involve working with the catchers while also serving as the first base coach on game day.
Under his tutelage, Penn State had an outstanding offensive season in 2010. Led by All-American Ben Heath, the Nittany Lions posted a .298 batting average, which was their highest since 2005. Heath led the way, posting a .369 batting average with 19 home runs, and 57 RBI. He was not alone in his efforts, however, as four players hit above .340, including freshmen Elliot Searer and Steve Snyder who both earned Big Ten honors.
The squad also had an outstanding 2009 season at the plate as the Lions finished the season with a .294 team batting average. On an individual basis, Jordan Steranka netted Penn State's "triple crown," leading the squad in batting average (.365), home runs (6) and RBI (42). He was later named to the All-Big Ten Third Team and to the All-Rookie Team. In total, four players finished with a .300 or better average with three others within .05 of that mark. Along with Steranka, two others drove in 40 or more runs.
The native of Cumberland, Pa. previously managed the Cedar Cliff (Camp Hill, Pa.) High School varsity baseball team. During his very successful tenure, the Colts amassed 149 victories and were consistently at or near the top of the Mid-Penn conference as a perennial playoff team. He was honored with the Mid-Penn Conference Baseball Coach of the Year accolades in 2005 when he led the squad to a conference championship. Hoover graduated 45 All-Conference players with 96 percent of them going on to college. Many of his players went on to play at various Division I, II, and III programs throughout the country.
Hoover came to Penn State with a plethora of baseball experience. Drafted as a catcher by Colorado in 1993, he played in both the Rockies' and New York Mets' farm systems.
Upon the end of his playing career, Hoover became a professional player development consultant and scout. He was employed as a Rockies' associate scout for eight years. He is also an advanced scout for Inside Edge, Inc., Baseball Info Solutions and the Baseline Group/Dugout Central, Inc. baseball consulting services. Will was also selected as the head baseball coach for the Capitol Region of the 2003-08 Pennsylvania State Keystone Games. In addition, he has worked as a color analyst for the PA SportsFever Television Network.
Hoover holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He currently serves as vice president of marketing for Hoover Rehabilitation Services, Inc., the largest private health and disability management firm in the Mid-Atlantic. Hoover lives in New Cumberland, Pa., with his wife, Wendy, and three daughters: Emerson, Addison, and newborn Grayson. He also has two boxer pups named Dig and Wakely.