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New Mexico Military Institute - Baseball
New Mexico Military Institute - Baseball

Bronco Baseball Camps

Camp Staff

Chris Cook
Head Coach

New Mexico Military Institute announced the hiring of head baseball coach Chris Cook in May 2012.  Even with limited time to recruit, the Bronco baseball program saw a transformation in Cook’s first year at the helm. The nine WJCAC victories was only two shy of equaling the number of conference wins in each of the previous three years combined. In addition, the season win total of 18 included a school record 15 wins over junior college opponents.

The program took another step forward in Year 2, with 21 overall victories against junior college programs and 12 WJCAC victories (both new school records). The conference win total in Years 1 and 2 nearly quadrupled the average conference win total of the previous 12 seasons. Offensively, the Broncos were also able to eclipse a school record with 32 home runs on the year. In addition to the school records, several players accomplished significant feats in Years 1 and 2. Both Austin Grier and Joe Galindo earned National Player of the Week honors and Correy Davis broke a school record with 17 doubles while tying a school record with 48 runs.

In Season 3 (2015), the Broncos again broke school records for overall (26) and conference victories (17) while finishing two games out of the NJCAA regional tournament. In addition, another 14 Bronco’s moved on to join four-year college baseball programs. Freshman outfielder Winston Welch broke a school record with 22 doubles, while the pitching staff destroyed the NMMI record books with 13 saves and a strikeout per inning ratio of .923. Overall, the 2015 team found themselves in the top 10 historically in the following categories: slugging, RBIs, hits (No. 1), runs, average, walks, doubles (No. 1), triples, home runs, hit by pitch, strikeouts (No. 1), BB/K (No. 1), strikeouts/inning (No. 1), earned run average,  and saves (No. 1).

In Season 4 (2016), the record books were shattered, as the Broncos made an unprecedented run through the WJCAC and on to the NJCAA Region V tournament in Lubbock, Texas. The 28 overall regular season victories and the 22 WJCAC wins broke school records for the third consecutive season. The offense broke nearly every team record in the power categories: home runs (73), doubles (138), slugging percentage (.566), runs (421), and runs batted in (386). Three players were named to the All-Conference team (Justin Felix, Alex Howard, and Carlos Ortiz) with Felix also being named to the All-Region team. The NJCAA Regional berth was the first at NMMI since 1961 (55 years) and the opening round win vs. the No. 3 NJCAA team in the country may be the first regional victory in program history.

NCAA I (21)- Air Force Academy, UNM, NMSU, Northwestern State, UAPB, Army, University of Texas- Pan American, Austin Peay State, Grambling State, EMbry-Riddle Daytona Beach, North Carolina A&T, University of Dayton,  & Arkansas State.

NCAA II (9)- Azusa Pacific, Eastern New Mexico, Newman University, Oakland City Univ., St. Thomas Aquinas, & Highlands University.

NAIA (10)- Fisher College, Presentation, Evangel, Tougaloo, LSU-Alexandria, Embry Riddle, Lyon College, Eastern Nazarene College, Midland University, & University of South West.

NCAA III (6)- Gordon College, US Merchant Marine, Hardin Simmons, & US Coast Guard Academy.
 
With arguably the best recruiting class NMMI has ever had set to arrive this fall, and a group of returners with regional tournament experience, Cook expects to continue building,

“On the field, in the classroom and in the core, these four squads helped to set a high expectation level on campus and in the WJCAC. With a new group of players and some very talented sophomores, we expect to compete every game. We preach constantly about controlling what you can control, and that no one individual can dictate wins and losses. The overall approach and mindset of a team is what gives them a chance to be successful. With the discipline, accountability and physical strength that come with being a student at NMMI, we will look again for this group to elevate the expectation level for Bronco Baseball.”

This fall, Cook will begin his fifth season leading the Bronco baseball program and his 19th overall at the collegiate level. Prior to NMMI, Cook had spent over half his career at the NCAA I level, including a 6 year stretch (06-12) as an assistant at Arkansas State University.

At ASU, Cook served as recruiting coordinator in addition to coaching infielders and hitters. Cook was a part of some of the most exciting moments in ASU baseball program history. By winning two games at each of the last three conference tournaments, the Red Wolves were able to accomplish something in three consecutive years that had not been done even once since 1997. Only two SBC teams won more SBC tournament games during Cook’s last three seasons at Arkansas State.

The 2012 team led the Sun Belt Conference in victories (19) and battled to the conference tournament championship game. The 34 season victories ranks fourth all time and had not been accomplished for 15 years. Also in 2012, Cook assisted the defense to an ASU team record .973 fielding percentage. During the 2011 campaign, Cook helped the hitters achieve top 10 all time team statistics in runs, hits, RBI, walks and fielding percentage. In 2010, Cook helped the Red Wolves improve to a .312 team batting average that currently ranks second in team history. The Red Wolves also boasted a school record 647 hits. In 2009, Cook helped coach the Red Wolves to a team batting average of .296, which ranks fourth all-time in ASU history. Arkansas State belted out 557 hits with 242 walks, 337 runs, 291 RBI, and 242 walks, all ranking in ASU’s top 10 all time team statistics.

Cook came to Arkansas State after serving as an assistant for one season at Austin Peay State, where he coached current Bronco pitching coach Rowdy Hardy. Prior to his experience at Austin Peay, Cook spent three seasons as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C., where he led the Bearcats to one of the top team ERAs in Division II baseball. Cook was part of a coaching staff that led Lander to a spot in the NCAA Division II National Poll each season, including a ranking of seventh nationally in 2005.

In his career, Cook has coached more than 60 players who have gone on to play professional baseball, including the first five Lander players to ever play professional baseball and another five who have made it to the Major Leagues. Cook has also assisted in recruiting three nationally ranked recruiting classes, the 2003 Winthrop incoming class, and each of the 2007 and 2009 ASU recruiting classes. Before coaching at Lander, Cook held coaching positions at Winthrop University, Collin County (Texas) Community College and at his alma mater, Rockford College. Cook also spent two summers as a head coach in the Coastal Plain League, one as head coach of the division champion Durham Americans and the second as head coach of the Wilson Tobs.

Cook earned his Business Administration and Marketing degree at Rockford College. He is married to the former Wendy Mazan, who works as the Marketing and Community Relations Manager for Comfort Keepers of Roswell. They have a daughter, Julianna, born March 21, 2009.


Rowdy Hardy
Assistant Coach

Former minor league pitcher Rowdy Hardy is the pitching coach for NMMI baseball. Hardy, 29, joined newhead coach Chris Cook in 2012 to start a new chapter in Bronco baseball.

“I was extremely excited when I was able to lure Coach Hardy here to NMMI to help me rebuild this program," Cook said. "I have fond memories of watching him compete at the college level while we were together at Austin Peay State. His mental makeup, competitive drive and ability to dominate the strike zone were traits of his that I feel he can develop in our pitching staff. He understands the game and relates well with players. I am truly excited about what he’s going to be able to do with our pitching staff.”

Signed by the Kansas City Royals after his senior season at Austin Peay State, Hardy played six-plus seasons in professional baseball with the Royals and Atlanta Braves. Hardy spent several years in the “upper minors” reaching AAA with the Gwinnett Braves in 2011.

The native of Bethel Springs, Tenn., attended Austin Peay and became the Ohio Valley Conference’s all-time leader in wins with a 32-12 record.  He also finished in the top 10 in several school categories: career era (2.71 –sixth), BB/9 (1.74 – first), shutouts (2 – tie third), complete games (19 – third), games started (45 – fourth), career innings pitched (346 – second), and career strikeouts (255 – second).

In February 2016 Hardy was inducted into the Austin Peay Sports Hall of Fame.

Hardy enjoyed success at the professional level and was named Organizational Pitcher of the Year for the Kansas City Royals in 2007. He posted his best season that year with a 15-5 record, a 2.48 era, and allowed just 16 walks in 167 innings pitched. In 2010, Hardy was selected in the Rule Five draft by the Atlanta Braves during the Triple A phase. That year he posted a 0.00 era in Gwinnett in 7.2 innings while striking out eight.  Hardy had a career 40-32 record in 649 innings with a 3.30 era and a 1.68 BB/9.

He is married to his wife, Megan, and has a son, Inning, and daughter, Bea.


Alex Garza
Assistant Coach

Alex Garza has been an assistant coach for the Broncos for four years, working primarily with the outfielders. He also assists in camp coordinating, recruiting, pre-game preparation and alumni relations. Garza pitched collegiately for the Broncos from 2004-2006 under pitching Coach David Gomez (current Alcorn State pitching coach). He graduated from NMMI with an associates of arts and a rank as a staff sergeant in the Corps of Cadets. Alex moved to Peoria, Ariz., and played in the Peoria city baseball league for three years. He then moved back to Roswell, N.M. and joined Dane Kyser’s coaching staff at Roswell High School.

“When I accepted the position here at NMMI I immediately decided that I needed to find an assistant coach who knew what it was like to be a Bronco student-athlete," Cook said. "Coach Garza is a second-generation NMMI student athlete and he understands completely the nature of this institution. He’s a very hard working coach who wants to see his alma mater reach new levels on the baseball field. We are fortunate to have someone on staff with his recruiting and alumni connections throughout this region."

Garza was born in San Antonio, Texas, then moved to his father’s native Roswell, where he attended high school and played football and baseball. Alex's father, Gustavo Garza Jr., also attended the Institute and played football before commissioning into the Army. Garza has a degree in education from Eastern New Mexico University.

He is married to Geanie Garza and they have a daughter, Isabella.


Angel Peguero
Assistant Coach

Angel Peguero (NMMI 2014) begins his first season as an assistant for the Broncos after finishing his collegiate playing career at NCAA I Grambling State University.

Peguero was a two year starter for the Bronco’s and GSU.

Peguero will work with the outfielders and assist with the Bronco offense