One of the catalysts in Nebraska baseball’s rise to national prominence in his playing days, Will Bolt returns to his alma mater, as Athletic Director Bill Moos named Bolt the 24th head coach of the Husker baseball program on June 14, 2019.
Bolt captained the Huskers’ first two College World Series teams in 2001 and 2002, and has 11 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, having served in assistant coaching roles at Texas A&M and Nebraska. Bolt also spent four years as the head coach at Texarkana College.
Texas A&M Assistant Coach
Bolt spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M under former NU assistant Rob Childress. In that span, the Aggies went 219-98-1 (.690) with five straight NCAA Regional appearances, three Regional titles, an SEC Tournament title in 2016 and an appearance in the 2017 College World Series.
Bolt’s primary functions on the Aggie staff included coordinating the offensive game, mentoring the infielders and serving as third base coach. The Aggies finished in the top-25 nationally in batting average twice under his tutelage, and finished in the top five of the SEC in hitting or runs scored in four of his five seasons with the Aggies. He tutored 12 hitters who were selected in the MLB Draft during his tenure in College Station, including six players selected in the top-10 rounds, and seven players who earned first- or second-team All-SEC honors.
In 2019, the Aggie offense was led by Braden Shewmake, who was the No. 21 overall selection in the Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves. Shewmake hit .313 with six homers, 47 RBIs and 45 runs scored en route to becoming the school’s first MLB first-round pick since 2012. The Aggies won 39 games and reached the championship game of the Morgantown Regional.
In 2018, the Aggies went 40-22 and reached an NCAA Regional behind the emergence of Michael Helman, who finished 15th in the nation in hits (92), and logged a .369 batting average, .451 on-base percentage and 61 runs to rank in the top 50 nationally.
The Aggies made a run to the College World Series run in 2017, finishing the season with a 41-23 mark behind the rise of Shewmake, who earned All-America honors and was named National Freshman of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year after hitting .328 with 11 homers and 69 RBIs.
Bolt guided a prolific Texas A&M offense to 49 runs and an SEC Tournament title in 2016, as the Aggies led the SEC in batting average, runs scored, hits, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage while ranking in the top-25 nationally in seven categories, including hits (712, second), runs (471, ninth), batting average (.311, 15th), doubles (129, 20th), home runs (62, 22nd), slugging percentage (.467, 22nd) and scoring offense (7.2 runs per game, 23rd). The Aggies were led by All-American Boomer White, who hit .386 with five homers, 46 RBI and 49 runs scored while striking out just 16 times in 259 plate appearances en route to SEC Player-of-the-Year honors.
Bolt made an immediate impact for the Texas A&M offense in his first season, as the Aggies ranked second in the SEC in hitting (.299) and third in runs scored (6.6) during his first season in College Station. The Aggies opened the season with an SEC-record 24-game win streak on their way to a 50-win season and a Super Regional appearance. That year, the Aggies ranked among the national leaders in home runs (third, 70), hits (655, seventh), runs (424, 15th) and slugging percentage (.457, 15th).
Nebraska Associate Head Coach
Bolt was associate head coach for the Huskers from 2012 to 2014, serving under Darin Erstad. Bolt tutored four players to first-team All-Big Ten honors, including two-time selections Chad Christensen, Michael Pritchard and Pat Kelly.
Nebraska was one of the top offenses in the Big Ten during his final year in Lincoln in 2014, ranking 19th nationally in hits (623), 30th in triples (19) and 31st in batting average (.293) as Nebraska won 41 games and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. Nebraska’s defense was also one of the best units in the country. With new starters at first base, third base, shortstop, left field and center field, the Huskers ranked 21st in the country with a .976 fielding percentage.
Under Bolt’s watch in 2013, Nebraska’s defense turned in its best performance in school history. The Huskers ranked second in the nation with a .981 fielding percentage, setting school and Big Ten records. The Husker offense improved under Bolt’s tutelage in 2013, ranking in the top three in the Big Ten in eight offensive categories. In conference play, the Huskers led the conference in batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.401), runs (180), hits (307) and RBIs (159).
In Bolt’s first season at Nebraska in 2012, he helped raise the team batting average by 45 points, as the Huskers ranked eighth nationally with a .315 clip as a squad. NU was eighth nationally in scoring offense, leading the Big Ten with 7.1 runs per game, while also topping the conference in homers (47), on-base percentage (.384) and runs scored (413). Pritchard, a third-team All-American, was one of six Husker hitters to earn all-conference recognition.
Texarkana College Head Coach
Before joining Erstad’s staff, Bolt served four years as head coach at Texarkana College from 2008 to 2011. He led the Bulldogs to a pair of Region XIV championships during his four-year stint. Bolt guided the Bulldogs to back-to-back Region XIV championships (2009 and 2010) during a stretch of four straight Regional Tournament appearances and four 30-plus win seasons. Bolt, who was 140-82 (.631) at Texarkana, helped over 20 players sign with Division I schools.
Texas A&M Volunteer Assistant Coach
Bolt headed back to his home state in 2006 and spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Texas A&M. In 2007, he was on staff when the Aggies advanced to the Super Regionals, while producing a 49-18 overall record and claiming the program’s first Big 12 Tournament title. In College Station, Bolt specialized in infield work and helped tutor All-Americans Brandon Hicks and Blake Stouffer, who were each drafted in the first five rounds of the MLB Draft.
Nebraska Volunteer Assistant Coach
Bolt began his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Nebraska in 2005, working with the Husker infielders and hitters. Behind National Player of the Year Alex Gordon, the Huskers compiled a school-record 57 wins and swept the Big 12 regular-season and Tournament championships. Nebraska finished the season with a then-school record .975 fielding percentage and included an infield that featured Gordon, first-team All-Big 12 performer Curtis Ledbetter and Joe Simokaitis, a second-team All-Big 12 pick.
Nebraska Playing Career
A member of Dave Van Horn’s first recruiting class, Bolt was a four-year starter and team captain on Nebraska’s 2001 and 2002 College World Series teams. The infielder played an instrumental role in helping Nebraska to four NCAA Regionals, three Super Regionals and back-to-back College World Series appearances.
Bolt was the Minneapolis Regional MVP as a sophomore, hitting .545 in three games to lead the Big Red to its first-ever NCAA Regional title. The following year, Bolt made one of the most memorable plays in school history, catching the final out of the 2001 Super Regional against Rice to send the Big Red to its first-ever College World Series.
Bolt finished his career holding six school records, including games played (251), games started (242), at-bats (922), hits (281), doubles (56) and assists (639). Bolt remains in the school’s top five in several categories, including doubles (first, 56), games played (second, 251), assists (second, 639), hits (third, 281) and runs scored (fifth, 197).
Following his playing career, he began his coaching career as a graduate manager at Nebraska in 2004 before serving as head coach for the Parkville Sluggers (M.I.N.K. League) the following summer.
A native of Conroe, Texas, Bolt and his wife, Lauren, were married in July 2005. They have two sons, Jaxon and Austin, and one daughter, Bella. Bolt graduated from Nebraska in 2003 with a degree in communication studies before earning his master’s degree in 2006.
-Head Coach (First season in 2020)
-Assistant Coach (2015-19)
-Associate Head Coach (2012-14)
-Head Coach (2008-11)
-Volunteer Assistant Coach (2006-07)
-Volunteer Assistant Coach (2005)
Parkville Sluggers (M.I.N.K. League)
-Head Coach (Summer 2004)
Columbia Angels High School Select Team
-Assistant Coach (Summer 2003)