Last season, the Huskers ranked second in the Big 12 with a .969 fielding percentage, while all four infielders (Matt Hopper, Jake Mullinax, Joe Simokaitis and Alex Gordon) were All-Big 12 honorees. Hopper, a second-team All-American, was chosen as the Big 12 Player of the Year, while Gordon was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Vlieger at a Glance
Alma Mater: Nebraska, 2002
NU finished the year with a 50-16 record, sweeping both the Big 12 regular-season and tournament titles, and qualifying for the school’s first College World Series appearance.
Under his tutelage, John Cole earned first-team All-America honors and was a fifth-round selection by the Seattle Mariners, while Adam Stern was chosen in the third round by the Atlanta Braves.
A two-year starter, Vlieger started 124 games during his Husker career, helping NU to two Big 12 Tournament titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances. As a senior in 2000, he started a team-high 67 contests, leading the Huskers to a school-record 51 wins and their first regional title. A co-captain and second-team academic All-Big 12 selection, Vlieger batted .285 with eight homers and 48 RBIs. As a junior, he batted .348, ranking among team leaders in both hits (72) and stolen bases (16).
A transfer from Grayson County (Texas) Community College, he hit over .350 each season and played in the 1998 Junior College World Series. Vlieger batted .365 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs to earn first-team all-region honors in 1998.
A native of Omaha, Vlieger graduated from Millard North High School, earning all-state honors at shortstop as a senior in 1996. He received his bachelor’s degree in education from Nebraska in May of 2002, and is married to the former Kaci Cloyd.