Former Husker standout Will Bolt was named Nebraska’s associate head coach on June 8, 2011. A four-year starter and team captain on Nebraska’s 2001 and 2002 College World Series teams, Bolt spent four seasons as the head coach at Texarkana College before returning to Nebraska. He oversees NU’s infield unit and helps direct the Husker offense.
Bolt helped the Huskers get back in the NCAA Tournament in 2014, NU's first trip since 2008. Nebraska was again one of the top offenses in the Big Ten Conference, while ranking 19th nationally in hits (623), 30th in triples (19) and 31st in batting average (.293).
Nebraska's defense was also one of the best units in the country in 2014. With a new starter at first base, third base, shortstop, left field and center field, the Huskers ranked 21st in the country with a .976 fielding percentage.
As a team the Huskers averaged 4.92 strikeouts per game in 2014, its lowest total 1985 when the NU offense averaged 4.14 strikeouts per game.
Pat Kelly continued to develop under Bolt and after not getting drafted out of high school, Kelly was a 12th-round pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2014. The junior earned his third straight All-Big Ten selection, including his second straight first-team award. Kelly led the Huskers in hits for the second straight year and posted a .990 fielding percentage at second base.
Michael Pritchard wrapped up his NU career in 2014, including three seasons under Bolt. Pritchard left Nebraska as a career .339 hitter and ranked fifth in school history with 251 career hits.
Under Bolt and Head Coach Darin Erstad's watch in 2013, Nebraska's defense turned in its best performance in school history. The Huskers ranked second in the country with a .981 fielding percentage, just one thousandth of a point behind Mercer's nation-leading .982 fielding percentage. The mark set both a school and Big Ten Conference record.
Nebraska's offense continued to grow under Bolt's tutelage in 2013, as it ranked in the top three in the Big Ten Conference in eight offensive categories.
During league play in 2013, the Huskers led the conference in batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.401), runs (180), hits (307) and RBIs (159).
After producing a 25-game hitting streak in 2012, Pritchard followed with a 20-game hitting streak in 2013. It marked the first time in school history that a Husker has produced a pair of hitting streaks of 20-or-more games.
The Husker offense saw improvement across the board in 2012, as they led the Big Ten in several offensive categories and ranked in the top-20 nationally in seven categories, including top-10 rankings in both batting average and scoring.
After hitting .270 as a team in 2011, Bolt helped direct an offensive attack that hit .315 on the year to rank eighth in the country. The Huskers also ranked eighth nationally in scoring with 7.1 runs per game after scoring 5.4 runs a game in 2011.
The Huskers became a more disciplined team at the plate, as they had 106 fewer strikeouts than they had in 2011, while playing three more game in 2012. The Huskers also produced 150 more hits, drove in 107 more runs and hit 17 more home runs to lead the Big Ten with 47 home runs. No other team in the league hit more than 38 homers.
Under Bolt’s watch, Pritchard and Richard Stock each put together 20-or-more game hitting streaks during the season, the first time in school history that a pair of teammates posted hitting streaks of 20 or more games in the same year. Pritchard led the way with a 25-game hitting streak-the third-longest streak in school history. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Pritchard was also a third-team All-America pick by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Stock, who signed with the Cleveland Indians after being picked in the 23rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft, tied for the Big Ten lead in doubles with 20 and led all players during Big Ten play with 39 hits.
Bolt also oversaw the development of Kelly, a freshman in 2012, who was named a freshman All-American by four publications, including Perfect Game, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The freshman from Red Wing, Minn., hit .313 on the year, slugged eight home runs and drove in 37 runs in 41 starts.
A native of Conroe, Texas, Bolt led Texarkana College to a pair of Region XIV championships during his four-year head coaching stint with the Bulldogs. Bolt has been in the collegiate coaching ranks for eight years, spending the 2005 season as Nebraska’s volunteer assistant during the program’s school-record breaking 57-win campaign, while also serving two years on Texas A&M’s coaching staff. One of the top infielders in Husker history, he finished his playing career holding six school records and caught the final out of the 2001 Super Regional to send Nebraska to its first College World Series.
Bolt became the head coach at Texarkana College in 2007 and 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.
Bolt started his coaching career by serving as a graduate manager for the 2004 Huskers, and he was then named head coach for the Parkville Sluggers (M.I.N.K. League) over the summer. Upon being named a volunteer assistant at Nebraska in 2005, Bolt helped direct the Husker infielders and hitters, as NU had its best season in school history. Nebraska compiled a 57-15 record and swept the Big 12 regular-season and tournament championships en route to capturing Nebraska’s first CWS win. Nebraska finished the season with a then-school record .975 fielding percentage.
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 championship. 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.
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, as he led the Huskers to their first regional title in school history with a .545 batting average. He finished his career holding six school records, including games played (251), games started (242), at-bats (922), hits (281), doubles (56) and assists (639). Entering the 2012 campaign, Bolt remains in the school’s top five in several categories, including doubles (1st, 56), games played (2nd, 251), assists (2nd, 639), hits (3rd, 281) and runs scored (5th, 197). His 639 assists were also the most in Big 12 history.
In the classroom, Bolt was a two-time academic All-Big 12 honoree and graduated in 2003 with a degree in communication studies before earning his master’s degree in 2006.
Bolt and his wife, Lauren, were married in July of 2005. Lauren earned a degree from Nebraska in 2005. They have two sons, Jaxon and Austin.
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