Alabama baseball named Louisiana Tech hitting coach Jerry Zulli to its baseball staff as an assistant coach on Friday afternoon. Zulli is the first addition to the staff for new head coach Brad Bohannon.
Zulli arrives at Alabama after spending last season as hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana Tech. He worked at Missouri in 2016 as hitting coach, infield coach, recruiting coordinator and third base coach.
“I am so excited to add Jerry to our staff,” Bohannon said in a news release. “When you’re heavily involved in recruiting, you know who does a great job on the road, and he is clearly one of the best recruiters. I’ve known him a long time, and he checks every box that I am looking for. He’s a guy of high integrity and character, he has a high motor, he can relate to a wide variety of personalities, he has a great network and is a very talented evaluator. In addition, he is a very skilled instructor, and we share a lot of the same ideas regarding team offense. Jerry is a tremendous addition to my coaching staff and will be a huge part of helping us build this program at Alabama.”
He spent four seasons in Mobile as an assistant coach at South Alabama from 2012-15. The Jaguars reached the NCAA tournament in 2013 and won the regular season Sun Belt championship in 2015 during his tenure there.
Zulli is following Alabama assistant Jake Wells for the second straight year. He was named to the Louisiana Tech staff after Wells left Ruston to join Greg Goff in Tuscaloosa. Now he’s taking a position with the Crimson Tide. Wells was not retained following Goff’s firing at the end of the season.
Louisiana Tech batted .305 as a team while with a .409 on-base percentage while scoring almost 7.5 runs per game last season. The team was second in Conference USA in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, doubles and runs scored. Five Bulldogs batted .330 or better. They finished 36-20 but missed the NCAA tournament.
Senior Raphael Gladu led the conference with a .378 batting average and had 55 RBIs in 56 games. Catcher Brent Diaz was named an All-American by Collegiate Baseball and among three finalists for the Johnny Bench award after batting .332 with nine home runs and 48 RBIs.
He broke into the Division I ranks at Memphis, where he was an assistant from 2005-11 with one NCAA tournament appearance. His coaching career began at Middle Georgia College, where he was an assistant from 2002-04. The team appeared in the junior college world series twice in his three years there. He began his playing career at MGC before transferring to the University of New Orleans, where he graduated in 2002.