It came quickly and without warning on July 11.
Nebraska-Omaha’s head baseball coach Bob Herold, holder of a school-best 527 career wins, was fired after 17 years leading the Mavericks’ program. Assistant Coach Evan Porter, a Millard North graduate, was elevated to head coach on an interim basis.
The announcement came in a press release from UNO Vice Chancellor of Athletic Trev Alberts, catching many, including Herold, who had a 527-381-2 career record, by surprise.
“I appreciate Coach Herold’s 17 years of service and commitment to our university, but I have decided to make a change to the coaching staff of our baseball team,” Alberts said in the release, offering no further explanation for the dismissal of Herold, who won five league titles and made seven NCAA Division II postseason appearances.
The surprise firing leaves Porter in charge entering the new schoolyear. He’s been on the recruiting trail and will lead practices entering the upcoming fall season after spending the summer playing professional baseball overseas.
It isn’t known if Porter is in line to be the permanent replacement for Herold. Neither Porter nor Alberts have commented further on the coaching situation.
Porter joined the UNO coaching staff during the 2012-13 season, the school’s first year in the Summit League. The Mavericks won the regular-season title that season and won again in 2013-✟.
He is one of the most decorated players in Mavericks’ history. As a 6-foot-5 shortstop, Porter was a starter from 2005-09, twice earning All-American honors.
He finished his career as the all-time school leader in hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs. His 97 hits as a senior is the best single-season total in UNO history.
During Porter’s time at UNO, the Mavs made four straight NCAA regional appearances and won the 2008 North Central Conference.
He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 23rd round of the 2009 MLB draft. After being released during spring training, Porter signed with Germany’s Solingen Alligators in 2010, followed by the Gothenburg Sharks, Victoria Park Reds, ADO AamigoO Lakers, and most recently, the Sölvesborg Firehawks in Sweden.
Former Mavs infielder and first-team all-conference selection,Clayton Taylor, says experience and success are just two traits that Porter brings to the team, which is something to look forward to.
“He’s a very good skills coach, has high energy, and puts the players first,” Taylor said. “I truly expect him and (Assistant) Coach (Chris) Gadsden to continue to lead the UNO baseball program in the right direction.”
Head equipment manager, Billy Sanders, is a fan of the announcement.
“I met Evan when he was a player here at UNO,” Sanders said. “He played the game with a ton of passion and I can’t wait to see him bring that passion to coaching.”
The Mavericks were 28-28 overall (18-12 in league play) last season. They went 0-2 in their first Summit League Conference Tournament.