Brett Stewart | Assistant Coach
In his first season as an assistant coach with the University of New Orleans baseball program, Brett Stewart brings a wealth of experience to his role as the Privateers’ hitting coach and recruiting coordinator.
In Stewart’s first season with the Privateers UNO saw a 17-game turnaround, the eighth-best in Division I in 2016, while the team was one of 17 to increase their winning percentage by .200, boasting the fourth-highest improvement at .285.
The Privateers’ 31-26 record marked the first winning record for the baseball program since 2008 and qualified for the Southland Conference for the first time since joining the league prior to the 2013-14 academic year. The Privateers set eight-year highs in batting average (.300), total hits (600), doubles (77), on base percentage (.368) and fielding percentage (.966) saves (15), strikeouts (400) and the lowest opponent batting average in the span (.286).
Nationally, UNO finished eighth in triples per game with a 0.44 average and 10th in total triples with 25 while Dakota Dean cracked the top 25 individually with six on the season, the 22nd-most.
UNO’s resurrected offense led the Southland Conference in triples, while finishing second in in hits, batting average, third in RBI, fewest batters struck out (328) and fourth in slugging percentage (.416).
Hired in Fall 2015, Stewart came to UNO from Northwest Florida State College where he served as an assistant coach from 2013-15. In addition to his two seasons with the Raiders, he also served as the volunteer assistant at Nicholls for the 2013 season and coached the Rockville Express of the Cal Ripken League in summer 2012.
In two years at Northwest Florida State, Stewart helped the team post a combined 69-31 overall record and a 21-18 mark in Panhandle Conference action, including a 42-13 mark in 2015 when the Raiders finished second in the PC with a 12-7 record, a Region VII/Gulf District Tournament title and the NJCAA Division I World Series championship.
As the team’s recruiting coordinator, hitting coach and strength coach, Stewart was instrumental in the team hitting .289 (892-3076) with a .391 slugging percentage courtesy of 127 doubles, 25 triples and 45 home runs over his two seasons at NWFSC. While half of the student-athletes Stewart brought into the school still have junior college eligibility remaining, 19 of his 36 recruits at the school have already signed scholarships with four-year schools, including current Privateers Dakota Dean, Ryan Leone and Aaron Palmer.
Stewart’s first stop on the coaching carousel was to Thibodeaux, Louisiana, at Nicholls where he was responsible for all field maintenance, while serving as the assistant hitting coach and working directly with the Colonel outfielders. In his lone season at Nicholls, he helped the team hit .271 (501-of-1851) with a .365 slugging percentage on the strength of 95 doubles, 16 triples and 16 home runs. That year, outfielder Matt Richard was the team’s lone all-Southland Conference honoree as he claimed third-team recognition after hitting .290 and finishing third in the SLC with 21 stolen bases.
During his time in the Cal Ripken League, Stewart was an assistant coach for the Express where he served as the team’s hitting and fielding coach for a the regular-season league champions. He also worked for the Virginia Baseball Club as well as providing personal instruction as a private hitting coach.
Stewart was a four-year prep letterman at Niceville (Florida) High, he went on to play at Tallahassee Community College. In two years with the Eagles, he appeared in 62 games and hit .308 (52-for-169) with three home runs and 31 RBI. He earned a spot on the Panhandle Conference All-Academic Team as a freshman and garnered second-team All-PC recognition as a sophomore after hitting .320 (39-for-122) with 12 doubles, two home runs and 17 home runs. Stewart’s .467 slugging percentage in 2006 ranked sixth in school history at the conclusion of his JuCo career and he earned a scholarship to Appalachian State.
After missing the 2007 season after recovering from surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat, Stewart went 20-for-80 with three doubles, six home runs and 19 RBI at the plate and fielding .983 with 108 putouts and seven assists while helping turn seven double plays.
Athletic success runs in Stewart’s family as his father, the late Bruce Stewart, played basketball at Jacksonville State and was a head basketball coach for 26 years and won 650 games, 16 Coach of the Year awards and was one of two coaches to guide his teams to four different tournaments: NCAA, NIT, NAIA and NJCAA, and his brother, Brandon, played baseball at Jefferson Davis Community College.
A native of Niceville, Florida, Stewart earned his associates degree in general studies from Tallahassee Community College in May 2006 and his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Appalachian State in 2009. He is marries to the former Ashley Patterson or Fairfax, Virginia, and the couple resides in Metairie, Louisiana.
Rudy Darrow | Assistant Coach
Darrow arrives on the Lakefront from Oklahoma where served as the Sooners' volunteer assistant last season. In addition, he previously was an assistant from fall 2010 through the end of the 2013 at his alma mater and fellow Southland Conference member, Nicholls State University, and spent four seasons as a professional player in the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves organizations.
While at Oklahoma for the 2016 season, Darrow helped the Sooners finish 30-27-1 overall record, including a pair of victories in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. As the team's recruiting coordinator and catchers' coach, he oversaw the development of four backstops who handed an OU staff that posted a 4.41 ERA and a .265 opponent batting average to go with a 1.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio courtesy of 432 Ks and 255bases on balls. Darrow played an integral role in the Sooners landing 17 new recruits for the 2017 campaign: 10 true freshmen and seven transfers, including five from the junior-college ranks.
During his time as an assistant at Nicholls, Darrow originally rejoined the Colonel program as a volunteer assistant for the 2011 season before serving as the team's pitching coach his final two years in Thibodaux. He helped lower the team ERA each season he oversaw the staff, including a 4.18 mark in 2013 – which was the Colonels' lowest team ERA in 15 years. In 2012, Nicholls led the Southland Conference with a 2.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 323 punches while issuing just 156 free passes.
Among the hurlers Darrow oversaw at Nicholls, Brad Delatte became the second-highest player ever drafted out of Nicholls as the southpaw was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 Major League Amateur Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Between his previous collegiate coaching stints, Darrow spent two seasons at Norman North High School as the assistant coach. During his time with the Timberwolves, Darrow helped the team to back-to-back appearances into the Oklahoma 6A West Regional Tournament and set a school record with a 2.49 team ERA in 2015. He also served as the pitching coach for the Waterloo Bucks of the Northwoods League in summer of 2011, as the team finished fourth in the South Division and posted a 4.17 ERA.
A native of Perkins, Oklahoma, Darrow was a standout pitcher and wrestler at the prep level and began his college playing career at Labette Community College in 2002. He transferred to Nicholls in fall 2004 and, after missing his first Division I season with an injury, led the Colonels with six saves and 20 appearances in 2006 while posting a win and 20 strikeouts in 20.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.
That year, he was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 32nd round of the MLB Draft. Darrow pitched in 113 games at the Minor League level, twice reaching Double-A with call ups in 2008 and 2009 to the Erie SeaWolves and Mississippi Braves, respectively.