Nick Harlan | Associate Head Coach / Pitching Coach
Nick Harlan was hired at the University of Central Arkansas as the associate head coach and pitching coach in August 2013. Harlan joined the Bears after nine seasons as the head coach at York College in York, Nebraska. One year under Harlan’s leadership, UCA pitchers put together a great effort and notched a 3.58 ERA while helping the Bears earn a spot in the Southland Tournament Championship Game.
Harlan believes baseball is a great platform to teach disciplines that will build character and encourage young men to live with purpose. He believes that creating a culture of selflessness and accountability for consistent effort and competitiveness from his pitching staff will lead to success on the field and in life. “If we focus on the process of being the best men, teammates, and pitchers every day, we will make a greater impact on the people around us and give our team a chance for success.” Harlan said.
Harlan was hired in 2004 as the head coach at York College. During Harlan’s tenure the Panthers won 5 conference championships, and earned 5 regional berths. During that time the Panthers were ranked as high as 8th in the country and in the top 25 for four consecutive years. In 2013, the Panthers earned a #1 seed in the Jolliet, Ill regional, winning the regional and advancing to the NAIA World Series.
Harlan was a two time MCAC Coach of the Year and in 2013 was named the York College Young Alumnus of the Year. In 2013 the NAIA awarded York College baseball with the Hank Burbridge Champions of Character award. The award is given to one team in the nation who exemplifies the 5 core values of the NAIA: Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, and Servant Leadership.
In 2003 Harlan was given the opportunity to go back to his alma mater as an assistant coach for one year under head coach Jerry Laird. Harlan began his coaching career in 2002 as an assistant coach under head coach Jedd Soto at Feather River Community College in Quincy, CA where he helped lead the Golden Eagles to their first California Final Four appearance and were awarded the California Pepsi Team Scholar Award for a cumulative team grade point average of 3.4. During this time he also served as an Associate Scout for the Philadelphia Phillies under Scott Ramsey.
Harlan was born in Oroville, California where he graduated from Oroville High School. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from York College.
Harlan married the former Lindsay Spivey, a UCA alum, on July 26, 2014 in Little Rock, AR. Nick and Lindsay share a home with their two dogs Jesse and Ollie.
Jon Ubbenga | Infield Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Jon Ubbenga joined the University of Central Arkansas baseball program as the Recruiting Coordinator and Infield Coach in October 2016.
Prior to joining the UCA staff, Ubbenga was the Recruiting Coordinator and Infield Coach at University of Arkansas Fort Smith. As the infield coach, UAFS had 5 Gold Glove winners and set the school record for fielding percentage. Additionally, UAFS finished the season tied for the 2nd best fielding percentage in the country with a .975 fielding percentage.
Prior to UAFS, Ubbenga was the infield coach at NCAA Division I Florida International University. Under Ubbenga's guidance last season, the FIU infielders compiled the second-highest fielding percentage in school history.
Prior to joining the FIU staff, Ubbenga was an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J. At Saint Peter’s, Ubbenga was the hitting and infield coach, as well as the recruiting coordinator.
For two summers, Ubbenga coached in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League. Heralded as the top college summer league in the nation, the CCBL boasts players from primarily the major NCAA Division I conferences such as the ACC, SEC, Pac 12, etc.
As an assistant coach for the Harwich Mariners, Ubbenga helped lead the squad to a 31-17 record and the Eastern Division title in 2012. The team also finished the summer ranked 10th in the nation among all collegiate summer teams and set the league single season record for home runs (64). Ubbenga coached under the direction of the league’s Manager of the Year, Steve Englert, and coached the CCBL MVP, Phillip Ervin.
Prior to joining the Mariners, Ubbenga spent the 2011-12 season as an assistant coach with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. For the year, the Norseman finished with a 35-14 record and won the OCAC Regular Season Championship.
From 2009-2011, Ubbenga served as volunteer assistant coach for Missouri State University, spending the summer of 2011 coaching summer ball under head coach John Mayotte with the Glens Falls (New York) Golden Eagles in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and helping them earn an Eastern Division title.
As a player, Ubbenga compiled numerous accomplishments and accolades. A recipient of the Rawlings NAIA Gold Glove Award for being the best fielding shortstop in the nation, Ubbenga started four years for William Jewell College from 2005-2009. As a Cardinal, he was a First Team All-Conference shortstop, a Rawlings Heart of America Athletic Conference and Region V Gold Glove Team shortstop, NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and the recipient of the NAIA Champions of Character Team Sportsmanship Award. He finished his career with an impressive record of 168-70 and a Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship title (2006-07).
Following his undergrad years, the Washington native proceeded to play two years of professional baseball and captured the Frontier League Championship in 2010.
Ubbenga received a bachelor’s in sports and recreation management from William Jewell College in 2009, while earning the scholar athlete award six different semesters. In 2011, he received his master’s in administrative studies with an emphasis in sports management from Missouri State University.
Jon Mark Abbey | Volunteer Assistant
Jon Mark Abbey, from Paris, Texas enters into his first season as a voluntary assistant pitching coach with the University of Central Arkansas baseball team. Abbey is coming from Central Baptist College where he was an assistant pitching coach. The 2016 Mustangs in their inaugural season in the American Midwest Conference went (45-16) with a Conference Championship and the school’s first NAIA Regional appearance.
Prior to Central Baptist College Abbey spent the 2015 season as a graduate assistant pitching coach for the Southern Arkansas baseball team, where the Muleriders won the Great American Conference Championship and appeared in the NCAA Division II Regionals with an overall record of (40-18). Before spending the 2012 and 2013 seasons as a pitcher on the Muleriders’ staff, both ending in Great American Conference Championships and NCAA Division II Regional appearances, Abbey pitched at Paris Junior College.
In his senior season of 2013, Abbey went 8-3 and led the all SAU starters in ERA (2.81), opponent's batting average (.254), fewest walks (14), and shutouts (2). Additionally, Abbey would be honored with the ABCA/Rawlings Central Region Gold Glove Award at pitcher as well as being named to the Capital One Academic All-America® Second-Team. After his standout senior campaign on the mound, Abbey signed to play professionally with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League.
Overall in two years at SAU, Abbey was 12-5 with a 3.56 ERA. In 134.0 career innings, Abbey walked just 23 batters and limited opponents to a .268 batting average against.
Abbey has an Associate of Science degree from Paris Junior College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Performance, Recreation and Community Service, Sports Management from SAU and a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology-Coaching from SAU.
Jon Mark is married to Jami (Tucker) of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Jon Mark and Jami met while attending school at SAU and were married on July 18, 2015. Jami is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Central Arkansas where her dream job is to work with Olympic athletes.