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Travis Janssen Takes the Helm: Oxford’s New Head Coach Brings 273 Career Wins and College Expertise to the State-Championship Baseball Program

Travis Janssen is Oxford High School’s new baseball coach. (Submitted photo)
Travis Janssen is Oxford High School’s new baseball coach. (Submitted photo)

Oxford, AL – Oxford taps Janssen to take over state-championship baseball program. Comes with 273 career wins, college experience

By Joe Medley

Oxford has found the coach to take over its state championship baseball program.

The Oxford City Schools board approved the hiring of former Austin Peay State University head coach Travis Janssen to replace Wes Brooks, who moved into administration.

Oxford athletics director Larry Davidson announced Janssen’s hiring, touting Janssen’s experience, which includes:

—25 Years in NCAA baseball, including two stints as an assistant at Jacksonville State.

—273 Head coaching wins.

—Six championships at four schools.

“Along with the accomplishments and wins on the field, Coach Janssen brings a strong character, a desire to build relationships, a commitment to excellence and a love for his players and family,” Davidson said.

Janssen, who revived a Northeastern State (Oklahoma) program as head coach in between two stints as an assistant at Jax State, was let go in April of 2022, 40 games into his seventh season as Austin Peay’s head coach. The Governors were 15-25 at the time.

Janssen finished his Austin Peay tenure with a 169-173 record. He was one of only three APSU baseball coaches with 150-plus wins and set the school record with 34 wins in his first season, in 2016.

The Governors made five straight Ohio Valley Conference tournament appearances after the Govs had missed the tournament the previous two years.

In his first season, Janssen led Austin Peay to a six-game improvement overall. It was the second best year-to-year improvement in the OVC and 51st best among Division I programs. The Govs finished third in the OVC regular-season race – a four-spot improvement from the previous year – and they returned to the league tournament for the first time since 2013.

The Manhattan, Kan., native joined Austin Peay in September 2015 after a short second stop as assistant coach at Jax State. Prior to that he led Northeastern State to more than 100 wins in four seasons.

In 2012, Janssen inherited a Division II Northwestern State program that won just six games the year prior to his arrival and had not had a winning record since the 2002 season. His first NSU team finished 25-24. The 19-win improvement over the previous season’s record was the third-best turnaround in the NCAA that year.

Janssen guided the RiverHawks to at least 25 victories in each of his four seasons, marking the first such occurrence during Northeastern State’s NCAA era (since 1996).

In his initial stint at Jax State, from 2006-11, Janssen’s primary coaching responsibilities were coaching infielders and hitters, while serving as third base coach. The Gamecocks won at least 30 games in each of his six seasons, including two OVC tournament championships and the 2008 regular-season title.

Janssen began his coaching career as a student assistant at Kansas State, in 1996. A year later he moved to Butler County (Kansas) Community College and served as an associate scout for the Florida Marlins.

From 1998-2001, Janssen was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Arkansas under Norm DeBriyn.

Janssen also had coaching stops at Northwestern (La.) State (2001-04) and Hawaii (2005), along with extensive experience coaching summer camps.

Janssen has worked on coaching staffs that produced 10 major league baseball players, including Atlanta Braves outfielder and former Jacksonville High standout Todd Cunningham and Donovan Hand.

Janssen played second base for Butler (Kan.) Community College then transferred to New Mexico State, where he played from 1995-96.

Janssen arrives at Oxford four months after the program won its second Class 6A state title, both under Brooks. Oxford went 39-6, tying the school record for wins, and senior Hayes Harrison was named Alabama’s Gatorade Player of the Year and the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Baseball.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

Travis Janssen is Oxford High School’s new baseball coach. (Submitted photo)
Travis Janssen is Oxford High School’s new baseball coach. (Submitted photo)

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