Bobby Wernes, who played two years for the Razorbacks under head coach Dave Van Horn, completed his third season as an assistant coach for the Arkansas baseball program in 2023.
Wernes, who served as the program’s volunteer coach for three seasons before he was promoted to a full-time role on the coaching staff, assists as a hitting and infield coach while also working with the Razorbacks’ catchers. Since he joined the coaching staff, Arkansas has made one trip to the College World Series (2021) and clinched a pair of overall SEC titles (2021 & 2023) as well as a pair of SEC Western Division titles (2021 & 2023).
In 2023, the Razorbacks posted a 43-18 overall record, claiming their fourth overall SEC championship and their second in the last three seasons. The Hogs belted 92 home runs during the historic campaign, tying for fourth-most in a single season in program history. Arkansas also became the only SEC program, and one of just two teams in the country along with Southern Miss, to record 40 or more victories in each of the last six full seasons.
In 2021, Wernes helped Arkansas win its first SEC overall title since 2004 and its first outright SEC crown since 1999. The Razorbacks became only the second team since the SEC expanded to 30 games to win all 10 of their conference series. Arkansas capped its regular-season SEC championship with the program’s first SEC Tournament championship, becoming only the third SEC team since league play expanded in 2012 to win both the regular season and tournament championship in the same season.
Wernes joined the Arkansas staff after spending two years coaching in the Philadelphia Phillies’ organization with the Gulf Coast League Phillies West. In 2019, he served as the team’s hitting coach, helping the club to a 33-15 record and a first-place finish in the North Division. Under his guidance, the Phillies West squad led the GCL in team batting average and was second among the 18 teams in slugging percentage, averaging 5.13 runs per game.
Wernes was promoted to manager of the Phillies West in 2020 and was slated to be one of the youngest managers in professional baseball before the minor league season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wernes played two years for the Razorbacks from 2014-15 at third base, including Arkansas’ 2015 College World Series squad. He was drafted in the 30th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros and played four years of pro ball, including two years in the Astros organization and two years in the Colorado Rockies’ system, reaching Double-A Hartford in 2018.
He appeared in 121 games over his two years as a Hog, racking up 103 hits, 45 RBI and 68 runs scored. He started 55 of 56 games in 2014 as a sophomore and registered 10 multi-hit games, including a double, 18 RBI and 18 runs scored.
He played in all 65 games for the Razorbacks in 2015, hitting .279 with seven doubles, five homers and a team-high six triples. Wernes was also named to the SEC All-Defensive Team and played an integral part in the Arkansas’ eighth overall College World Series berth.
Bobby and his wife, Kristina, who is an Arkansas graduate, have a daughter, Lillian.