Wes Thigpen returns to Jones College after a two-year hiatus, this time as the 16th head baseball coach of the Bobcats.
The Luling, Louisiana, native spent the past two seasons as the head coach at rival Mississippi Gulf Coast.
After Thigpen's first season was cut short due to CoVID-19, the Bulldogs finished the 2021 regular season 20-19 and advanced to the postseason.
Thigpen has an impressive track record as a pitching coach and recruiter following a playing career that reached the professional level.
In his first stint in 2017-19 as the Bobcats' pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, Jones was 127-21 (.818) with an MACCC title and two regular-season runner-up finishes. His staff finished all three seasons in the Top 10 in ERA in NJCAA Division II, including the 2017 squad which finished second with an eye-popping 2.74 ERA.
Under Thigpen's guidance, two pitchers have earned NJCAA All-American honors. Will Freeman, who signed with Alabama, was picked by the San Diego Padres in the 2018 MLB Draft
Thigpen spent the 2016 season as the pitching coach at Hinds, where all four sophomore pitchers signed to play NCAA Division I.
Thigpen was introduced to the MACCC in 2008 as a catcher at Meridian Community College. He started in 99 career games for the Eagles, helping them to a conference title as a freshman and region championship and NJCAA World Series berth as a sophomore.
After two all-conference seasons and an all-region sophomore campaign, Thigpen became a two-year starter at Mississippi State where he was a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and helped the Bulldogs to a Super Regional appearance as a senior in 2011.
While at Mississippi State as a graduate assistant in 2014-15, he was also able to work closely with widely respected pitching coach Butch Thompson, now the head coach at Auburn University. Thigpen was also able to catch or coach numerous professional and eventual MLB pitchers between his time in the SEC and in pro ball.
Thigpen would then enter the professional playing ranks with the Detroit Tigers organization in June 2011. He advanced all the way to the Double-A level in just his second season in 2012 before ending his playing career at the end of the 2012 summer to complete his education.
He is married to the former Holly Head of Vicksburg. They have a four-year-old son, Maddox, and a newborn daughter, Emrie.
Former Bobcat and national champion Jonathan Parker returns to his alma mater as an assistant coach on Wes Thigpen's staff.
Parker spent the past two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast to start his coaching career.
The New Orleans native was a two-year team captain and catcher at Jones during the 2016-17 seasons, helping the Bobcats to a combined 100-13 record, their first NJCAA Division II National Championship (2016) and an MACCC Championship (2017).
Parker was named team MVP as a freshman and was also an all-tournament team nod at the national championship after going 9-for-19 with a pair of RBIs and seven runs scored.
He hit .310 as a freshman with 10 doubles, a home run and 31 RBIs and .384 as a sophomore with 11 doubles, three home runs and 40 RBIs to earn second team all-conference honors.
Parker went on to start 16 games at Louisiana Tech as a junior before ending his career at Southeastern Louisiana. He graduated with a bachelor's in general studies with a minor in business and marketing.
Parker is a graduate of Brother Martin High School, where he was a four-year letterman and two-year team captain on the baseball team. He also earned three letters on the football team, where he was also twice a team captain. Parker earned all-district honors twice and won The Clarion-Herald Linebacker Award in the New Orleans Catholic League.
Athletes run in the Parker family. His sister, Kristen, played collegiate volleyball at LSU, uncle Johnny Morreale played in the Milwaukee Brewers system and grandfather Junior Morreale played in the Boston Red Sox organization.
Cody Livingston enters his first season with Jones after joining the Bobcats from just down the road in Perkinston.
Livingston spent the past two seasons on Wes Thigpen's staff at Mississippi Gulf Coast, and prior to that, had been an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock for two seasons.
At UALR, Livingston served as the first base coach (2018) and third base coach (2019), while assisting with the offense, pitching staff and outfielders. Livingston coached three first team all-conference players and helped six players advance to the professional ranks.
The Trojans won their most games since 2010 (29) which was also tied for third-most wins in program history. The Trojans finished second in the Sun Belt Conference in 2019, again a program best, and won their first postseason game since 2011.
During his playing career at Southern Mississippi from 2012-16, the left-handed pitcher was part of two Conference USA championships and was awarded the Colonel Fletcher Leadership award following his senior season. He also made the Athletic Director's honor roll.
Livingston earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in sport management from The University of Southern Mississippi.
The Brandon native attended Northwest Rankin High School where he was a first team all-state selection and Mississippi High School All-Star. His 0.82 ERA as a senior is the single-season school record.