Rardin Announces Additions to WKU Baseball Coaching Staff
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Baseball head coach Marc Rardin has announced the additions of Rob Fournier and Dillon Napoleon as assistant coaches on his staff.
Fournier joins the Hilltoppers after spending the past 26 seasons as the head coach at Wabash Valley College, while Napoleon continues his partnership with Rardin following three seasons as the pitching coach at Iowa Western Community College.
The Fournier File
During his 26 seasons at Wabash Valley, Fournier accumulated 1,106 career wins as a head coach while his Warrior teams won 14 Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC) Championships. In his first year at the helm, he helped turn around a 12-win team to a 37-win mark in the 1997 season. The program has since rattled off 26 consecutive winning seasons, recording at least 30 wins in each campaign while collecting 17 total 40-plus-win seasons.
Fournier’s teams made two NJCAA D1 World Series appearances, earning a third-place finish in 2017 and fourth place finish this past season in 2022. For his success at the helm, Fournier has won 14 GRAC Coach of the Year awards and was a 2022 inductee into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
Along with team success, Fournier’s tutelage also led to individual success for his student-athletes. During his tenure, Wabash Valley saw over 390 players move on to NCAA Division I programs, while 93 players have been drafted or signed professionally.
Prior to his time at Wabash Valley, Fournier spent two years as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for MacMurray College in 1995 and 1996. In those two seasons, MacMurray produced a 62-22 record while making two regional appearances. Fournier also has professional scouting experience as an associate, spending seven years with the Cleveland Guardians and the past 10 years with the Philadelphia Phillies.
As a player, Fournier spent two years as a shortstop for Ventura Community College (CA) in 1991 and 1992 before transferring to MacMurray College for his final two seasons, where he became an all-conference centerfielder while graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Physical Education.
Fournier is a native of Ojai, Calif., and his wife, Jennifer, is from Ft. Branch, Ind.
The Napoleon File
In Napoleon’s three seasons as an assistant coach at Iowa Western, the Reivers sent 30 pitchers to NCAA Division I schools and saw six pitchers earn ICCAC All-Region honors. Iowa Western pitchers also took home back-to-back ICCAC Player of the Year awards, with Evan O’Toole accepting the honor in 2021 and Brant Hogue earning the accolade in 2022. In both 2021 and 2022, Iowa Western’s pitching staff ranked top-five among all NJCAA Division I programs in ERA, while the 2022 staff also racked up a program-record 620 strikeouts. Napoleon mentored two MLB draft selections during his time at Iowa Western, with pitchers Tanner Kohlhepp (Detroit Tigers, 5th Round) and Jack Neely (New York Yankees, 11th Round) being selected in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Prior to his stint at Iowa Western, Napoleon spent two seasons at Northwestern University, where he served as the Wildcats’ assistant coach, camp coordinator and video coordinator. Napoleon assisted in the development of three MLB draftees at Northwestern, as the program saw Nick Paciorek (New York Yankees, 7th Round), Alex Erro (Boston Red Sox, 17th Round) and Jack Dunn (Washington Nationals, 20th Round) all taken in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Before working at Northwestern, Napoleon spent five seasons at Berry College while serving as the pitching coach, strength and conditioning coach and video coordinator. In the same 2019 MLB Draft that featured three Northwestern selections, Napoleon also saw former Berry College student-athlete Dylan Beasley taken in the 32nd round by the Washington Nationals.
As a student-athlete, Napoleon began his collegiate career at Heartland Community College, where he compiled a 19-1 record on the mound over two seasons while earning NJCAA All-American honors and being named the Midwest Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore. Napoleon then transferred to UAB, becoming the first player in program history to be named the Conference USA Newcomer of the Year while also earning Second Team All-Conference USA honors.
Napoleon earned an associate degree from Heartland Community College in 2010 and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Management from UAB in 2012 before receiving a master’s degree in Sports Leadership from Concordia-Chicago in 2018.
Napoleon and his wife, Bethany, have four daughters: Evelyn, Cora, Margot and Bonnie.
Marc Rardin on the addition of Rob Fournier:
“Rob Fournier to a lot of people was an outside-the-box choice for me as an assistant coach. I saw it as the best move for an assistant coach on staff who’s an elite competitor on the recruiting trail. Fournier has 26 years of college experience. His program at Wabash Valley was stellar in every way – talented, prepared and highly competitive each and every year. No one knows this seven-state area better than Coach Fournier. The reputation that he has built with high school coaches, select ball clubs and MLB area scouts is extremely impressive. I’m excited to have him on board and I’m confident he will make an impact on this program immediately in so many ways.”
Rob Fournier on coming to WKU:
“I’m really thankful to Marc Rardin and the WKU administration for this great opportunity. I’ll be hitting the ground running to bring in student-athletes that WKU can be proud of. My wife Jen and I are excited to join the Bowling Green community.”
Marc Rardin on the addition of Dillon Napoleon:
“I knew having Dillon Napoleon on the staff was a must for me when I made the move to WKU. His knowledge and communication skills with today’s pitching staff and individuals is just tremendous – I’ve watched it firsthand for the past three years. He increases each guy’s development in every category. He was a game changer for our program at Iowa Western and I don’t see that changing here at WKU. Dillon’s recruiting efforts to find the best arms available is tireless. It’s not just the best arms, but he can see the potential and what the increases can be. He is a true young talent in the pitching coach world and I’m thrilled to have him and his family with us at WKU.”
Dillon Napoleon on coming to WKU:
“I am excited to join the WKU baseball program. Having the opportunity to continue working for Coach Rardin is a blessing for me and my family. I am thrilled to return to Conference USA to compete in one of the best conferences in the country. I am looking forward to recruiting and developing student-athletes on The Hill.”