Noah Sanders is in his third season as an assistant coach for Arkansas State after serving as a volunteer assistant the previous three seasons.
Sanders' second season as a full-time assistant saw the Red Wolves register a 28-27 record for the team's first winning season since 2014. Additionally, the team won two games in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for the eighth straight season, the only team in the league to accomplish that feat. The Red Wolves posted a 17-12 record at home, including wins over No. 24 Louisiana Tech, a series victory over Cincinnati, and a win over Ole Miss at home for the second straight season.
Once again Sanders handled first-base coaching duties and assisted head coach Tommy Raffo with the offense. The squad's offense set the school record for hit-by-pitches with 100 and also tied for the most home runs during the Raffo era with 34. The team had the highest runs per game (6.02) and RBI per game (5.40) this season in the BBCOR bat era, which began in 2011. The offense also stole 62 bases which was just one away from tying the most during the Raffo era.
Joe Schrimpf enjoyed his best season at A-State in 2017 with the help of Sanders and became the program's all-time leader in career RBI with 146 and also set the school record for sacrifice bunts in a career. Schrimpf's name is dotted among the top 10 in a host of other categories including career hits, walks, total bases, hit-by-pitches, at-bats, and triples.
Justin Felix led the team with 46 RBI on the year to rank in a tie for seventh most in the league, while Garrett Rucker drove in 45 to finish in a tie for 10th most in the SBC. Schrimpf finished one RBI behind Rucker with 44 to rank in a tie for 13th most in the conference. Additionally, Alex Howard racked up 15 doubles to finish in a tie for seventh most in the Sun Belt, while Felix ended the season tied for the 13th most doubles in the league with 14. Rucker concluded the season in a tie for third most triples in the SBC with four.
Additionally, the Red Wolves had three players tabbed as SBC Player of the Week during the 2017 campaign with Jeremy Brown (March 21), Rucker (April 10), and Howard (May 22) earning the accolade. The three POW honors were the most in a season for Arkansas State since three in 2006.
A-State's catchers combined to catch 13 runners stealing and Felix also picked a runner off. All three of the backstops combined to just make eight errors on the season.
The first year as a full-time assistant coach went well for Sanders, who helped Coach Raffo, lead the offense to a school-record 22 triples, breaking the 1949 record of 20, and 303 RBI, which were the second most in the Raffo era and eighth most in school history. The squad hit 33 home runs for the second most during Raffo's tenure and had a .387 slugging percentage, good for third highest under Raffo, during the 2016 campaign.
Tanner Ring was named First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference after hitting .304 with a team-best 16 doubles, eight home runs, 46 RBI, 114 total bases, and .496 slugging percentage.
The A-State catchers threw out 20 runners attempting to steal during the year for a 30% caught stealing rate. The three catchers also accounted for just nine errors during the season.
Part-time catcher Joe Schrimpf also earned Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors as an utility player. Schrimpf threw out five runners attempting to steal and didn't commit an error in his time behind the plate.
Sanders has worked with the catchers and outfielders since arriving A-State and has handled first-base coaching duties during that time frame. He was instrumental in the development of backstop Stuart Levy, who was drafted in the 27th round by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2015 MLB draft. He was also responsible for aligning the defense during games and assisted in the offensive game plan.
In 2015, A-State's outfielders made just 12 errors and Levy threw out 19 runners trying to steal, which was the fourth most in the conference. After his increased role in the offense, the Red Wolves rallied to win seven of their final nine league games and won two games in the SBC Tournament for the sixth straight season. Additionally, Zach George was named First-Team All-Conference and Third-Team All-American by two different publications after hitting .399 with the nation's best on-base percentage of .548.
In 2014 his outfielders committed just nine errors which was the second fewest among all outfielders in the Sun Belt Conference. He also helped Stuart Levy throw out 19 would-be base stealers during the year, the third most in the league in 2014.
Sanders came to A-State after serving as an assistant coach at Crowder College in 2012 where he was the team's hitting instructor, worked with the catchers and assisted in recruiting.
Before Crowder, Sanders had a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Arkansas-Monticello and helped six players reach all-conference status during his time with the team.
As a coach at UAM, Sanders was the team's recruiting coordinator, worked with hitters, catchers, and outfielders.
As a player, Sanders spent two years at Itawamba Community College before transferring to the University of West Alabama for two seasons. He spent the final year of his playing career at Arkansas-Monticello.
Sanders earned a bachelor's degree in general studies from Arkansas-Monticello. He is married to the former Bailie Jedlicka of League City, Texas.