2010 SE Baseball Big South Assistant Coach of the Year
Jonathan Hadra, a four-year letterman and 2004 graduate of VMI, completed his fifth season of his second tour with VMI in 2013. Hadra works with the infielders and hitters, and in 2011, added recruiting coordinator to those duties. He was promoted to Associate Head Coach just before the 2014 season.
2014 saw Brandon Angus be the breakout offensive player for the Keydets, as he led the squad with a .333 batting average and earned Second Team All-Big South honors.Defensively, Dofflemyer was a key figure for a Hadra-coached defense that finished with a .966 fielding percentage, the third-best in school history. Offensively, left fielder Eric Mayers also had a strong year, making the most of his senior season by hitting .299 and leading the team with four home runs, while Jordan Tarsovich hit .293 and became the final VMI athlete to earn a Big South weekly award, doing so in the final week of the season. Hadra also worked with three young hitters, shortstop Dofflemyer and outfielders Will Malbon and Josh Worthley, who saw significant time as true freshmen.
In 2013, Hadra saw one of his hitters, Rob Dickinson, post one of the best offensive seasons by a Keydet in recent memory. Dickinson hit .399 and earned Big South Player of the Year honors, becoming the first Keydet to ever earn a conference POTY award. Dickinson was also First Team All-Atlantic Region (American Baseball Coaches Association) becoming the first Keydet to accomplish that, and also Second Team All-ECAC. Hadra also saw Matt Winn earn Second Team All-Big South honors with a breakout offensive campaign, and added third baseman Ray Lopez to his infield, and at times, worked with a quartet containing only freshmen and sophomores. He also tutored Will Connerley at first base, while Connerley led the team in games started there and committed just two errors.
2012 had Hadra protege Jacob Morley enter VMI's all-time top-10 in in five different offensive categories and earn Second Team All-Big South honors, while George Piccirilli was the Second Team VaSID Designated Hitter.
2011 saw shortstop Sam Roberts named a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the nation's top shortstop, while Roberts also finished his career in VMI's top-10 in twelve different categories. That included being the Keydet record holder in hits, walks and runs scored, and he went on to be a 26th-round draft pick of the Oakland A's. Outfielder Graham Sullivan cracked the program's career top-10 list in hits, total bases and batting average, and paced the club in hitting during the season (.358), while catcher Alex Haitsuka joined Roberts as a All-Big South First Team honoree, marking the first time since 2005 that the Keydets had two players earn First Team All-Conference honors. As a whole, the team posted its fifth-highest batting average in program history (.300).
The 2010 season was a banner year for Hadra's proteges, as not only did the offense break nine school records, including batting average, home runs and total bases, but the team posted the third-best fielding percentage in VMI history. Then-junior Sam Roberts was a quarterfinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the nation's top shortstop, while his fellow infielders Jordan Ballard and Cory Spangenberg also had banner years under Hadra's tutelage. Ballard hit 18 home runs, claimed the career VMI record in that category (41) and was a 33rd-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies. Spangenberg earned three Freshman All-American honors, was the Big South Freshman of the Year and ranked in the top-10 in the conference in seven different categories.
Hadra, who spent the 2009 season at Bradley, brought five years of coaching experience back to Lexington. Upon his graduation, Hadra coached with VMI in 2005 before working three years at Western Kentucky under VMI graduate Chris Finwood, where he helped the Hilltoppers to a berth in the 2008 NCAA Regionals after capturing the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
At Bradley, Hadra worked to bring in a freshman class of 16 that was named one of the top recruiting classes in the nation by Collegiate Baseball. Included in the haul were a pair of Junior College All-Americans, a High School All-American and three players that were drafted by MLB clubs. Prior to his stint in Peoria, Hadra worked for three seasons at WKU. During that time, he oversaw outfield instruction, base running and bunting while coaching first base. In 2008, the Hilltoppers were picked seventh in the league's preseason poll, yet made just the third NCAA Tournament appearance in program history after capturing the conference tournament championship. Also that season, the WKU defense ranked third in the nation with a .976 team fielding percentage.
Before joining Finwood's staff in 2005, Hadra spent one season as an assistant coach at VMI. That season, the Keydets broke the school record for wins and knocked off a ranked opponent for the second straight year (#21 Coastal Carolina, 3-2), as Hadra worked with outfielders and assisted instruction in base running, bunting and positional defense.
As a cadet, Hadra was a four-year letterman who graduated with a degree in Economics and Business. Hadra served as team captain his senior year and helped the Keydets break the school record for wins during his junior season. His sophomore season, meanwhile, saw VMI finish with a 16-14 mark in the Southern Conference, breaking the program standard for most conference wins.
Hadra is married to the former Allison Toth, and the couple has a three-year old son, Colton. Their second child, daughter Kennedy, was born in February of 2013.
Ikenberry on Hadra- “Jonathan has done a great job with our hitters and infielders. It has been a very rewarding experience having a former player help grow the program, and he has a relentless work ethic in recruiting and developing players. Jonathan has an inate ability to relate to our players, and has become a great mentor for our cadet-athletes. His work ethic and love for VMI has developed his reputation as one of the best recruiters and assistants in the region. I am lucky, and honored, to have him on staff.”