Xan Barksdale enters his third season with the East Tennessee State Buccaneers as the recruiting coordinator and catchers’ coach. Before his move to ETSU he spent five seasons at the University of Louisville as an assistant coach. He joined the Cardinal staff after spending three seasons in the Atlanta Braves system. He worked with the Cardinal catchers and assisted with the hitters as well as other administrative duties.
During the 2010 season, Louisville catcher Jeff Arnold earned Second Team All-BIG EAST recognition after hitting .306 with three home runs and 32 RBI. Following the season, Arnold was selected in the 26th Round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the San Francisco Giants.
In 2009, Arnold earned All-BIG EAST Tournament honors and was a Preseason All-BIG EAST selection for 2010. Under the guidance of Barksdale, Louisville catchers had a stretch of 77 consecutive games from 2007 to 2009 without committing an error behind the plate.
In 2008, Louisville catcher Derrick Alfonso earned first-team All-BIG EAST honors throwing out an impressive 20 of 32 baserunners while working with Barksdale. During the 2007 season, Alfonso was named second-team All-BIG EAST, throwing out 29 of 60 would-be baserunners.
Barksdale signed a free agent contract with the Braves in July of 2004 and competed for the Braves minor league affiliates in the Gulf Coast (GCL Braves), South Atlantic (Rome) and Carolina Leagues (Myrtle Beach). He played the final two seasons with former Cardinal Mark Jurich.
Prior to his pro career, he played for two seasons at Ole Miss while current Cardinal head coach Dan McDonnell was an assistant. He was named most dedicated in 2004 and completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in math.
Following high school, Barksdale attended Holmes Community College for two seasons – the same JUCO that Roy Oswalt attended. While at Holmes, he earned an associate’s degree in engineering, was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honorary fraternity away from the field and was a two-time All-State selection and All-Region honoree in 2002 on the field.
He was All-State and All-Conference and was selected to play in an All-Star Game following his senior season at Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Madison, MS. Barksdale was born on December 7, 1981, in Memphis, TN.
Along with his duties at ETSU, Barksdale has developed the product called Catcher’s Thumb, the Catcher’s Performance Summary application for iPhone, and online software called Never Miss A Sign that generates catching wristbands. He also wrote the best selling book Catching-101: The Complete Guide for Baseball Catchers, which is probably his greatest accomplishment off the field.