Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Aaron Hepner is entering his fifth season in 2018 with Wayne State after joining the WSU baseball staff in August of 2013 as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator. He had spent the previous five seasons at Eastern Michigan working with former Warrior head coach Jay Alexander.
"I'm really excited about the great opportunity Coach Kelley and the Wayne State athletic administration has given me," said Hepner. "I am looking forward to helping continue the Warriors baseball program's excellence on and off the field."
Hepner has had a lot of success working with catchers. He has helped six catchers sign pro contracts and has aided in four catchers being drafted.
Hepner helped the Warriors return to the NCAA Tournament in 2017 where WSU won three games, matching the most in program history since 2011. He helped the offense collect the fourth most home runs (37) in program history as well as the ninth most hits (468), third-most extra base hits (162), fourth-most total bases (712) and 10th-most walks (196).
As the hitting coach, Hepner aided in WSU's strong offensive production in 2016. The Warriors pounded out a program record 127 doubles and 167 extra base hits, while collecting the second-most total bases in school history (752). In addition, WSU drove in 296 RBI, which ranks fifth and scored 329 runs, which ranks eighth in program history.
He helped the Warriors clinch a berth in the GLIAC Tournament in 2014, while the 34 regular-season victories were a program record. The 10-game winning streak in 2014 is also a program record. The Warriors finished 15-1 at home, which is the best winning percentage in program history and matched the second most wins all-time at home in program history.
The Warriors finished with the most wins in a season in program history (36), the second-best winning percentage and its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in five years.
The Warriors finished with the most wins in a season in program history (36), second-best winning percentage and its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in five years. The Warriors knocked off #18 Drury to begin the regional tournament with a 1-0 victory before falling to eventual national champion Southern Indiana in the third round of the NCAA Regional.
Six Warriors were voted to the All-GLIAC teams including Jeremy Carrell, Alex Kinch and Kyle Zimmerman being named to the All-GLIAC First Team. Four student-athletes were selected to the Daktronics All-Midwest Region squads including Eric Cunningham being a First Team selection. Kyle Zimmerman was an NCBWA All-Midwest Region Gold Glover while Carrell and Zimmerman were CoSIDA Academic All-District team selections.
Hepner took over as hitting coach at Eastern Michigan for the 2012 season, when the team hit .268 collectively and drew a MAC-high 278 walks. Under Hepner's guidance, Ben Magsig led the MAC in on-base percentage (.478) and walks (53). Magsig's walk total was the most for a single season in EMU history. Brent Ohrman also finished his final season in an EMU uniform with a .344 batting average and more than 20 stolen bases for a second straight year. Ohrman along with Bo Kinder received First Team Capital One Academic All-District nods. Ohrman also earned MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week accolades and received MAC West Player of the Week honors along with Magsig. Four of Hepner's hitters, Ohrman, Kinder, Tucker Rubino and Sam Ott, also hauled in Academic All-MAC nominations.
In addition, Hepner aided in the development of All-MAC Second Team catcher Adam Sonabend. Sonabend was also named to the 2013 Johnny Bench Award Watch List.
In his first season with EMU, Hepner helped the EMU pitching staff develop into one of the top staffs in the MAC. Hepner led EMU to claim three MAC Pitcher of the Week awards during the regular season, while helping pitcher Corey Chaffins earn Second Team All-MAC accolades after coming off Tommy John surgery in 2008.
In 2010, the EMU pitching staff had one of its best seasons, as the staff combined for six complete games and two shutouts, including an 11-inning complete game shutout by Kendall Lewis, who would go on to earn four national player of the week awards and First Team All-MAC accolades. Hepner also helped develop several EMU freshmen into solid contributors in their first season, including Steve Weber, who earned MAC West Pitcher of the Week honors. In all, the freshmen pitching class combined for eight wins and 10 saves in 2010. As a whole, the 2010 Eastern Michigan pitching staff recorded 387 strikeouts – the most by any team in school history. The previous record was held by the 1975 EMU baseball team that finished fifth at the College World Series.
Hepner spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan. UofM were Big 10 regular season champions in 2007 and 2008 and won the Big Ten Tournament title in 2008. The Wolverines won a regional championship in 2007.
A three-year letterman at the University of Dayton, Hepner served as an assistant coach for the Southern Ohio Copperheads in the Great Lakes Collegiate Summer League in the summer of 2006 before heading to UM. Noted for his defense, Hepner made more than 150 starts at catcher while earning his three letters at Dayton (2003-05) and helped lead the Flyers to a school record 36 wins as a senior in 2005.
Hepner, who led the Atlantic 10 Conference in pickoffs twice, started his college career playing first base and catching at Edmonds Community College in the state of Washington. He transferred to Dayton after his team captured the NWACC championship during his freshman campaign. After graduating from Dayton he played in the Frontier League for the Richmond Roosters in 2005.
A native of Woodinville, Wash., Hepner played football and baseball graduating from Woodinville High School in 2001. He graduated from Dayton with a degree in sports management in 2006, and served as a student assistant coach for one season.
Graduate Assistant Coach
Zach Johnson joined the baseball staff in September of 2015 as a graduate assistant coach and will work with the catchers as well as assist with day-to-day operations of the team again in 2017.
He played for WSU as a graduate student in 2014 and appeared in 45 games and was named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team. He played three seasons for Michigan and appeared in 47 games.
He is a 2009 graduate of Grandville High School where he earned five varsity letters, while leading the baseball team to a district championship in 2008. He hit . 474 as a senior, while posting a 1.90 ERA.
Graduate Assistant Coach
Dominic Jamett joined the Wayne State University baseball program prior to the 2016-2017 season as a graduate assistant coach and will assist in the day-to-day duties of the program, help with gameday preparation and assist in coaching the pitchers and catchers.
He graduated from the University of Michigan and served as a team captain and SAAC President in 2016. He appeared in 64 games during his four years, including 25 games as a senior with the Wolverines and hit .254 with 14 RBI. Jamett was named an NSCA Strength & Conditioning All-American in 2015, while also serving on U-M's Leadership Council. As a sophomore, he was awarded the Big Ten's Sportsmanship Award and received the U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award.
Jamett is a University Liggett High School alum and was a two-time First Team All-State selection (2010-11). He hit .490 with 49 RBI as a prep senior, while leading his team to a state title in 2011. He was a two-time team captain and an Honor Roll student.
He was born on May 1, 1993, and is the son of Renato and Elizabeth Jamett.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
John Dombrowski enters his ninth year as an assistant coach with the WSU baseball program in 2017, assigned to oversee the development and instruction of the catchers.
Prior to this assignment, Dombrowski was an assistant coach at Macomb Community College (2005-08). He served as a roving instructor and oversaw some of the offensive and defensive aspects of the program. More specifically, he was in charge of the catching instruction and implementing a strength and conditioning program.
In his four years at Macomb, the team would post its highest divisional finish (third) in more than 10 years. This would earn the Monarchs consecutive NJCAA regional appearances.
The Eastpointe native has coached many amateur teams and has over two decades of coaching experience. He has enjoyed measurable success in the recruitment and placement of local high school players into the college ranks.
Dombrowski attended Macomb Community College and Saginaw Valley State University. He and his wife, Brenda, have two daughters, Allie and Megan.
Student Assistant Coach
Alex Kinch joined the Wayne State University baseball coaching staff in the fall of 2016 and will assist the pitching staff in 2017. He played professionally last summer for the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers of the United Shore Professional Baseball League.
Career Notes: Finished career ranking third in games started (41), innings pitched (248.1), victories (21) and strikeouts (198).
2016: Was named to the D2CCA All-Midwest Region Second Team ... First Team All-GLIAC selection ... named to the GLIAC All-Academic Team ... named an ABCA Midwest Region Gold Glove Nominee ... was named the Team MVP and Anthony Bass Top Pitcher at the team's award banquet ... named GLIAC North Pitcher of the Week on May 2 after striking out a career-high 12 batters vs. Findlay on April 30 ... ended his final season with the Green & Gold with an 8-5 record and a 3.46 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts - is tied-for-third in program history), while striking out 97 batters (ranks fifth in school history and was 35th in the nation) in 91 innings (ranks fourth) ... his eight wins is tied-for- eighth in school history ... notched five complete games including a shutout ... opponents hit just .256 against right-hander ... ranked third in the league in wins (8), third in strikeouts (97), fifth in ERA (3.46) and second in complete games (5) ... started at Southern Indiana (3/6) and pitched seven innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out five in the 2-1 defeat ... dominated NCAA Tournament team Ashland (3/12), pitching his first complete game of the season, going nine innings and allowing zero runs and striking out six yo collect his first victory of the season ... struck out nine over seven innings in an extra-inning win at Ohio Dominican (4/3) ... improved to 4-3 with a win over Grand Valley State (4/11) by striking out four and allowing two earned runs on two hits and five walks ... notched fifth won of the season by going six innings and not allowing an earned run, while striking out nine batters against Lake Erie (4/16) .... made only relief appearance of the season at GVSU (5/5) in a must-win game and struck out seven of 11 batters he faced in three and 2/3 innings to improve record to 7-4 ... in final home start of career, he struck out nine in a seven-inning complete game vs. Malone (5/8), allowing two earned runs to earn his eighth win of the campaign ... threw a season-high 128 pitches in GLIAC Tournament start versus Walsh (5/13) and struck out nine in a nine-inning complete game, while allowing three earned runs ... Game-by-Game Stats.
2015: Named to the GLIAC All-Academic Team ... earned his first career GLIAC Pitcher of the Week honor on March 16 after tossing seven shutout innings against Wayne State (Neb.) and matching a career-high with nine strikeouts ... was a CoSIDA Academic All-District nominee ... appeared in 13 games and made 12 starts (most in the GLIAC) ... went 4-5 with a 4.06 ERA and 58 strikeouts (ranks fourth in the GLIAC) in 71 innings (ranks fifth in the league) ... tossed seven 2/3 innings in his first start of the season at Trevecca Nazarene (2/28) and allowed one unearned run on six hits and struck out four ... shut out Wayne State College (3/11) for a complete game victory and his first win of the season ... improved to 2-0 with a win over Minnesota Duluth (3/16) by pitching six innings of one-run ball and recording eight strikeouts ... threw a career-high 117 pitches against Grand Valley State (4/3) in seven innings and allowed four earned runs ... won his third game of the year with a six inning performance against Saginaw Valley State (4/8), allowing one earned run ... after losing two of his next three starts, rebounded with a win at Findlay (4/28), by tossing seven innings and allowing one earned run on four hits and retiring eight via the strikeout ... started vs. Ashland (5/9) in the GLIAC Tournament and lasted six 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits ... Game-by-Game Stats.
2014: Voted to the All-GLIAC First Team as a starting pitcher ... selected to the Daktronics Second Team All-Midwest Region ... was an NCBWA Second Team All-Midwest Region selection ... named to the GLIAC All-Academic Team ... received the Anthony Bass Top Pitcher at team banquet ... appeared in 14 games and made 13 starts, which is tied for fifth all-time and was tied for third in the GLIAC ... eight quality starts ... finished 8-2 with a 3.58 ERA ... his eight wins is tied for eighth all-time and was tied for second in the conference .... his .800 winning percentage is tied for 10th all-time ... struck out 40 batters in 78 innings ... finished with four complete games ... struck out a career-high nine batters against Lewis (3/7) ... went all seven innings against Saginaw Valley State (3/30) ... pitched eight innings versus Northwood (4/5) with six strikeouts ... went eight 1/3 innings against Walsh (5/2) and struck out six batters for his sixth straight start of six or more innings ... Game-By-Game Stats.
2013: Named to the GLIAC All-Academic Team ... appeared in four games and made two starts ... finished season with a 1-0 record and a 6.48 ERA over 8.1 innings with three strikeouts ... tossed a complete game against Valdosta State (2/24), going seven innings and allowing one run on four hits and struck out two with no walks ... appeared against Notre Dame College (3/8), Ashland (3/28) and Northwood (4/6) ... Game-By-Game Stats.
2012: Did not compete ... redshirted.
High School: A 2011 graduate of Ann Arbor Pioneer ... played two years of varsity baseball ... was a pitcher and also played right field ... named MVP of the 2010 state tournament ... struck out six in a complete-game 4-1 victory over Saline in the championship game, his fourth playoff victory ... earned all-district and all-region honors in 2011 ... lettered three years in wrestling, claiming all-district accolades and serving as team captain as a senior.
Personal: Full name--Alexander S. Kinch ... born in Indianapolis, Ind. ... son of John and Carol-Anne Kinch ... has a brother, Ben, and a sister, Maureen ... is a kinesiology major ... named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll (term gpa 3.5+) for Fall 2012 ... named to the Coach's Honor Roll (term gpa 3.0-3.49) for Winter 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 ... is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).