Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Aaron Hepner will be in his seventh season on the Wayne State baseball staff during the 2019-20 academic year after coming to WSU in August of 2013 as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator. He spent the previous five seasons at Eastern Michigan working with former Warrior head coach Jay Alexander.
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.
He helped the 2019 team win the second-most games (35) in program history and set program records in strikeouts (440) and fielding percentage (.972). The Warriors played int he GLIAC Tournament for the 12th straight year and the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time overall.
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) during the 2014 campaign, 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.
Hepner, a native of Woodinville, Wash., played both football and baseball before 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
Alex Maloney joined the Wayne State University baseball coaching staff in August of 2018 as a graduate assistant coach. He will work closely with the pitching staff again in 2020 as he spends his second year on coach Ryan Kelley's staff.
He played professionally for the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers of the United Shore Professional Baseball League in 2017 and then within the Chicago White Sox organization in 2017 and 2018.
Maloney played collegiately at Ball State from 2013 until 2017 where he was a team captain and a four-year starter. He was the primary shortstop and closer for the Cardinals. Maloney was named a Top 300 prospects in 2016 by D1Baseball.com and was rated a Top 50 shortstop for the 2017 season. He earned the team's “Dirt Bag Award” for the player who is voted to be the hardest worker and most determined student-athlete.
He was scouted by over 25 MLB teams. Maloney ranks second in career walks at BSU, third in at-bats, games played, game started and is in the top 10 in hits.
He graduated from Ball State in 2017 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Information Systems. Maloney attended Chelsea (Mich.) High School and Delta High School in Muncie, Ind.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
John Dombrowski enters his 11th year as an assistant coach with the WSU baseball program during the 2018-19 academic year. He oversees 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.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Josh Simonis joined the Wayne State University baseball coaching staff in August of 2018 as a volunteer assistant coach. He oversees the infielders for the Warriors. The 2019-20 academic year will be his second on coach Ryan Kelley's staff.
He owns three companies based in Rochester, Michigan - Michigan’s Premier Baseball, Michigan’s Premier Sport Performance Training and The Studio Boxing and Fitness. Michigan’s Premier Baseball is a travel baseball organization made up of six teams that train and compete year round. Michigan’s Premier SPT is a training company and The Studio Boxing and Fitness is an additional training facility.
Simonis also has coached at Adams High School in 2016 and Rochester High School in 2017 and 2018, while coordinating the team's strength & conditioning program. He helped head coach Eric Magiera and the Falcons to consecutive state quarterfinal appearances in 2016 and 2017.
He served as a strength & conditioning intern coach at Oakland University in 2014. Simonis graduated from and played outfield for Rochester College in 2014 with a degree in Sports Management.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Jake Pacholski joined the Wayne State University baseball coaching staff in August of 2018 as a volunteer assistant coach, where he works primarily with the outfielders. The 2019-20 academic year will be his second on coach Ryan Kelley's staff.
He is currently the Director of Baseball Operations for the Michigan Bulls. Previously, he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Michigan Dearborn. Pacholski also served as the hitting and first base coach, while working with the outfielders and infielders. While at Michigan Dearborn, Pacholski coached third baseman Antonio Carta to a 2018 NAIA Gold Glove award.
In addition, he has worked for the Prep Baseball Report and was the LP Rails 18U head coach. In his three years as the LP Rails skipper, he produced over 60 collegiate student-athletes and garnered a record of 72-14.
Pacholski graduated from Rochester College in 2017 with a degree in business management and accounting. He also played baseball for the Warriors. He started his collegiate career at Jackson Community College. During his junior and senior seasons he received All-Conference and All-Academic honors.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Chris Ogden returned to the Wayne State University baseball coaching staff in the Fall of 2018 as a volunteer assistant coach after spending eight seasons with the program from 2004 to 2012. He coached on Jay Alexander's staff from 2004 until 2008. He will work primarily with the pitching staff with a focus on the bullpen. The 2020 campaign will be his 10th on the WSU baseball coaching staff.
Under his watch in 2011, Wayne State pitchers posted the lowest team ERA (3.99) in 36 years and tied the school record with 363 strikeouts. In 2010, the Warriors set new top-10 marks in the team record book for innings pitched (396.0 / 2nd), strikeouts (324 / 5th), saves (8 / T-6th), strikeout/walk ratio (1.79 / 9th) and complete games (17 / T-10th). He also mentored the 2010 GLIAC Pitcher of the Year, Justin Mazur.
Ogden is a 1998 gradate of Siena Height University in Adrian, Mich. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Saints at third base and on the mound, In 1997, Ogden, broke the record for home runs (13) and tied the record for doubles (19) in a season. Ogden earned First Team All-WHAC honors during his junior year and was named to the Honorable Mention team as a senior in 1998.
While at SHU, he also went on a three-week tour with Team America through Germany and Holland in 1996 and 1997.
He has conducted private instruction through his company, MVP Baseball (Troy, Mich,), which focuses on all facets of the game.
Ogden graduated from Detroit Country Day High School in 1993 where he was an All-State selection as a senior.
He resides in Auburn Hills with his daughter, Sara and two sons, Nick and Noah.