Brian Furlong, Head Coach
Coach Furlong begins his second year as Head Baseball Coach at Heartland Community College. During his first year at the helm he helped guide an inexperienced Hawks team to a 39-18 record and a 3rd place finish in the Region 24 Tournament – this after losing over 90% of the team’s at Bats and innings pitched from the prior season. Coach Furlong aided in the development of All Region and All Conference picks Carson Bartels, Zach Speaker, Drew Thomas, Josh Fewell, Ty Ramirez & Austin Covers.
Prior to Heartland, Coach Furlong Spent three years at Creighton University in Omaha, NE where he led two of the best pitching staffs in Creighton history, setting the lowest recorded ream ERA mark (1999-Present) with a team ERA of 3.15 in 2016, good for 11th at the NCAA Division I level. Creighton led the Big East Conference in ERA each year of Furlong’s tenure with the pitching staff improving in every statistical category while he served as pitching coach.
Furlong played an instrumental role in the development of the some of the best pitchers in Creighton history including five of the top seven career ERA leaders (As of 2017) David Gerber, Nick Highberger, Matt Warren, Ethan DeCaster & Rollie Lacy. Additionally, he coached three of the top four career winning percentage leaders (as of 2016) in Lacy, Highberger and Warren. David Gerber closed out his career as Creighton’s all time career ERA and saves leader. Multiple players were named All Conference & All Region during Coach Furlong’s time at Creighton with Rollie Lacy being named First Team All American in 2015. Ten players during Furlong’s stint at Creighton went on to play professionally, including five pitchers with Keith Rogalla (12th Rd Angels) and Rollie Lacy (11th Rd Cubs) being selected on the first day of the 2017 Draft.
Furlong spent the 2013 season as the Director of Baseball Operations at his alma mater, the University of Iowa, his first position in college baseball after spending the previous 8 years as Director of Player Development and eventually owner of a sports training academy in Iowa. During this period, he honed his teaching and coaching skills by providing over 10,000 hours of developmental training to youth, high school and collegiate athletes. Directly after his playing career, Furlong was a Baseball Operations intern in the Cape Code Baseball League.
During his playing career, Furlong played at four schools in four years beginning his career at Iowa State University which subsequently dropped the program in 2001. After Iowa State, he spent a year at Triton College in River Grove, IL under legendary junior college Coach Bob Symonds. After graduating from Triton, Furlong moved on to Creighton University and finally on to the University of Iowa where he spent the final two years of his playing career. Throughout college, he was named to the Academic All Conference Teams in the Big 12, Missouri Valley and Big 10.
Coach Furlong on the JUCO Path and the Heartland Advantage:
“I had a tremendous experience playing at the junior college level and have felt strongly for years about the benefit this path offers,” says Furlong. We believe we are able to create an incredibly developmental environment while offering players an opportunity to impact a lineup earlier in their career, which we believe accelerates our ability to develop both quality baseball players and outstanding people. We have a very fortunate situation at Heartland with Division I level facilities and a beautiful campus in a tremendous city and we believe we are able to offer one of the finest college baseball experiences in the country.”
Jimmy Frankos, Assistant Coach
Jimmy Frankos is entering his first season as assistant coach at Heartland and will serve as the hitting and catching coach. Prior to coming to HCC, Frankos was a 4-year student-athlete at the University of Iowa where he was team captain of the baseball team and earned a Big Ten Co-Player of the Week recognition. Frankos served as the Hawkeyes starting catcher during one of the most successful stretches in University of Iowa Baseball history as the Hawks won over 100 games during his final 3 years while reaching the NCAA Regional final in 2015. Over his career Frankos managed the top two pitching staffs in Iowa history setting team records for strikeouts and ERA. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Leadership with a minor in Sports Studies.
Frankos has 3 seasons of coaching experience under his belt, having served as the assistant coach for the Maine South High School varsity baseball team in Park Ridge, IL, and the head coach of a 17U travel baseball team, the Illinois Indians. He is entering his first season coaching at the collegiate level.
Fankos is a native of Park Ridge, IL.