Former All-American and professional hurler Jason Arnold has made an immediate impact in his first two seasons as Georgia State's pitching coach after taking over in the summer of 2010, including leading the staff to the lowest team ERA in school history (4.29) in 2011.
Under Arnold's direction, GSU also set school records in 2011 by tossing seven shutouts and allowing just 284 runs, 245 earned. The team also yielded a record-low 25 home runs and 31 wild pitches on the season. The Panthers finished among the top three in 13 conference pitching categories, including holding opposing batters to a .272 average.
Arnold's influence may have been most profound on right-handed starter Will Campbell, as the senior flourished in his final season at GSU to become one of the Colonial Athletic Association's top pitchers. Campbell tied a school record by winning nine games, recorded a team-low 2.86 ERA, and earned All-CAA second team honors.
Additionally, Arnold transitioned junior right-hander Justin Malone into a starting pitcher with great success, after Malone had become GSU's all-time saves leader in his first two seasons at closer. In 2011, Malone went 7-1 while becoming the first pitcher in school history to be named CAA Pitcher of the Week three times in one season.
Junior closer Jake Dyer earned All-CAA third team honors in his first season working with Arnold, saving the second-most games in school single season history (8). GSU would win 31 of 32 contests when holding a lead after six innings and converted all 33 chances successfully when leading after eight.
The Panthers pitching staff began 2011 with 20.2 straight scoreless innings, another school record.
After losing 70% of his pitching staff from the year before to graduation and injury, Arnold returned in 2012 with a unique challenge. The Panthers welcomed eight new pitchers into the fold- five freshmen and three sophomores.
The staff amassed 24 wins, eight saves, four complete games and two shutouts, keeping GSU in playoff contention until the final day of the regular season.
GSU pitchers held top-10 squads Georgia and Georgia Tech to just four combined earned runs in early season action, knocking off the #9 Yellow Jackets by a 5-4 score.
Arnold oversaw senior Ben Marshall's breakout campaign, in which the right-hander posted five wins and four complete games in a team-high 92.1 innings. He also had two shutouts, including a one-hit bid in a 1-0 Panther win over William & Mary.
Before the season, senior Jake Dyer earned the school's first-ever NCBWA Preseason All-American nod, as well as a spot on the Stopper of the Year Watch List and an all-conference selection. Dyer went on to record a team-high six wins and three saves, finishing as the school's all-time ERA leader at 3.87 in his two seasons under Arnold.
Arnold guided the development of freshmen starters Max Schmitz and Jerry Stuckey, two right-handers who were pressed into action right away and made 16 starts, including seven in conference play. Freshman Connor Stanley also flourished, posting three wins in relief and a team-low .238 average against.
Marshall and Schmitz each earned CAA weekly awards during the year.
Arnold was hired to serve as the Panthers' pitching coach in July, 2010 after two years at Bethune-Cookman University.
Arnold, a native of Melbourne, Fla., played baseball collegiately at the University of Central Florida from 1998-2001, while Greg Frady was an assistant coach for the Golden Knights.
"It was a great honor to coach Jason," says Frady. "He did everything right. He was a very good student while being very competitive on the field and a hard worker in the weight room. He was also a tremendous leader, while serving as captain of a team that won 51 games and was ranked top-10 nationally."
Arnold finished his degree at UCF in 2006, following parts of six seasons in the minor leagues, including two stints on Major League Baseball 40-man rosters.
Arnold was drafted in the second round of the 2001 amateur baseball and signed with the New York Yankees. After being traded to the Oakland Athletics in July of 2002, he was traded again to the Toronto Blue Jays in December of 2002. During his stint in the minor leagues, he compiled a career record of 29-26 with a 3.33 ERA in over 530 innings pitched, striking out 465 and walking just 179.
After retiring from professional baseball in 2006, he spent two years as a high school English teacher and head baseball coach at Cocoa High School in Cocoa, Fla., compiling a 19-8 season record in 2008. He was also the founder and head coach of the elite summer showcase team, the Brevard Aces.
Arnold spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. He helped lead the Wildcats to back-to-back MEAC regular season and tournament championships, making a pair of NCAA Regional berths.
In 2009, the team finished the year 18th in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings, while allowing the 27th fewest hits allowed per nine innings and setting a school record with 482 strikeouts. The Wildcats led the MEAC in every major pitching statistical category and had a pair of senior pitchers drafted.
In 2010, the Wildcats finished 21st in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings, while only 31 of the 473 innings pitched were thrown by seniors.
Arnold was a two-time all-american while at UCF and the only player in the history of the Atlantic Sun Conference (previously the TAAC) to earn all-conference honors four times.
He became the only pitcher to ever be inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006 after an illustrious college career that was highlighted by the Golden Knights' 51-win season in 2001. UCF advanced to the regional final during that season and was ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation for several weeks.
Arnold is married to the former Jennifer Daniels. The couple has two children, Sydney and Grant.