Mark Flatten enters his fourth season at UT Arlington as an assistant coach in 2009-10. Flatten serves primarily as the team's hitting and infield coach.
Flatten coached three hitters in 2009 that were named first team Southland All-Conference, including Matt Otteman, Andrew Kainer and Michael Choice.
Otteman was the SLC batting champion with a .432 batting average, which is the third highest average in SLC history and ranks second in the all-time UTA single-season record books. Kainer batted .417, but his senior campaign will most be remembered for breaking the all-time school and conference hitting streak record with a 36-game hit streak that lasted for two months (March 7 - May 7). Choice, who enters 2009 as the school's all-time career batting leader (.396 batting average), batted .413 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI before joining the USA Baseball National Collegiate Team in the summer of 2009. Choice is the first player from UTA and the second player ever from the SLC to play for Team USA.
Otteman, Kainer and Choice became the first set of teammates in UTA history to hit over .400 in a season. In fact, before 2009, only three hitters in UTA history had ever hit .400 in a season. Otteman, the SLC batting champ, was joined in the SLC top four batters by both Kainer and Choice who finished third and fourth, respectively. It is the second straight season that Flatten has coached three of the top five hitters in the SLC.
Flatten helped mold an offense that hit .306 in 2009, which is the highest team batting average at UTA since 2003, when the Mavericks hit .324 - the school's single-season record. The 2009 team made it a habit of getting on-base as well, which was evident by their 65 hit-by-pitches - set a school record - and with their .375 on-base percentage, which is the highest by a Maverick team since 2003.
UT Arlington hitters were found in almost every Southland Conference top-10 list, especially Otteman, Kainer and Choice. Kainer set a school record and ranked second in the SLC with 23 doubles. Otteman led the league with eight triples and was second with 69 RBI - which matched the UTA school record. Choice was second in on-base percentage (.492) while Otteman (.478) and Kainer (.474) were also in the top five in the conference. Choice was fifth in the SLC in runs scored (64) and all three were in the top nine in the conference in base hits.
Flatten, the team's infield instructor, guided UT Arlington to a SLC best .971 fielding percentage. It was the school's third best fielding percentage all-time. The Mavericks .976 fielding percentage in conference play, was .006 better than the second place team while committing a conference-low 30 errors in 1,275 chances defensively.
In Flatten's first season as hitting coach in 2008, the Mavericks made dramatic improvements at the plate from the previous season, which included a .026 higher batting average, scoring 110 more runs, collecting 99 more base hits and tallying 29 more extra-base hits.
Perhaps his top accomplishment in 2008 was mentoring three of the Southland Conference's top seven hitters, which was more than any other team in the SLC had in the top 10. Michael Choice ranked third (.376), four-year letterwinner and first baseman David McLeod finished fourth (.375) and senior designated hitter Danny Slinkman (.370) ranked seventh in the league.
Flatten worked with the nation's toughest batter to strikeout, as senior David McLeod led the NCAA with only five strikeouts in 200 at-bats.
Also in 2008, Flatten worked with arguably the best freshman position player in UT Arlington history as Choice finished the season on five Freshman All-American teams, named the SLC Freshman of the Year, and led the Mavs in all three triple-crown categories (.376, 7 HR, 51 RBI).
Choice, a Second Team All-SLC selection, collected Freshman All-American honors from Rivals.com, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (first team), Baseball America (second team), Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger and PING! (second team). He is only the second freshman in UT Arlington history to earn Freshman All-American recognition.
Three of Flatten's hitters garnered SLC All-Conference honors, including Choice (second team), Slinkman (third team) and McLeod (honorable mention).
In 30 SLC games, the Mavericks ranked tied for fourth in hits (316), tied for fourth in doubles (61) and was tied for second in triples (10). Individually, Slinkman was ninth during league play with a .375 batting average, and his .497 on-base percentage led the SLC and ranked 41st in the NCAA. McLeod led the conference in doubles per game in SLC play (0.53) and tallied the fourth highest batting average (.394) against conference opponents.
Flatten came to Arlington after spending the summer of 2006 as an assistant coach with the Plano Blue Sox of the Texas Collegiate League.
Prior to his time in the TCL, Flatten spent three summers as the head coach of the Orange County Connie Mack team, Trombly Baseball. In 2005, Flatten led his team to the Orange County, California State and Western Region championships, while finishing as the runner-up at the Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, N.M.
Flatten spent six years as a high school coach in California where he compiled a 102-63 record while spending three years each at Lutheran High School (2003-05) and at Pacifica High School (2000-02).
Flatten's teams never finished below third place in the league and he guided his team to four appearances in the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs, reaching the state semifinals in 2004.
Flatten is no stranger to the college ranks as he served as a volunteer assistant on Tim Jamieson's staff at Missouri. Flatten worked with middle infielders and outfielders, while also serving as the first base coach for teams that reached the Big 12 Tournament in 1998 and 1999.
Flatten played collegiately at Missouri Valley College where he earned all-conference honors as a second baseman. While in college, Flatten played his summer ball for the Evansville (Ind.) Outlaws where he helped lead the team to the 1995 National Baseball Congress World Series. He also earned MVP honors at the 1996 United States Baseball Congress World Series.
After graduation, Flatten spent one season playing professionally for the Ohio Valley Redcoats of the Frontier League.
As a prep standout at Pacifica High School, Flatten was a three-sport athlete, earning all-league honors in baseball, basketball and football, while being named the school's athlete of the year in 1990.
Flatten graduated from Missouri Valley College in December 1996 with a bachelor's degree in physical education/certified in physical education (K-12).
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