Jon Copeland begins his second season at the helm of Suns Baseball. Copeland started the program at FCC, after his hiring in February of 2011, and continued his impressive coaching career as the Suns ended their inaugural 2012 season with a winning record (including a regular season filled with NCAA DII and NAIA opponents), a #2 national ranking and a Runner-Up finish at the NCCAA College World Series. The 2012 Suns also produced the South Region Player of the Year, four All-Americans, six All-South Region players and two All-Tournament selections from the College World Series. The national Runner-Up finish, Region Player of the Year and All-Americans were the first in FCC Athletic history.
A native of southern California, Jon played four years of collegiate baseball at Biola University in La Miranda, California where he graduated with degrees in English and Physical Education. Upon graduation, and after his playing career had ended with stints in Texas and California; and in Europe with Athletes in Action, Jon spent the next eight seasons coaching in southern California at the high school level, five of them as a Head Coach- with three trips to the postseason.
Jon’s next stop was as an Assistant Coach/Assistant Head Coach at his alma mater, Biola University, where he helped lead the Eagles to four conference championships in a row and a #4 final NAIA ranking during the 2001 season. After Biola, Copeland spent one year at NCAA DI, University of California-Irvine, under the leadership of current UCLA Head Baseball Coach John Savage. Jon was then privileged with an opportunity to build a baseball program from the ground up at NCAA DII Colorado Christian University as the Assistant Head Coach.
In 2006, Copeland was named the Head Coach at Nyack College in New York, where he turned a perennial losing program into a national contender in only three seasons. Jon compiled an impressive list of accomplishments while at Nyack, most notably a semi-final finish at the NCAA DII CACC Championship Tournament. Under Copeland’s leadership, the Warriors also earned consecutive NCCAA Regional appearances, a #4 national ranking, and an invitation to the NCCAA College World Series as a team. He also produced a CACC Player of the Year, a CACC Pitcher of the Year, nine All-CACC players, six NCAA Div.II All-Region players, ten NCCAA All-Region players, and a NCAA DII All-American, during the most honored three seasons in Nyack College baseball history. After spending the ‘09-‘10 season at powerhouse Vanderbilt University under the tutelage of legendary coach, Tim Corbin, Jon was an assistant scout in Major League Baseball.
Jon currently has a coaching record with a .631 winning pct., and he picked up head coaching win no. 200 against NCAA DII opponent, St. Leo, last season.
Jon and his wife, the former Stephanie Nickel, have a son, Joshua (10), and a daughter, Sydney (8). Jon’s wife Stephanie is a worship leader at a local church, a voice teacher at FCC, and a professional vocalist.
What some of the top college baseball coaches in the country have to say about Jon:
“Having been around Jon Copeland, I have developed a great appreciation for him as a person and his knowledge of the game. Jon possesses genuine human qualities that make him a strong candidate to lead young student athletes at the highest level. Over the span of years that Jon has been a head coach, he has had to work in situations that are very restrictive in nature and demand a lot of creativity in order to have success. Although working with minimal scholarship money, limited budget and recruiting resources, Jon has shown the capacity to upgrade his programs each year. During my time of getting to know him and interacting with him on a daily basis, I can fully understand why he is a successful human being. He is very diligent and passionate in his approach to coaching and committed to the students development. Jon has a genuine desire to be a college coach and the strong knowledge base that he has attained will continue to lead him in this direction. He conducts himself in a first class manner and is well respected by his peers throughout college baseball.”
Head Coach, Vanderbilt University (2003-currently)
2000 Collegiate Baseball Assistant Coach of the Year (Clemson)
NCAA Div. I Regional- 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, NCAA Div .I
2007 SEC Coach of the Year
“At UC-Irvine, Jon gained valuable experience and knowledge in the areas of pitching, hitting, defense, recruiting, practice organization, individual and team practice preparation, and game preparation at the Division I level. Jon’s involvement with our team showed him to be a very personable, intelligent, honest, generous, and hard-working individual who is respected by both players and staff. As a Division I head coach I have a personal understanding of what it takes to be one, and Jon has what it takes. His results speak for themselves. Not only is Jon a proven winner, but he is also a proven program builder. Success follows him wherever he goes.”
Head Coach, University of California- Irvine (2002-2004)
University of California- Los Angeles (2005-currently)
1998 Collegiate Baseball Assistant Coach of the Year (USC)
NCAA Div. I Regional- 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, NCAA Div. I Super Regional- 2008
NCAA College World Series- 2010
“Jon was an integral part of a coaching staff that worked with 12 players who were drafted or signed professional baseball contracts. In the five years that Jon was my assistant at Biola our infielders broke the single season record for double plays, and our defense set three consecutive school records for fielding percentage (.961 in ‘98, .970 in ’99- no. 2 in the nation , .978 in ‘00- no. 1 in the nation). Jon coached 9 infielders who were named All-Conference and 3 NAIA All-Americans. Biola’s overall record in Jon’s tenure as an assistant for me was 180-78. Jon was well-liked and highly respected by all our players and the rest of my coaching staff. His integrity and overall knowledge of the game of baseball are impeccable.”
Head Coach, Biola University (1998-currently)
5-time Golden State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year
NAIA World Series, 2001, ’03, ‘05
Contact Coach Copeland via email at
or by phone at 407-569-1345.