NATCHITOCHES, La (KMSS/KTAL) – A new era of Northwestern State baseball officially ushered in, with a familiar face. After seven seasons as the top Demon Assistant, Chris Bertrand received a promotion, becoming the Demon skipper.

“I’m not in this for Demon baseball, I’m not in this for Bert, I’m in this for the Demons,” Bertrand said regarding his commitment to Demon Athletics as a whole. “I feel that way, my wife and my kids feel that way.”

“I think you’re going to see toughness and I think you’re going to see some grit,” said Bertrand on the kind of team Demon fans can expect on the diamond. “I think you’re going to see our guys play fast and play hard.”

With Bobby Barbier leaving to become the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana, it adds to a long list of coaches who have gone on to take other jobs, using NSU as a stepping stone. The list includes Louisiana Tech’s Lane Burroughs, and Arkansas’ Dave Van Horn.

Athletic Director Kevin Bostian’s job is to make Northwestern State the destination and he hopes Bertrand can lay a foundation of stability for years to come.

“We want to keep our coaches and we want to be successful,” said Bostian. Who has already had to replace a head women’s soccer coach, head men’s basketball coach, and head baseball coach in his first year as AD. “Every AD for every sport has a file cabinet of their top 5 people and for baseball it was simple,” Bostian said of the search process in hiring Bertrand. “We didn’t talk to anybody else, we didn’t look at anybody else.”

“I’m going to pour into it as long as Kevin will have me and as long as this community will have me,” Bertrand said of his commitment to Natchitoches. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to put a product on the field and into the community that Demon people are proud of.”

Hard work at multiple levels of college baseball led to this moment for Chris Bertrand. The former BPCC Cavalier spent seven years as an assistant at LSU Shreveport, and has head coaching experience at Division III UT-Tyler. Next year, he’ll get to pencil in a Division I lineup card at Northwestern State.