Xan Barksdale completed his fifth season with the Cardinals as an assistant coach in 2011. Following the season, he departed to accept an assistant coach position at East Tennessee State.
He joined the Cardinal staff after spending three seasons in the Atlanta Braves system. He works with the Cardinal catchers and assists with the hitters as well as other administrative duties.
During the 2010 season, Louisville catcher Jeff Arnold earned Second Team All-BIG EAST recognition after hitting .306 with three home runs and 32 RBI. Following the season, Arnold was selected in the 26th Round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the San Francisco Giants.
In 2009, Arnold earned All-BIG EAST Tournament honors and was a Preseason All-BIG EAST selection for 2010. Under the guidance of Barksdale, Louisville catchers had a stretch of 77 consecutive games from 2007 to 2009 without committing an error behind the plate.
In 2008, Louisville catcher Derrick Alfonso earned first-team All-BIG EAST honors throwing out an impressive 20 of 32 baserunners while working with Barksdale. During the 2007 season, Alfonso was named second-team All-BIG EAST, throwing out 29 of 60 would-be baserunners.
Barksdale signed a free agent contract with the Braves in July of 2004 and competed for the Braves minor league affiliates in the Gulf Coast (GCL Braves), South Atlantic (Rome) and Carolina Leagues (Myrtle Beach). He played the final two seasons with former Cardinal Mark Jurich.
Prior to his pro career, he played for two seasons at Ole Miss while current Cardinal head coach Dan McDonnell was an assistant. He was named most dedicated in 2004 and completed his bachelor's degree in marketing with a minor in math.
Following high school, Barksdale attended Holmes Community College for two seasons - the same JUCO that Roy Oswalt attended. While at Holmes, he earned an associate's degree in engineering, was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honorary fraternity away from the field and was a two-time All-State selection and All-Region honoree in 2002 on the field.
He was All-State and All-Conference and was selected to play in an All-Star Game following his senior season at Madison Ridgeland Academy in Madison, Miss. Barksdale was born on December 7, 1981, in Memphis, Tenn.
Along with his duties with U of L, Barksdale has developed the product called Catcher's Thumb (www.CatchersThumb.com) and has a catching website (www.catching-101.com) that is devoted to helping catchers all over the country improve their skills with videos, articles, drills, etc.