Matt Heath begins his fourth year at the College of Charleston as CofC’s pitching coach. This is his second stint with the program, boasting an impressive track record of coaching surrounding professional experience as a player and scout. He is one of the rare coaches that has coached both hitting and pitching and had success on both sides of the ball. Heath has experience playing for two college coaches that have won a total of 7 National Championships in LSU’s Skip Bertman (5) and Florida’s Andy Lopez (2).
Since Heath has taken over the Cougar pitching staff in the last three seasons of the BBCOR era, the Cougars have placed no lower than third in the SoCon each year in ERA. In fact, CofC led the league in ERA in back-to-back seasons with a 4.20 mark in 2013 and a 3.21 mark in 2012, which ranked 29th in the nation. During the past three seasons, CofC’s pitchers boasted the league’s top average marks in ERA (3.89), lowest batting average against (.258), lowest walks per nine innings (3.16), and highest number of strikeouts per nine innings (7.83).
The 2013 pitching staff saw continued success despite losing over half the staff from the 2012 season to the pro ranks. They led the SoCon for the second-straight year in ERA (4.20), batting average against (.264) and had the lowest number of walks with 167. The staff finished 21st in the nation with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.63. Senior starter Jake Zokan was drafted in the ninth round by the Seattle Mariners, while senior Matt Pegler had earned preseason All-America honors.
The 2012 season showcased one of the best, if not the best, pitching staffs in program history. Four pitchers signed professional contracts after the season with Christian Powell winning the SoCon Pitcher of the Year award. Matt Pegler and Kyle Owings joined Powell on the All-Conference squad as the staff posted the second-lowest batting average against in league history (.241) while ranking nationally in ERA (26th), strikeout-to-walk ratio (17th) and strikeouts per nine innings (17th).
Heath initially came to College of Charleston in 2006 after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Tallahassee Community College. In his first stint with the Cougars, he worked primarily with the hitters and the Cougars excelled under his guidance. The offense was ranked nationally in numerous categories and broke multiple school and conference records.
After two years, Heath accepted an assistant coaching position at Auburn, working with hitters, fielders, and catchers during the 2009 season, leading the Tigers to national rankings in several categories and breaking numerous school records.
After the 2009 season, Heath took a job scouting with the Astros covering North Florida before returning to College of Charleston for the 2011 season.
As a player and native of Fernandina Beach, FL, Heath attended Fernandina Beach High School where he was named North Florida Player of the Year. After graduation, he played at Florida for two years before transferring to LSU, where he was a two-time All-SEC Tournament selection, making the team as a catcher in 2001 and outfielder the next season. In 2002, he led LSU in home runs and runs scored, and was also selected to the NCAA Regional All-tournament Team at the Baton Rouge Regional.
After playing at LSU, Heath signed a pro contract and played in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization for two seasons.
Heath earned his Bachelor’s degree in General Studies from LSU. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have one daughter, Everett “EB.”