Harris Teeter Athletes of the Week
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Matt Heath
Position: Assistant Coach
Alma Mater: LSU
Graduating Year: 2002
Phone: 843-953-6722
Email: heathm@cofc.edu
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Heath Photos

In 2014, Matt Heath completed 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).

Over the last four seasons, Heath's pitching staffs have a cumulative ERA of 3.58. The Cougars led the SoCon in ERA in 2012 and 2013, and then set a new school record with an ERA of 2.73 in 2014, ranking 18th in the nation. Over those four seasons, Heath has coached a National Freshman Pitcher of the Year, a freshman All-American, a SoCon Pitcher of the Year and 10 All-Conference pitchers.

In 2014, CofC's pitching staff helped carry the Cougars to one of the best seasons in program history. College of Charleston advanced to the NCAA Lubbock Super Regional behind a phenomenal weekend rotation made up of a redshirt-sophomore and two true freshmen. CofC broke a number of school records in ERA (2.73), opposing batting average (.224), walks per nine innings (2.55), WHIP (1.10) and tied the school record for saves (20). Charleston's ERA ranked 18th in the nation, while the WHIP ranked seventh and CofC's strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.89 ranked ninth in the country.

In eight postseason games against the nation's second-best offense (William & Mary), the SEC Champions (No. 8 Florida), and the Big 12's top offense (No. 10 Texas Tech), CofC's pitching staff posted an ERA of 1.90 with 44 strikeouts against just 14 walks.

2014's success was spearheaded by NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year Bailey Ober. Ober finished third in the CofC record book with a 1.53 ERA, while he set new school records in opposing batting average (.192) and WHIP (0.86). His WHIP ranked eighth in the nation, while his ERA led all freshmen pitchers. Ober teamed with Taylor Clarke to become the first pair of 10-game winners on the same team in school history. Freshman Tyler Thornton finished second in school history with a WHIP of 1.00 to go with crucial wins in the CAA and Regional title games. Senior Michael Hanzlik led the bullpen with a school-record 16 saves, ranking eighth in the country. 

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 top three 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.”

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