Hobbs and Hammond Added to Wake Forest Coaching Staff
Sept. 9, 2014
By Nick Sebesta, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Matt Hobbs, formerly the pitching coach at the University of Missouri, has joined Wake Forest baseball as the new pitching coach, head coach Tom Walter announced on Tuesday. Also joining the staff is Joey Hammond who will be the new volunteer assistant coach.
Hobbs has spent the last four seasons as the pitching coach at Missouri where he had seven of his pitchers drafted in three seasons and he has guided four players to All-Conference honors.
"To be able to add two people to our staff with the baseball experience and acumen of Matt Hobbs and Joey Hammond is a direct reflection of the commitment Wake Forest has made to baseball," said head coach Tom Walter.
In Missouri's first year in the SEC in 2013, Hobbs helped mentor Rob Zastryzny who was selected with the second pick of the second round in last year's draft. Hobbs also helped guide pitcher Keaton Steele to All-SEC First Team honors as Steele was the only player in the nation to lead his team in wins, saves and homers at the plate.
"Matt is on the cutting edge of developing elite throwers," said Walter. "He has a proven track of velocity improvement and his pitchers will be both mentally and physically tough. With the addition of our player development center in the near future and Matt to our coaching staff, all the pieces are in place for Wake Forest to be the next great destination for top-flight arms."
Hobbs pitched at Missouri from 1999-2002, where he won 13 games and struck out 125 batters. Hobbs was also drafted twice, first by the San Diego Padres in 2001 and then by the Kansas City Royals in 2002. After finishing his career as a player, he made coaching stops at schools such as UC-San Diego and San Francisco before heading back to his alma mater.
The Missouri pitching staff in 2013 ranked among the best in recent Mizzou history with a 3.87 ERA in 50 games. Hobbs inherits a pitching staff for Wake Forest that had a collective ERA of 3.82 in 2014 which was the best mark in school history since 1980. The Demon Deacons also have young arms such as Aaron Fossas, Parker Dunshee, Will Craig, Max Tishman, Garrett Kelly and veteran Matt Pirro.
Wake Forest also welcomes Matt's wife Marta and their daughters Addison and Taylor.
Also joining the Wake Forest coaching staff is Joey Hammond, who will be the volunteer assistant coach. Hammond joins Wake Forest after spending five seasons as the head coach of Westchester Country Day School.
"Joey's passion and energy are what makes him special," said Walter. "He brings 11 years of professional playing experience as well as three state championships as a local high school coach. Most importantly, he has a way of communicating with these young men that make every one of them want to run through a brick wall for him."
Hammond was drafted in the 25th round of the 1998 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles and spent eight seasons with the Orioles and three with the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent the last eight seasons of his baseball playing career at the AA and AAA levels while playing at least 100 games at each infield position and over 150 games in the outfield.
In his playing career, Hammond was a .274 hitter and collected over 1,100 hits. He was voted to the Reading Phillies All-Decade team (2000's) alongside current pros Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels.
During his time at Westchester Country Day School, he helped lead the Wildcats to the Final Four of the NCISAA 2A Championship each year and won the past three state championships.
Hammond resides in Greensboro his wife Rebecca and three sons, Caleb (9), Josh (7) and Mason (3).
Wake Forest begins fall practice later in September.
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