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Matt Ward begins his second year as an assistant coach with the Chattahoochee Valley Baseball Team. Matt Ward recently completed his fifth year as assistant coach/pitching coach for Carson Newman College. As pitching coach in his last year at CNC, the Eagles staff finished fifth in the conference in ERA and third in opponent batting average, .280.
In his first year as the Eagle pitching coach, the staff finished second in the conference in ERA and led the league in shutouts. In 2007, Ward’s staff finished 26th in the nation in ERA with a 3.61 and led the conference in saves with 13. Opponents’ batting average that year was .264. Ward’s staff finished third in the conference with an ERA of 4.29, and led the conference in saves with 15 in 2008.
Coach Ward has had three pitchers go on to professional baseball including two in the 2007 draft, Steve Cishek (5th Round, Florida Marlins) and Matt Teague (8th Round, San Diego Padres). In 2008, Brett Hontz was named First Team All-American and selected Pitcher of the Year in the South Region and South Atlantic Conference.
Ward, a 2001 Carson Newman College graduate, was a starting pitcher for the Eagles in 1997 and 1998. Arm surgery sidelined him for two years, but he came back to led the staff in ERA in 2001. After his senior year, he received the Frosty Holt Most Dedicated Award.
Before, returning to Carson Newman, Ward spent two years at Bainbridge High School in Georgia. Ward also coached at Mars Hill College for two years. The last year at Mars Hill, he helped them to set a school record for wins.
Coach Ward has been an invaluable addition to the Pirate coaching staff. He has become a team favorite amongst the pitchers. His forward thinking in the pitching game have the pitching staff primed to continue to be among the ACCC’s and NJCAA’s best.
A graduate of Union County High School in Lake Butler, Florida, Matt and his wife Julie have two sons, Carson and Cullen , and a daughter, Effie. The Ward’s make their home in Columbus, Georgia.