Sam Houston State announced Friday afternoon that it has hired Matt Deggs as its new head coach, replacing David Pierce, who left for the head job at Tulane. Deggs spent the last two full seasons as the hitting coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he oversaw the nation's best offense and helped lead the Ragin' Cajuns to a program-record 58 wins in 2014.
Deggs spent three years as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Arkansas from 2003-05, then six years on Rob Childress' staff at Texas A&M from 2006-11. Everywhere he goes, his teams play an aggressive style that he has dubbed a "pack mentality" offense. His teams play a full-court press from the start of the game to the finish, attacking opponents with stolen bases, drag bunts, home runs and everything in between.
Deggs inherits a program that has won three straight Southland Conference titles and played in three straight regions, winning 121 games in that stretch. The Bearkats have been to six regionals in the last eight years.
"This is such an exciting opportunity," Deggs said in a release. "The two schools (SHSU and ULL) are comparable, from a facility standpoint, from a fan-base standpoint and from the support of the administration. Sam Houston is in such a great location, being a part of the Houston area and in the heart of the state of Texas. I'm going to come in and make the most of it."
Deggs also has head coaching experience at Texarkana JC, which he led to its first-ever trip to the Junior College World Series. He started his coaching career on Dave Van Horn's staff at Northwestern State in 1996-97. His recruiting ties in Texas from his days at Arkansas and Texas A&M will benefit him at SHSU.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to lead the Bearkats in this new era of baseball and to be a great steward of the program that Mark Johnson and David Pierce did such a great job leading," Deggs said. "We're ready to hit the ground running."