TEXAS CITY– A nearly 20-year coaching journey for Texas City native Matt Deggs has now resulted in a dream position as head coach for a successful Division I program.
Sam Houston State University announced Friday that Deggs would be taking over as its head baseball coach.
Deggs, who played baseball for the Stings from 1987-90, began his coaching career in 1996 after a three-year stint playing independent league professional baseball. Deggs’ coaching odyssey has seen him take on assistant roles at Northwestern State, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Louisiana-Lafayette, as well as a head coaching job at Texarkana College.
All along the way, though, it was the support system forged in Texas City that Deggs said kept him plugging away.
“It’s been a long 20-year grind, and I could have never done it without the support of my family, my friends and those closest to me,” Deggs said. “I’m a Texas City boy, and I always will be.”
One of the major appeals of taking over the Sam Houston State program, Deggs said, was the fact he will be much closer to his hometown.
The Bearkats also boast recent success on the NCAA’s Division I level.
Deggs takes the helm of a Sam Houston State baseball program that has made the NCAA regionals three seasons in a row, two of which saw the Bearkats come within one win of reaching the super regionals stage of the tournament.
He replaces former SHSU head coach David Pierce, who left to take over the head job at Tulane.
In his most recent stop at UL-Lafayette, Deggs was the hitting coach for the No. 1 offense in NCAA baseball the past two season and plans to implement his high-octane style of play at Sam Houston State.
“We play a very exciting brand of baseball; it’s a very aggressive style,” Deggs said. “We’re going to swing hard in case we hit it, and we’ll bunt on you and we’ll steal bases, as well. So, that’s something, personnel-wise, we’ll take a look at and, hopefully, continue to do.”
In 2014, Deggs played an integral role for a Ragin’ Cajuns squad that amassed a 58-10 record and were ranked No. 1 in the nation before an upset in the super regionals in the NCAA tournament.
Deggs was at UL-Lafayette from 2012-14, at Texas A&M from 2006-11, at Arkansas from 2003-05, at Texarkana College from 1998-2002 and at Northwestern State from 1996-97.