Derek Matlock enters his fifth season as an assistant coach with the West Virginia baseball team, serving as the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach.
During his first four seasons with the Mountaineers, the pitching staff has seen remarkable success, including the production of nine MLB draftees.
A 36-22 campaign in 2016 was fueled by stellar pitching, as WVU reached its first ever Big 12 Championship Game. Junior Chad Donato led the way, striking out a Big 12-best 111 batters, tied for the fifth-most in a single season in program history. Donato was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and was drafted in the 11th round by the Houston Astros.
WVU also recorded 13 saves, the second-most in program history. Senior Blake Smith’s eight saves was second-most in team history, and he was drafted in the 29th round by the Los Angeles Angels.
Several more of Matlock’s pitchers earned postseason accolades. Senior Ross Vance was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team, the Big 12 All-Tournament Team and signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Michael Grove was named to the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Team, the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team and was a two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, while Conner Dotson earned Big 12 All-Tournament Team honors. Five more pitchers were recognized on the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team.
In 2015, the pitching staff helped lead WVU to a 27-27 record and a third consecutive Big 12 Championship berth.
With a 3.95 ERA, Matlock led the pitching staff to a third consecutive season with an ERA below 4.00.
Following an impressive season, freshman right-hander BJ Myers earned Freshmen All-America accolades. Myers was named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger.
Additionally, junior closer Blake Smith was picked in the 24th round of the MLB Draft by Washington.
West Virginia finished 28-26 in 2014, while the pitching staff completed the season with a 3.73 ERA to rank sixth in the Big 12.
The pitching staff posted its lowest earned-run average (3.73) since 1974, marking the first back-to-back under 4.00 ERA seasons since 1973-74. Additionally, the 198 earned runs allowed were the least since 1992.
On draft day Harrison Musgrave was picked in the eighth round, John Means went in the 11th round, Sean Carley was drafted in the 14th round and Corey Walter was chosen in the 28th round.
In his first season with WVU in 2013, Matlock helped the Mountaineers finish with a 33-26 record, only the fifth 30-win season since 1999. Following the season Carley and Musgrave were drafted, electing to not sign and remain at West Virginia.
The pitching staff posted a 3.88 earned-run average and lowest opponent batting average (.256) since 1993. The starting rotation finished with six shutouts, which ranks No. 2 all-time, while the bullpen recorded 11 saves, ranking No. 3 all-time.
WVU held its opponents to two or fewer runs 19 times while posting an 18-1 record. It marked the most times West Virginia held its opponent to two or fewer runs in a season since 1994 (23).
Musgrave became the first WVU pitcher to earn All-America honors since 1997, completing the year with a 9-1 record, posting a 2.17 ERA and tossing three complete games. In 95.1 innings of work, Musgrave struck out 81 batters and allowed just 65 hits. Musgrave also earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors after earning Big 12 Pitcher of the Week four times and National Pitcher of the Week three times.
Matlock coached five consecutive conference pitcher of the year honorees from 2009-13.
Matlock came to Morgantown after spending five straight winning seasons as the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach for Texas State.
The Bobcats won four Southland Conference Championships, including the 2011 SLC regular season and tournament championships, and earned two berths to NCAA Regional Tournaments (2009 and 2011). Additionally, the Bobcats twice won a program-best 41 games in one season during Matlock’s time at Texas State.
In total, Matlock recruited five All-Americans while with the Bobcats, including pitchers Kane Holbrooks, Carson Smith and Travis Ballew. All three also earned the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year honors, with Holbrooks winning in 2009, Smith in 2010 and 2011 and Ballew in 2012.
Matlock had eight Bobcat pitchers selected in the MLB Draft under his watch. Smith was chosen in the eighth round of the 2011 draft, the highest-selected pitcher under Matlock. In the 2012 draft, pitchers Ballew, Colton Turner and Louis Head each were chosen.
Matlock’s pitching staff earned high praise in 2012, as it put together 57.2 consecutive scoreless innings on the mound, just 6.1 innings short of the NCAA record of 64 innings. Included in the streak were wins over Houston, No. 18 TCU, Notre Dame and No. 4 Rice.
The 2012 Bobcat squad set a program record for team ERA (3.02), besting the previous mark of 3.73 set in 2011. Matlock’s pitching staff also set two of the top-three strikeout totals at Texas State, setting the program record in 2011 with 494 punchouts before recording 462 strikeouts in 2012, the third-best program mark. In total, his pitchers own the team’s top ranking in numerous categories for both single season and career records, including strikeouts, ERA, shutouts and saves.
Known for his recruiting skills, Matlock’s had classes ranked high in Texas State annals. Among his most prized recruits were Tyler Sibley (2009 Freshman All-American), Kyle Kubitza (3rd round draft selection in 2011), Casey Kalenkosky (2011 All-American), Jeff McVaney (8th round draft selection in 2012) and Smith (two-time Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year).
Matlock came to Texas State from TCU, where he served as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons (2005-07). While there, the Horned Frogs won back-to-back Mountain West Conference championships and made the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Matlock spent two memorable summers as manager of the Denton Outlaws, a member organization of the Texas Collegiate League. He became the second-most successful coach in TCL history after leading the squad to a 78-63 regular-season record and two TCL championship appearances. The Outlaws won the TCL championship in 2005, and Matlock was named the TCL Coach of the Year both seasons.
Before moving to the collegiate coaching ranks, Matlock was the head coach at Flower Mound High (Texas). After starting the school’s baseball program in 1999, he led the Jaguars to national top-25 rankings from 2002-04 and three straight playoff appearances. The 2004 squad finished second in the state after falling to Corpus Christi Moody in the Class 5A Championship Game.
Matlock began his career as the head coach at Eastern Hills High (Texas) in 1995. He was named the district coach of the year in 1997 and 1998, and he also was named Ft. Worth Star-Telegram Coach of the Year in 1998.
Matlock owns a 251-67 overall record as a high school baseball head coach.
Matlock and his wife, Michel, have three sons, Dylan and twins, Ryan and Brett.