Western Kentucky baseball coach Matt Myers has finalized his coaching staff, hiring Brendan Dougherty – a former Coastal Carolina assistant.
Dougherty will handle the club’s defense, and will join retained assistant Blake Allen on Myers’ new staff.
Release per WKU:
Western Kentucky University head baseball coach Matt Myers announced Thursday that Brendan Dougherty has joined the Hilltopper coaching staff after spending six seasons at Coastal Carolina. Dougherty will work with the infielders and handle the team defense.
“I am very excited about joining the staff at WKU,” Dougherty said. “I think it is a great opportunity for myself and for my family. The program is going in the right direction and the university is going in the right direction. There is great support from the administration for all the athletic programs. The Hilltoppers are headed in the direction you want to be going and everyone’s ultimate goal is to get to Omaha. Athletic Director Ross Bjork and President Gary Ransdell have done unbelievable things for this university. When I walked on campus and saw everything, it was clear this was just a great opportunity for myself and my family.”
Dougherty brings plenty of championships experience with him to the Hill as he was a part of five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament with Coastal Carolina, including Super Regional berths in 2008 and 2010. The Chanticleers’ trip to the Super Regionals in 2008 was the first in school history. Coastal Carolina has also swept the regular season and conference tournament championships each year since 2007.
“Brendan will bring an instant burst of energy and there is no question his professional past will contribute right away at our program, coming from such a strong program at Coastal Carolina. He also helped lead teams to NCAA Regionals at Elon, Army and Auburn and is a highly respected recruiter and coach. I love the combination of he and Blake. Our players, our fans, our alumni and everyone who has a chance to meet Brendan, will see the impact that he is going to make. It is a great addition to our program. He and Blake will do a great job together with our offense and our recruiting efforts. He is just a great person to have as part of our program.”
In 2010, Coastal Carolina ranked second in the Big South, turning 50 double plays, and saw shortstop Taylor Motter, third baseman Scott Woodward and second baseman Tommy La Stella each earn first team All-Big South honors. La Stella led the team in hitting (.378) and only made five errors in 213 chances for .977 fielding percentage. He also solidified the middle of the CCU defense that included Motter and All-American centerfielder Rico Noel.
Coastal Carolina’s infielders had a great 2009 season. First baseman David Anderson was named the Big South Player of the Year and Big South Tournament MVP. Anderson also had a .989 fielding percentage in 63 games and hit 21 home runs, which led the conference. Third baseman Tyler Bortnick was named second team All-Big South as he hit .363 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI. He also was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 16th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft while Motter was named Freshman All-American.
Prior to Coastal Carolina, Dougherty spent two years as an assistant at Army, where he coached the infielders and worked on hitting. The Black Knights won the Patriot League Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regionals in both of Dougherty’s years. In 2005, Army went to the NCAA Tallahassee Regional and went 1-2 with a win over South Alabama. In his first year at West Point, Dougherty helped second baseman Nate Stone to an All-America honor from the American Baseball Coaches’ Association, the first Army player in 40 years to accomplish that feat. In that first season, the Black Knights set school records for base hits, doubles, home runs and total bases.
Dougherty spent the 2003 season at Auburn, working with the Tigers’ infielders, outfielders and catchers, while assisting with bunting and baserunning. Auburn hosted a regional in that year and went 42-21 with an 18-12 record in the Southeastern Conference.
He began his coaching career at Elon University, spending four years as the Phoenix’s hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator. During that time, he coached six all-conference performers and helped the Phoenix to their first NCAA Regional appearance in 2002.
Dougherty played two seasons at Coastal Carolina (1996-97), posting a .287 batting average with 40 RBI in 104 games, most of them at shortstop. He was an excellent defensive shortstop, setting Coastal Carolina’s single-season and career records for assists. Dougherty received his degree in interdisciplinary studies from Coastal Carolina in 1998.
He started his playing career at Potomac State Junior College, where he posted a .370 career batting average. A third team All-American in 1994, he was named a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American the following year in leading the school to a national championship. He also was named to the Junior College World Series All-Tournament team that season. Dougherty was inducted into the Potomac State Athletic Hall of Fame in the spring of 2008.
Dougherty married the former Jonna Bunn in December of 2008. The couple are the parents of a son, Cruz Watson, born Nov. 1, 2010.