Matt Reynolds, a former infielder and captain for the Minutemen, was named the 15th head coach in the history of the University of Massachusetts baseball program on May 26, 2017.
Reynolds returned to his alma mater after a three-year stint as head coach at Washington College (2014-17) in Chestertown, Maryland, and seven seasons as an assistant coach at Navy (2007-14). In his first season as head coach, he guided the Shoremen to their first winning record in three years (19-15). He followed that performance up with a 26-win effort in 2016, the team’s second-highest win total ever.
Reynolds spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he focused on the squad’s hitters, infield and outfield defense and coached third base. He coached a Patriot League Rookie of the Year and a Patriot League Player of the Year and a number of All-Patriot League players and Major League Baseball draft picks during his time at Navy.y.
Nate Cole, who spent the past eight seasons coaching one of the top pitching staffs in Division II at Southern Connecticut joined University of Massachusetts baseball program as an assistant coach in July 2015.
In his time with the Southern Connecticut Owls, Cole mentored 18 all-conference selections and two All-Americans over the course of the last eight seasons (2008-15), along with the 2008 and 2014 Northeast-10 Pitchers of the Year. Four Southern Connecticut hurlers signed professional contracts during that span, as well.
Under his direction, SCSU’s pitching staffs consistently ranked among the NCAA statistical leaders. The Owls’ 2010 pitching staff led all of Division II with a 2.53 earned run average. That figure was the third best in the NCAA, trailing only St. Thomas of Minnesota (2.41) and the University of Texas (2.45).
Mark Royer joined the University of Massachusetts baseball staff as an assistant coach in July 2017 and enters his first season on head coach Matt Reynolds’ staff. Royer came to UMass from Penn where he spent three seasons as a volunteer assistant coach, working with the Quakers’ outfielders and assisting with the hitters. During his time at Penn, Royer helped coach six Major League Baseball draft picks and four All-Ivy First Team outfielders in three years.
In 2017, Royer helped oversee a Penn offense that ranked first in the Ivy League in slugging percentage (.494), second in batting average (.282) and doubles (88) and third in home runs (33) as the Quakers reached their first Ivy League Championship Series since 2007.
Royer was vital in reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Tim Graul’s transition to the outfield for the 2017 season, as Graul was named a unanimous All-Ivy First Team selection in the outfield after earning second team honors at catcher in 2016. Graul also ended the year as the Ivy League batting champion with a .468 average in 20 games. Royer’s three everyday outfielders combined for a .964 fielding percentage in 45 games.
Kyle Decker joined the University of Massachusetts baseball staff as a volunteer assistant coach in the fall of 2017. Decker, a former infielder at Oberlin College and Trinity College, has coached in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and played professionally in Australia and Belgium. He will enter his first season with the Minutemen in 2018.
Decker comes to UMass following a season as an assistant coach for the Plymouth Pilgrims in the NECBL in the summer of 2017 and also served as head coach of the Torrington Titans of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in 2015.
Prior to joining the Pilgrims’ staff, Decker played professional baseball for the Louvain-la-Neuve Phoenix Baseball Club in Belgium (2016) and the Baulkham Hills Baseball Club in Australia (2016-2017).