The longest-tenured coach in the Charlotte athletics department and under contract until 2018, Loren Hibbs has completed 23 seasons at the helm of the baseball program and has averaged more than 30 wins per season in his career. He has taken the program to all five of its NCAA Tournament appearances. Hibbs would win his 700th game on Saturday, April 4th at Old Dominion.
In 2015, Hibbs spearheaded the efforts to get the Niners playing in the first-ever college baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte. BB&T Ballpark, home to the Charlotte Knights, Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, hosted a school-record 8,147 fans as the Niners fell 10-6 to N.C. State.
The Niners took another step forward during the year, their second back in Conference USA, improving the league win total (11), just narrowly missing out of the league tournament. Charlotte would sweep games from N.C. State and UNCG in a rain-altering series played at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah during the second weekend of the season.
Bo Robinson was elevated to full time assistant coach in June 2014 after returning to Charlotte in the summer of 2012 as a member of Loren Hibbs' staff. He works with the infielders, hitters and coaches third base for the 49ers. He will also be the on-field camp director and assist with recruiting.
In his first full-time season of 2015, Robinson helped improved the Niners team batting average right off the bat going from a slow .173 batting average in February, to an immediate turnaround in March hitting .267. After hitting at a .258 clip in April, the Niners would post a .263 average for March and April combined getting them in the Conference USA tournament race.
Robinson also helped senior Brad Elwood end the year hitting .328 to wrap up his career as a .308 hitter while also aiding Brett Netzer in landing on Conference USA's All-Freshman Team after hitting .318 on the season. Fellow freshman Eddie Hull would hit .364 in 22 at-bats, primarily as a pinch-hitter. Robinson would assist Logan Sherer in turning around his season with the biggest individual turnaround of the year. Sherer, sitting on a .149 average after 13 games, would then go on to hit safely in 31 of his last 35 games, hitting 363 over that 35-game span, to finish the year as a .311 hitter.
On July 14, 2016, Head Coach Loren Hibbs announced that Shohn Doty has joined the Charlotte 49ers baseball program as pitching coach. Doty brings 23 years of experience to the 49ers program that includes coaching current Detroit Tiger All-Star Justin Verlander.
"Shohn is an experienced coach with a proven track record of developing pitchers," remarked Hibbs. "He has been successful at every level. Throughout the entire hiring process, his name kept coming up. Shohn has a passion for coaching. Our pitchers will benefit from his competitive nature. He has shown the ability to develop pitchers with a wide range of ability including those with superior talent like Verlander. Shohn communicates well and will bring high energy to our program."
Doty has spent 20 seasons at the collegiate level most recently serving as Associate Head Coach, Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at NCAA II Arkansas-Fort Smith. Doty helped the Lions set a new school record with 85 wins during his final two seasons. In 2008, the Lions posted their lowest ERA (2.51) over the past 10 years, became Region Two runners-up and capped off their third-straight Bi-State Conference team ERA title.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Charlotte baseball has announced the addition of Tyler Simmons as the newest member of the 49ers coaching staff. Head Coach Loren Hibbs made the announcement on Tuesday that Simmons will fill the volunteer assistant position.
"We are excited to add Tyler to our staff," remarked Hibbs. "He has played in winning programs and has learned from several tremendous coaches. He is a hard worker and high character young man."
Simmons, a native of Charlotte, hit .322 in 38 games with the Wingate Bulldogs a year after sporting a .292 average. Simmons connected for five home runs and 23 runs driven in during his senior season.