Matt Boykin enters his third season as an assistant baseball coach for UNCG in 2015.
Boykin again helped the Spartans to the Southern Conference’s highest batting average at .310 – also good for sixth in the nation. In fact, UNCG finished in the top 50 nationally in eight different offensive categories including 22nd in runs scored per game (6.4).
A total of five Spartans hit .317 or better with junior Hunter King leading the way at .382 – the second-highest mark in the SoCon. King earned Southern Conference Player of the Month honors for April while classmate Jordan McDonald was named the league’s hitter of the week March 24.
As for league accolades, five UNCG players were recognized on the all-conference teams with King and senior Sean Guite earning first-team selection, McDonald and junior Eric Kalbfleisch garnering second-team honors and rookie Adam Swim landing on the all-freshman team.
For the second time in as many seasons, at least two Spartans were selected in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft as junior Max Povse was taken in the third round by the Atlanta Braves, senior Dylan Thompson was drafted by the Rockies in the 31st round and signee Alex Durham was scooped up by the New York Mets in the 12th round.
As a team, UNCG recorded some significant series wins in SoCon play as the Spartans swept Elon for the first time ever and won their first series against Georgia Southern in Statesboro since 1998. The Blue and Gold also went 3-1 against local ACC foes Duke and Wake Forest – sweeping the home and home against the Demon Deacons for the first time since 2004. UNCG also picked up a road win at perennial power East Carolina while also sweeping Big East foe Georgetown and downing the Big Ten’s Minnesota in a tournament in Myrtle Beach.
Boykin helped the Spartans enjoy an offensive resurgence in 2013 as the team compiled a Southern Conference-best .311 batting average. It was the first time UNCG had ever finished on top of the league rankings in the statistic. In all, the Blue and Gold ended the season in the top four of the SoCon in batting average, slugging percentage, hits, doubles and sacrifice flies. On a national scale, the Spartans were 12th in batting average, 17th in slugging percentage, 23rd in doubles per game, 26th in home runs per game, 29th in hits, 31st in home runs, 33rd in scoring (runs per game) and 34th in total doubles.
UNCG also had two players drafted last season as junior catcher Cambric Moye and senior RHP Dominique Vattuone were selected in the 30th and 32nd rounds of the 2013 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. Moye was picked up by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim while Vattuone became a member of the Oakland Athletics.
Prior to his arrival in Greensboro, Boykin spent the last two seasons as the head baseball coach at St. Andrews University after being hired in the summer of 2010. He joined the Knights’ program after spending six years as an assistant coach at Appalachian State University. He was an integral component of the Mountaineer coaching staff, helping in all aspects of the program including serving as recruiting coordinator, primary hitting & infield instructor and third base coach while assisting with strength & conditioning, practices and compliance.
His efforts as recruiting coordinator were integral in ASU’s run to the 2012 Southern Conference title. The Mountaineers were slotted into the 2012 NCAA Charlottesville Regional where they knocked off top-seeded and host Virginia as well as No. 2 seed Oklahoma in consecutive contests on the way to the regional final.
Appalachian State fans witnessed a transformation in the baseball program during Boykin’s time on the mountain. He helped guide ASU from a 10-43 season with a 261 RPI rating in 2004 to a 38-18-1 record with a RPI of 50 in 2010. The 38 wins in his last season with the program were the second-most in school history and marked the fourth consecutive 30-plus win season for ASU.
Boykin coached nine MLB draft picks in his tenure at Appalachian State as the institution did not have any draftees in the decade prior to his arrival. Boykin also instructed 12 all-conference and four All-America selections.
After just one season in Laurinburg, Boykin dramatically increased the size of the St. Andrew’s baseball program. Not only did he keep bringing in players for the varsity team, but he also started a JV program. During the rebuilding process, Boykin raised the number of athletes on the roster from 12 to 40 and oversaw the team's transition from NCAA Division II to the NAIA for the 2013 season. Boykin graduated 100% of his athletes and involved the program heavily in the community through involvement with Old Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church, Optimist Club of Laurinburg, Scotland County Relay for Life and other local organizations.
The Apex, N.C., product played four seasons at Barton College and was a two-time academic all-conference and all-tournament honoree for the Bulldogs before earning a pair of bachelor’s degrees in business administration and sports management in 2003. Boykin was also awarded a master’s degree in sports coaching from the United States Sports Academy in 2005.
In addition to spending the 2004 season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Boykin was the head coach of the Asheboro Copperheads of the Coastal Plain League and served as an assistant coach with the CPL’s Wilson Tobs in 2004. He also owns experience working at several camps throughout the Southeast and has been an assistant coach for American Legion squads in Wilson and Apex, N.C.