February 10, 2014

CBI Patriot League Preview


Nine Innings with Army's Matt Reid

By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

sean@collegebaseballinsider.com  @collbaseball


In his sixth season at Army, Matt Reid (left) became the top assistant in 2010 and was named associate head coach prior to the 2011 season. This past September, Reid was named interim head coach.


A 2002 graduate of the University of Richmond, Reid works primarily with the infielders and hitters at West Point.


Prior to his arrival at Army, Reid was an assistant at Louisburg, VCU, VMI, Old Dominion and UNC Asheville.


Reid recently took time to answer our questions.


First Inning – How did your transition from assistant coach to interim head coach go this fall, and how did the players react to the change?

The transition was smooth. Our focus has always been and remains getting better in the classroom, as cadets and as baseball players. We take things day by day and pitch by pitch.

Second Inning – How did your role change the most?

I come ready to go every day at practice excited to coach our players. We have a great pitching coach in Anthony DeCicco and we brought in a great hitting coach in Eric Folmar and a very good outfield instructor in Matt Smith. Those guys work very hard in teaching and recruiting. They are very organized and we keep practices energetic and competitive.

Third Inning – Heading into the 2014 season, what are some of the Black Knights’ strengths?

I think we will have some good experience heading into the season and some tough and talented guys on the field. They are a bunch of guys that you want to compete with and be around every day. They are smart players, too.

Fourth Inning – What are some of the keys to Army’s recent success?

Our biggest key to recent success has been a plan to get better every day and playing sound fundamentally. We want to work to playing our best by the end of the season and I think we have worked to that goal the last couple years. Our players take great pride in holding everyone accountable in everything we do and that is a special team characteristic.

Fifth Inning – Your dad has been a football coach for a long time – what are some of your earliest memories of him as a coach?

My dad has been a great role model to me (as well as my mother) but to me he is the best coach I have ever been around. I know all of his football players will tell you the same thing. I could never do what he does but I have tried to pick his brain as much as I could growing up and now. I was a waterboy for UMass football when I was a kid so I saw him coaching at an early age and his intensity and the way he could motivate players was something that I always thought was amazing. His attention to detail when he coached on the field and the detail he had off the field keeping up with his players was something he took great pride in and it led to a lot of success in his programs and developed successful men once his players graduated. And he works 21 hour days but he tells me that is something you should stay away from doing.

Sixth Inning – Did you always feel like you were going to become a coach? When did you decide you wanted to be a coach?

I decided I wanted to coach after being around it so much growing up and I got the itch to coach baseball during my playing days at Richmond and being around Ron Atkins and Mark McQueen. Then working with Tom Slater at VMI my first year out of college motivated me to keep going with it. Tom is an outstanding head coach and I learned a lot from him and Marlin Ikenberry. Then I was able to continue being around more outstanding coaches like Billy Godwin, Paul Keyes, Jerry Meyers and Willie Stewart and then here at Army.

Seventh Inning – Describe yourself as a player.

As a player, I was an infielder and played a lot of second base and tried to take pride in that part of my game first. I tried to knock some base hits around and bunted for hits a lot. My job was to try and put some pressure on the defense. I had a little speed so my coaches expected me to hit a lot of groundballs and situationally hit. If I started to hit fly balls I wouldn't find my name on the lineup card.

Eighth Inning – What are some of the similarities and differences to recruiting players to Army?

I think recruiting players to West Point is a lot of fun. There are so many great benefits and opportunities to this experience that it's fun to educate high school prospects about them. A lot of young men out there just do not know what it's like to be a cadet here at West Point. When we get the recruits to campus, they fall in love with the place. It is fun to go through that process with them. Recruiting here is just like anywhere else. We don't try to sell West Point to anyone. We want them to see it, understand it, be around our players and let them make the best decision for themselves.

Ninth Inning – A former infielder in college, what are some of the things you look for in infielders?

When I look for infielders I try to find guys that look like Clint Moore and Zach Price. I think we have a few right now that fit that mold. They were outstanding players and leaders here at West Point. They had great feet, great balance and played low to the ground. You never saw those guys out of control.

(photos courtesy of Army Media Relations Office)