Former UA outfielder Jordan Brown is excited about the future of Arizona Wildcats baseball
Matt Siegel is in his second season as a member of the Arizona coaching staff, where he works with the hitters, infielders and serves as the third base coach during games. Siegel also is heavily involved in recruiting and various other key responsibilities within the program.
In 2012, Siegel coached arguably the best hitting lineup in the nation as the Wildcats won a share of the Pac-12 title and captured the national championship. Arizona led all 291 Division I teams with 756 hits on the season and ranked second with 478 runs scored. The Wildcats .329 batting average was fourth nationally and the highest single season average at the school in 12 years.
Under the guidance of Siegel, the Wildcats finished atop most all of the Pac-12 offensive statistical categories. Arizona led all conference teams in batting, slugging, on-base percentage, hits, runs scored, runs batted in, doubles and triples. The Wildcats also led in stolen bases, sacrifice flies and ranked third in both sacrifice bunts and walks. Individually, Johnny Field was crowned as the league's batting champion.
The 2012 Wildcats were lauded for their defensive prowess, a factor that keyed their run to a national title. Shortstop Alex Mejia was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and was an integral part of the UA infield that turned 57 double plays on the season, 24th-most in the nation. Over their final 20 games, the Wildcats went 18-2 and boasted an impressive .983 fielding percentage, committing 27 fewer errors than their opponents in that span.
Arizona placed five players on the All-Conference team, including Mejia, who was also named the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Mejia was joined by Field, Bobby Brown, Seth Mejias-Brean and Robert Refsnyder.
Several Wildcats earned All-American recognition by various outlets. Mejia was a near unanimous selection, while Mejias-Brean and Refsnyder each earned honors from various publications. Refsnyder also received the Most Outstanding Player award at the College World Series. Additionally, catcher Riley Moore was named a Baseball American Freshman All-American.
Four of Siegel's players were selected in the first nine rounds of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Mejia was selected in the fourth round by the St. Louis Cardinals, Refsnyder in the fifth round by the New York Yankees, Mejias-Brean in the eighth round by the Cincinnati Reds and Joey Rickard in the ninth round by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Siegel's collegiate coaching career began in 2003 at UNLV, where his responsibilities included coaching the infielders and assisting with the hitters. Under his direction in 2003, the Rebels set a school mark with a .970 fielding percentage.
Siegel went on to spend three seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Christian University. Siegel's duties at TCU included instructing the hitters and working with the offense on base running. He served as the team's third base coach.
The TCU offense showed immediate improvement under the tutelage of Siegel. The 2004 club had a .294 batting average and swiped 63 bases. The Frogs also produced 427 runs in 2004, the most since 1999.
TCU saw even more offensive production in 2005 under Siegel's tutelage. TCU finished the season with a .310 batting average, the highest since the 1997 season. The 454 runs scored were the most since 1996. A year later, the Frogs again bettered their batting average, hitting .311 in 2006.
He has also served as an assistant coach in the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he coached the Cotuit Kettlers in 2002. The next summer, Siegel served as the head coach of the Arlington Senators, a collegiate summer league in Northern Virginia.
Siegel was a four-year starter as an infielder and outfielder at the University of Florida under head coach Andy Lopez. He was a member the 1998 Gator team that qualified for the College World Series. He earned Freshman All-American honors in 1998 and was named Academic All-SEC from 1997-2001. For his career, Siegel boasted a .303 batting average.
Most recently, Siegel spent time working in the commercial real estate market in Dallas-Fort Worth, including his most recent position as Vice President for NAI Robert Lynn.
Siegel graduated from the University of Florida in 2000 with a Finance degree and minor in Economics. He also earned a postbaccalaureate degree in History in 2001.
Siegel now resides in Tucson with his wife, Erin, and their daughters, Molly and Emily.