Dec. 10, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona assistant baseball coach Matt Siegel was last week named one of ten "Rising Assistants" by PerfectGame.org, a website that regularly covers all levels of baseball.
Kendall Rogers, the College Baseball Managing Editor for PerfectGame.com, wrote (full article can be read here):
"It sure has been a magical past year for Siegel and the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona had the tough chore of replacing former assistant Mark Wasikowski, who took a position on George Horton's staff at Oregon. In response, they couldn't have made a better hire than Siegel. Prior to his stint with the Wildcats, Siegel spent three seasons at TCU, where he helped spark the Frogs' offense and was instrumental on the recruiting trail. His success continued with the Wildcats last season, putting together a lineup that finished the 2012 campaign with a .329 batting average. Additionally, he continues to be a mainstay on the recruiting trail. Siegel is a talented young coach to watch the next few seasons."
Siegel is entering his second season at Arizona, where he works with the hitters, infielders and serves as the third base coach during games. He was instrumental to the Wildcats' run to the national championship last summer, coaching arguably the best hitting lineup in the nation. 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.
Siegel joins pitching coach Shaun Cole as one of two Wildcat assistant coaches to earn praise from national media outlets. Cole was named the 2012 Collegiate Baseball National Pitching Coach of the Year in September. Head coach Andy Lopez was named the national coach of the year by multiple outlets.
Arizona opens its 2013 season with a three-game set against Coppin State beginning on Friday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. Click here for ticket information.