Alabama has completed its new baseball coaching staff. The third and fourth assistants for new Coach Greg Goff are Derek Simmons and Michael Chadwick. Simmons, formerly of Kennesaw State, will have a focus on hitters and infielders, while Chadwick comes from Montevallo to be the Tide’s director of operations. The two will join Goff along with previously announced assistants Terry Rooney and Jake Wells.
In the announcement statement, Goff said, “I’m extremely excited to complete our staff with the additions of Derek and Michael. These two really help round out a great staff. Each guy in this group possess different skill sets and insights into the game, but the one thing they all have in common is the ability to recruit and develop players. I believe in this staff and am ready for all of us to get to work.”
Simmons, an assistant at Kennesaw State the past four seasons, comes to The Capstone to work with the Crimson Tide infielders and hitters. He was previously at KSU since 2012, working as the team’s hitting coach while helping tutor the infielders and contributing to the Owls’ recruiting efforts.
Under Simmons’ guidance in 2016, Kennesaw batted .294 as a team on the way to a 17-4 mark in Atlantic Sun play. His hitters delivered 85 doubles, 12 triples, and 40 home runs to lead one of the Athletic Sun’s top offenses and help KSU claim its first regular season conference title. Seven Owl hitters batted above .300 and the team’s 578 hits ranked fifth in Kennesaw history.
He also played a key role in the Owls’ 2014 season in which Kennesaw State claimed its first ever A-Sun Conference Championship and a postseason spot in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The Owls wrapped up the 2014 stretch with the third-most hits nationally at 677, and posted a .297 team average that ranked 18th. Simmons also coached the hitters to a national ranking in runs (21st) and scoring (38th), while the Owls led the A-Sun in runs scored per game (6.0).
In that 2014 campaign, catcher Max Pentecost led the nation with 113 hits and was second in batting average at .422 while breaking every major offensive record in school history. Pentecost would go on to win the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation’s top catcher, and was a unanimous All-America selection before his selection at pick No. 11 by the Toronto Blue Jays, the highest draft pick in Kennesaw State history.
Prior to his time at KSU, Simmons spent two seasons at Central Michigan, where he also worked with the infielders and assisted with hitters. During his time in Mount Pleasant, he coached three All-MAC performers and has coached double-digit all-conference performers.
In the offseason, Simmons has spent the previous two summers coaching the USA Baseball 18-and-under National Team at the Tournament of Stars, winning gold and silver medals.
Simmons played for Goff at Montevallo from 2006-07 before playing his final two years of collegiate play at Georgia State. While at Montevallo, he helped lead the Falcons to their first Gulf South Conference championship, South Regional championship, and a berth in the 2006 Division II College World Series. That year’s team ranked third nationally.
Simmons then transferred to Georgia State, becoming the first player in program history to earn first team All-Colonial Athletic Conference honors twice in his career (2008-09). He was named GSU’s 2008 MVP on offense and was the 2009 team captain. Simmons finished his career in Georgia State’s top-10 single-season ranks for average, RBI, home runs, at-bats, runs scored, hit by pitches, on-base and slugging percentage. He guided the Panthers to their first ever CAA conference title and the school’s first ever NCAA Regional appearance in 2009.
Chadwick comes to Tuscaloosa after spending eight years as the Assistant Athletics Director for Internal Relations at the University of Montevallo. Chadwick was responsible for overseeing business affairs, facility and event operations, and sports medicine and strength and conditioning. Prior to his promotion, Chadwick also worked as Montevallo’s head trainer and assistant athletics director.
He is a member of the Collegiate Event and Facility Management Association (CEFMA), and the College Athletic Business Management Associate (CABMA). Chadwick earned his bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Troy in 1994 and earned a master’s degree in education from Montevallo in 2001.