Passion for Hitting

Matt Mossberg is in his fourth season on the staff of Ole Miss baseball, but right now things feel brand new.

That's because the former Rebel outfielder is now the hitting coach and will now be able to recruit off campus as one of the two fulltime assistants, along with Carl Lafferty. Mossberg will also continue to coach the outfielders.

"Of course I'm super enthusiastic and ready to go," said the California native who arrived at Ole Miss as a player in the late 1990s. "You always want to get the players back from (holiday) break, but I want them to be here now. I'm ready to go."

Mossberg came back to Ole Miss in the fall of 2006. He's appreciative of the moves up the ladder he's been able to make since then.

"Obviously this is a great opportunity for me," he said. "I know the players, and it will be an easy transition. I already have a good relationship with them all. We'll almost just pick up where we left off, but of course add some new things."

Mossberg will coach third base in the games, moving over from first base where Rob Francis will now coach. Mossberg said his mind is working overtime as he formulates plans to make a good offense even better.

"I want to get deeper into the development of these guys," he said. "That's what I'm most excited about. We have the guys to have a successful offense. It's just about getting the best out of them. Of course that's part of my job as the hitting coach, and I'm excited about that."

Mossberg was the Rebels' volunteer assistant for the 2008 and 2009 seasons after serving in the position of Director of Baseball Operations for 2007. He returned to Ole Miss after having spent a season at Jefferson State Community College in 2006.

While at Jefferson State, Mossberg served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped guide the Pioneers to an overall record of 33-21 while working with the infielders and catchers and coaching the hitters.

Prior to joining the staff at JSCC, Mossberg served as head coach at Indian Springs High School near Birmingham, Ala. While at Indian Springs, Mossberg also lived at the boarding school, serving as a mentor to the students in residence.

A four-year letterwinner for the Rebels from 2000-2003, Mossberg played three seasons under current head coach Mike Bianco. The centerfielder was known for his defense, but also hit .306 for his career with 24 RBI and had 24 steals in his career. Mossberg also helped lead the Rebels to two postseason appearances in the 2001 NCAA Regional at Tulane and the 2003 NCAA Regional at Rice.

After earning his degree in Exercise Science from Ole Miss in 2003, Mossberg is currently working on completing a Masters of Arts in Human Performance and Sports Management from the University of Alabama.

Mossberg said assessing and evaluating ones background helps make for a successful coach.

"In my opinion the places that you've been, the people that you've worked with, you take good things and bad things from all of them," he said. "We have a base system here at Ole Miss. But within that system there is area to branch out a little bit, obviously. I have always tried to develop in that area, because hitting and instruction and teaching are passions of mine. You try to get better and be innovative every day."

Mossberg said he believes offensively the Rebels can improve.

"You don't ever want to be satisfied," he said. "There's no doubt we've had a ton of success here offensively. But we're constantly striving to get better. I love the offensive players we have here, and we have the guys to win. The goal is to get more out of those guys. We want to move ahead and move forward and keep improving."

Mossberg said he loves working with the offense and all that goes along with it.

"I have a passion for a lot of things. I do have a specific passion for base-running," he said. "We were able to do that with a high rate of success last year, with players like Jordan Henry and Tim Ferguson. But I look at the offense as a whole. My goal is to identify who we have and help those guys achieve those things. It's about balance.

"We want to do everything well," he continued. "We may have less power or more power or less speed or more speed. I believe we have the personnel to have a balanced offense. We can hit for power. We can get on base. We will be able to do different things. We will take the extra base. All the little components that make up the offense. What are the offenses that win national championships? What do they look like? Transform what you have into that is the way I look at it."

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said Mossberg will do well in his new position.

"Matt understands what it's like to work here, to play here, and he understands the league we play in," Bianco said. "He will do an excellent job with the hitters."

Mossberg is married to the former Cheryl Wilson of Birmingham. Wilson played volleyball for Ole Miss from 2000-2002 and also coached volleyball at Indian Springs High School during Mossberg's tenure as baseball coach. The couple has one son, Jack. Another child is due in just a couple of weeks.

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