Thomas More University President Dr. Joseph L. Chillo and Athletic Director Terry Connor announced today (Wednesday, June 12, 2019) that head baseball coach Jeff Hetzer is transitioning to full-time associate athletic director and assistant coach Jeremy Martin has been promoted to head baseball coach.
Hetzer exits the dugout after 19 years leading the Saints and is the winningest coach in program history with a 484-277-4 record.
“I would like to thank Jeff for his 19 years leading the Thomas More baseball program and creating a program that is nationally recognized,” stated Dr. Chillo. “We look forward to him transitioning to the associate athletic director role full-time and working with our coaching staff to enhance the athletic experience for our student-athletes.”
Hetzer had 104 players named all-conference, including 40 named first team all-conference. He had four Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Players of the Year as well as one PAC Pitcher of the Year. During his tenure, Hetzer had 39 Saints named all-region (ABCA), one Pitcher of the Year in the region (ABCA) and seven All-Americans (ABCA and D3baseball.com). Hetzer had two NCAA post-graduate scholarship recipients as well as 13 academic all-district players and six Google Cloud Academic All-Americans. Hetzer was named the ABCA Conference Coach of the Year in 2008, 2011 and 2015 as well as the PAC Coach of the Year in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018.
“I want to thank the alums, current players, media, faculty, staff and friends of the Thomas More baseball program for the privilege to serve as the head baseball coach for the past 19 years,” said Hetzer. “I will forever be grateful to those how have helped make Thomas More baseball what is today…a Family. I’m excited to transition to a full-time administrative role and to see Coach Martin put his mark on the baseball program as we move forward.”
Martin is making the move to head coach after serving the past 20 years as the assistant coach overseeing the pitching staff. In his 20 years as the pitching coach at Thomas More, the Saints have earned a .639 winning percentage. In 2000, his first season, the Saints made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history and since have been to the NCAA Tournament in 2003, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018. He has coached 27 All-PAC pitchers with one being the Pitcher of the Year. Seven of his pitchers have been named All-Region with one being named Second Team All-America by d3baseball.com.
“I’m excited that Coach Martin has accepted the promotion to head coach,” said Dr. Chillo. “Coach Martin has been on staff for 20 years and there is no individual better prepared to continue the great tradition that Jeff has built, while the program transitions to NAIA and the Mid-South Conference.”
Martin was a four-year baseball letter winner at Lawrenceburg High School in Indiana, where he also played basketball and football. After high school, he attended the University of Cincinnati where he was a four-year starter for the Bearcats and was a co-captain his senior season. While at Cincinnati, Martin earned the Jerry Strom Award, an award for hustle and determination, during his senior year. In 1994, teams of minor leaguers and ex-major league players were assembled in Cincinnati, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio to play a best of three World Series because of the Major League Baseball (MLB) strike. Martin had the privilege to play on the Cincinnati team coached by ex-Cincinnati Red Tom Browning and pitch with Pat Zachery, a 14-game winner for the 1976 “Big Red Machine.”
“I’m extremely honored and excited on being named the head baseball coach,” stated Martin. “I want to thank President Chillo, Athletic Director Terry Connor and Coach Hetzer for having the faith in me to continue the success and growth of the baseball program as the University transitions to the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference. I’ve had the privilege of being the head assistant and pitching coach here at Thomas More the past 20 years, working closely with Hetzer to build this program and can’t wait to get started as the head coach.”