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Joey Seaver named Walters State baseball coach
 August 23, 2013

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – After 24 years as a pitching coach, Joey Seaver finally got the call for a head coaching job.

Seaver, who has been an assistant at Walters State for the past 14 years under Ken Campbell, was named head coach of the Senators Friday morning, replacing Campbell after his retirement.

Seaver said he was honored and humbled to be named head coach of his alma mater.

“I’m excited, humbled and honored to be named head coach at Walters State,” Seaver said. “This place is special, and I have spent 15 years here as a coach and two as a player. I’m very humbled to become the head coach.”

Seaver will continue to work with assistant coaches David Shelton and Justin Pickett, and he believes he has a strong group of support from them.

“I look at this as a group effort between myself, David and Justin, and I feel like we have three head coaches here,” Seaver said. “I really respect them and enjoy working with them, and they have been a big part of the success here. We are excited to get to work on keeping that tradition going.”

Seaver has been a part of each of the six Walters State baseball teams to advance to the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. He was a pitcher on the first World Series team in 1984, and he has been the pitching coach for the last five appearances – 2003, 2005, 2006 (national champions), 2008 and 2013.

“Joey has a long and notable history here at Walters State,” Chason said. “As a pitcher on the first World Series baseball team, he modeled the phrase student-athlete. Like many of our athletes, he continued his career at a university and played professional baseball. Following his playing career, he has dedicated himself to becoming on the finest pitching coaches in the college baseball. We are proud to name Joey Seaver our new head baseball coach.”

Seaver played two years for Walters State and at Tennessee and was drafted four times during his playing career. He pitched professionally in the minor leagues for the Milwaukee Brewers before entering the coaching profession.

Seaver served as the pitching coach at Carson-Newman for 10 years, which included three South Atlantic Conference titles and a trip to the NCAA Division II World Series in 1999.

Seaver returned to Walters State in 2000 under Campbell, and his record speaks for itself. During his time as a coach with the Senators, WSCC has compiled a 650-162-1 record and a national championship in 2006. He has coached more than 30 pitchers that have been drafted by Major League teams.

In 2006, he coached a pitching staff that established school records for wins (61) and strikeouts (465) in a season. During the summer of 2006, Seaver was hired by the Boston Red Sox to serve as the pitching coach for their Single-A club in Lowell, Mass.

Seaver thanked three coaches for his development as a player and now a coach – former Carson-Newman and current West Alabama head coach Gary Rundles, his Walters State coach Bill Gardner and Campbell.

“Coach Rundles gave me my first coaching job, and I will always be thankful for that,” Seaver said. “Coach Gardner is the best coach I ever played for. He had a huge impact on me while I was a player here and now as a coach. And I can’t forget coach Campbell. I love and appreciate what he has done for me. He gave me the chance to come back here. The way I see it, if I can be half the person and half the coach those three men are, then I fell like I’m doing pretty good.”

In addition to Seaver’s promotion to the head coaching position, Shelton also received a promotion. Shelton, who came to Walters State in 2003 and has served as the recruiting coordinator while coaching the hitters and outfielders, was named associate head coach.

“I really appreciate what David has meant to me and to this program,” Seaver said. “He has done a fantastic job here, and I look forward to continue working with him.”

Shelton spent five years as an assistant at East Tennessee State after playing his collegiate ball at Milligan College.

During his time at Walters State, he has become one of the best recruiters in the country, helping build the Senators into a top-10 program on a yearly basis. He has recruited and coached more than 50 players that have been drafted by Major League teams. He also serves as an associate scout for the Atlanta Braves.

Chason said he felt the Senators had the two best assistant coaches in the country, and by promoting both; they have been rewarded for their hard work for more than a decade at Walters State.

“We felt we had two of the nation’s best young baseball coaches already a part of our program,” Walters State athletic director Dr. Foster Chason said. “It would be hard to find two coaches with greater knowledge or abilities than Joey Seaver and David Shelton. In promoting these two outstanding men, we feel we will continue the strong baseball tradition established at Walters State. Most importantly, they will continue to emphasize the development of our student-athletes academically, personally and physically through discipline, hard work, responsibility and sportsmanship.”

Seaver also thanked his family – wife Diana, sons Matthew and Ryan and daughter Hannah – for their support.

“My family has been my biggest supporter during my career, and I would be nothing without them,” Seaver said. “They go through a lot, and I’m thankful to have their full support and I love them.”

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