Matt Hobbs, a Missouri alum, has returned to his alma mater and is now in his fourth season as Mizzou's pitching coach. In his time as the mentor to the Tiger hurlers, Hobbs has seen seven of his pitchers drafted in three seasons and he has guided four players to All-Conference honors.
It is no secret that one of the keys to success in the nation's top baseball conference is pitching and Hobbs may have done his best work in his first year in the SEC in 2013. He saw his Friday night starter - Rob Zastryzny - go from undrafted out of high school to hearing his name called with the second pick of the second round in last year's draft. He also guided Keaton Steele to All-SEC First Team honors last year as Steele was the only player in the nation to lead his team in wins, saves and homers at the plate.
His staff last year, despite being made up of eight newcomers, ranked among the best in recent Mizzou history with a 3.87 ERA in 50 games. That was the best team mark by a Tiger team since 2006. His three regular starters all had ERAs 3.80 or lower and his staff allowed just 152 walks, third in the league behind only Kentucky and South Carolina.
In 2012, he mentored starter Rob Zastryzny to honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and closer Dusty Ross to a spot on the All-Big 12 second team. He also saw lefty starter Blake Holovach become his fourth drafted pitcher at Mizzou in two years. Also, Hobbs, during his time at the University of San Francisco, turned Kyle Zimmer from a third baseman into a pitcher. Hobbs' tutelage and foresight paid off for Zimmer, who was drafted fifth overall in last year's MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals.
In 2011, three of his pitchers were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and he coached All-Big 12 Freshman Team honoree Rob Zastryzny and All-Big 12 honorable mention pick Phil McCormick. Not only that, but Hobbs played a big hand in the rehabilitation of Friday-night starter Eric Anderson, who after recovering from shoulder surgery, came back to become one of the Big 12's most dominant arms in the second half of the season in 2011.
Hobbs spent the 2010 season as the pitching coach at the University of San Francisco, where his staff ranked fourth in the West Coast Conference in ERA and was second in the league in fewest walks per nine innings.
Before USF, Hobbs spent three years as the associate head coach, pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at UC-San Diego. The Tritons made a trip to the Division II College World Series in 2009. They finished that year ranked No. 3 after claiming the school's first ever Regional Championship.
Under Hobbs, UCSD's pitching staff allowed the fewest number of walks per nine innings in D-II in 2009 and ranked 12th nationally with a 3.73 ERA.
Prior to his stint at UC-San Diego, Hobbs spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Santa Barbara City College. In 2006, Hobbs' staff allowed the fewest walks in the Western State Conference, while the 2005 squad led the WSC with a 2.27 ERA. During the summers, Hobbs was the pitching coach for Foresters Baseball, which won the National Baseball Congress World Series in 2006 after finishing runner-up in 2005.
Hobbs also served one season as an assistant coach at Chapman University, where he worked with the pitchers and catchers.
Hobbs pitched at Missouri from 1999-2002, where he won 13 games and struck out 125 batters. Hobbs was drafted twice, first by the San Diego Padres in 2001 and then by the Kansas City Royals in 2002.
Hobbs and his wife, Marta, welcomed their daughter, Addison, to the world last year.