PEMBROKE – UNC Pembroke baseball head coach Paul O’Neil has announced the addition of Jeff Jefferson as an assistant coach for the Braves.
Jefferson treks to Pembroke from Shepherdstown, W.Va., after spending last season as an assistant coach at Shepherd. In addition to his coaching duties, he will also serve as a lecturer in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department.
“Jeff is a tireless recruiter and he has a proven track record of success with every coaching staff he has been a part of,” O’Neil said. “I think he is one of the brightest young coaches out there and I think he fits UNCP very well. I am very excited that he is a part of my coaching staff.”
Jefferson served an integral part of a coaching staff that helped lead Shepherd to a 39-14 record last season that included a Mountain East regular season championship and a trip to the NCAA Atlantic Regional. The Rams led the Mountain East in 18 different statistical categories, including batting average (.330), home runs (28) and scoring (6.9 runs/game). The 2014 squad also featured a pair of all-Americans in catcher Spencer Wolfe and outfielder Michael Lott.
Prior to his stint in Shepherdstown, Jefferson served two years (2012, 2013) as an assistant coach at nearby Concord as the hitting coach for the Mountain Lions. Concord posted a league-best .969 fielding percentage during Jefferson’s first season in southeast West Virginia and led the country with a .357 batting average in 2013. The Mountain Lions combined for 62 wins during Jefferson’s tenure.
A standout for coach Jim Toman at Liberty from 2008-11, Jefferson logged time in 134 career games for the Flames and finished his collegiate playing career with 34 extra-base hits (13 HR) and 83 runs scored. Jefferson was a part of four 30-win seasons in Lynchburg, Va., including a 43-18 campaign as a junior in 2010. Liberty combined for a 146-89-1 record with Jefferson on the roster.
Jefferson earned All-Valley League and Valley League All-Star recognition as a member of the Luray Wranglers from 2008-10, and took home the summer league’s Home Run Derby title in 2008 as well. He returned to the Valley League as the coach of the New Market Rebels in 2013.
“I would like to thank coach O’Neil for giving me the opportunity to join his staff here at UNC Pembroke,” Jefferson said. “I look forward to upholding and advancing the standards and expectations that he has established here with the baseball program on and off the field. I have watched the baseball program closely over the past couple of years and I am truly excited to work with and be a part of this team. Go Braves!”
Jefferson earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management from Liberty in 2011, and was awarded a master’s degree in health promotions from Concord in 2013. He currently resides in Lumberton.