Matt Williams became a member of the Valdosta State baseball coaching staff as a full-time assistant prior to the start of the 2015-16 athletic season. A familiar face to Blazer Athletics, Williams joins Head Coach Greg Guilliams as a former Blazer baseball player who also spent time as an assistant coach for Blazer softball in 2015, and a graduate assistant coach for the Blazer baseball program from 2012-14.
After serving as an infielder during his playing career, Williams brings a wealth of knowledge to the Blazer baseball program, particularly in the defensive skills area of the game. In addition, his previous coaching experience with the Valdosta State baseball program and the Waynesboro Generals has afforded the VSU graduate a strong understanding of the recruiting process at the collegiate level of athletics.
During his previous tenure as a graduate assistant with Blazer baseball, he helped lead the 2013 team to a Gulf South Conference championship. In addition, he coached six All-GSC players and an infield that posted a .968 fielding percentage in 2013. As a student-athlete, Williams played second base for the 2009 squad, posted a .273 batting average, and helped lead the team to a 43-21 record and a trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament.
With the Waynesboro Generals, Williams helped drive the team to over 1500 hours of community service over the course of just two months during the summer of 2014. As the manager in 2016, Williams led the Generals to the highest win percentage in the history of the organization at 30-12. Williams was named the VBL Manager of the Year. The Loganville, Ga. native is well-respected by both his peers and players, and is expected to help improve on an already elite program at VSU this season with his hard work ethic and enthusiastic demeanor both on and off the diamond.
In 2015, his efforts as an assistant with Valdosta State softball resulted in a 48-9 season in which the team earned hosting rights for the 2015 NCAA Regional Championship as the top seed in the South Region.
He holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and Masters in Business Education, both of which he earned while attending Valdosta State.
Williams married his wife Abbie on November 9, 2013.
James grew up in Austin, Texas where he lettered for 3 straight years at Westlake High School, setting all school records for pitching including the only perfect game in school history and having a career leading 28 wins and only 7 losses in his 3 years as a Varsity pitcher (winning 3 district championships, 1 District MVP, 2 Regional Finalist Teams and 1 State Finalist Team). After leading the team to State his senior year, James was the only player in the state of Texas in 2009 that was selected unanimously as First Team All-State after leading the state in almost every pitching category. He also represented his home state that summer on Team Texas as they played other states best players at the Sunbelt Classic Tournament in Oklahoma.
After High School, James continued his playing career at Mclennan Junior College in Waco, Texas a perennial powerhouse in D1 Junior College baseball. James started both years at Mclennan and was a part of a Regional Finalist Team and a Conference Championship team. While at Mclennan, James was selected to play in the Junior College All-Star game and also achieved being named an Academic All-American holding a 4.0 GPA at Mclennan. After Mclennan, James decided to continue his college career at Louisiana Tech (other offers were UCF, Maryland) and pitched both in relief and as a starter in his 2 years in Ruston, Louisiana. While at Louisiana Tech he was named Academic All-Conference in consecutive years graduating with honors and a Business Finance degree.
After Louisiana Tech, James also earned the privilege to play professionally for the Windy City Thunderbolts in the Frontier League. While playing for the Thunderbolts in his rookie season, James had 30 innings with a 3.2 ERA and was one of the top bullpen arms on the team going into the All-Star break before suffering a season ending arm injury. James went back to play for the Thunderbolts for one more season and then jumped at the opportunity to be the Assistant Baseball Coach at Valdosta State University, and specifically works with the pitchers. James is currently in his second season with the Blazers and looks to help continue the historic success that we have had at Valdosta State University. James’s parents Buddy and Molly Ferguson reside in Austin, Texas where his dad is an Attorney and his mother works as the assistant to the Athletic Director at Westlake High School. James also has 3 sisters, Katie his oldest sister at 30 is married and lives in Dallas, Texas working at Wilshire Baptist Church. Lizzie (27) works in Nashville, TN as a Elementary School Teacher, and Mary (21) is finishing up her final year at Baylor University.