Former Clemson standout Matt Padgett named Blowfish head coach

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (Blowfish) – When the Lexington County Blowfish take the field next summer, they will be under new leadership.

The Blowfish have hired Matt Padgett to be the new head coach of Lexington County’s home team.

Matt is a Lexington native, playing at Lexington High School, graduating in 1995. In his time as a Wildcat, Matt received All-State honors in both baseball and football. He attended Clemson University, playing under head coach Jack Leggett and assistant coach Tim Corbin. In his final season with the Tigers, Matt collected 58 RBI with 14 home runs while tallying a .376 batting average. He was named First Team All-ACC in his final season as well.

Matt was selected in the fifth round of the Amatuer Draft by the Florida Marlins in 1998. In 2004, for AAA-Albuquerque, he hit 24 home runs and tallied 93 RBI in what would be his best season in the minor leagues.

During his playing career, Padgett also played winter ball in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Venezuela.

After his playing career, he turned his sights on coaching. Coach Padgett lead the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League to the playoffs in 2016 and 2017. Padgett returned to the Midlands of South Carolina in 2016 as the junior varsity head coach for Ben Lippen. In 2018, as the interim Varsity baseball coach, he led the Falcons to a SCISA-AAA State runner-up finish. The Falcons returned to the championship series in 2019, finishing runner-up for the second consecutive season. Padgett returns to Ben Lippen in 2020 in pursuit of the SCISA AAA State Championship.

“We reached out to former Blowfish head coach Jonathan Johnson” Blowfish co-owner Bill Shanahan stated. “Jonathan is a special advisor for the team and he recommended we talk to Matt Padgett. When the winningest coach in Blowfish history puts his support behind someone, we take notice. After talking with Matt extensively, we truly believe he will bring a winning mindset to our team, both on and off the field. Both Vicki and I were very impressed not only his tremendous baseball background but as local owners, adding a homegrown Lexington County Head Coach is truly exciting!”

“Matt Padgett is a true professional,” Jonathan Johnson said. “His time spent in professional baseball has given him knowledge beyond most coaches’ comprehension. These young men will be fortunate to play under Matt next summer.”

Lexington County Blowfish General Manager Theo Bacot echoed the sentiments of Shanahan and Johnson.
“We’re excited to have someone who grew up in Lexington leading our home team. His experience in the coaching profession speaks for itself, and we’re looking forward to watching Matt lead our team back to the Pettit Cup Playoffs.”

Bacot continued, “In the conversations we’ve had, I can see how good of a person Matt is, and I know that his character, leadership, and passion to win will permeate our locker room in 2020.”

“I’m really excited to coach the Lexington County Blowfish,” Padgett stated. “I take pride in Lexington baseball. I lived less than a mile from ballpark road growing up. Playing baseball at Lexington High under Tommy Williams, he taught me how to respect the game and playing right here in Lexington is where it all started for me.”

“I still have a close relationship with Tim Corbin,” Padgett said. Coach Tim Corbin, now the head coach at Vanderbilt, just won his second College World Series in 2019.  “I still lean on him. He taught me his work ethic and how important the game of baseball is.”

While at Clemson, “Coach Leggett instilled the details while I was at Clemson; how to do the little things the right way inside the white lines.”

“Everyone at this level has the skill set to succeed, but are you willing to put in the work to make yourself better and get to the next level? We’re going to get out on the field and work at the craft; throwing strikes, playing good defense, turning double plays.”

“I love the intensity and desire to win in the Blowfish organization,” Padgett said. “From our first conversation, I could tell Bill and Theo want to develop a winning attitude with our players both on and off the field. We’re going to be a strong clubhouse, a family, and we’re going to do what it takes to win every time we hit the field.”

College coaches are already determining where their student athletes will play collegiate summer baseball. In hiring Coach Padgett, the Lexington County Blowfish are off to a fast start in securing players for the 2020 season.

Categories: Clemson, Local Sports, Sports