For Matador baseball, the last few seasons have been anything but triumphant. After being marred with yet another losing season in the Big West (9-15), the CSUN athletics department realized it was time for a change. For Northridge, that change has come in new head coach Matt Curtis.
Curtis, a Fresno State University assistant coach and former minor league player for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Cleveland Indians, brings experience to the CSUN diamond from both the collegiate and professional levels.
His success as a student athlete at Fresno State is evident in his earning awards as a two-time Western Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete and an All-WAC catcher in 1995, as well as his receiving the Bulldog’s Student-Athlete Achievement Award title twice—not to mention his master’s degree in business administration.
“One of the things I appreciated about his candidacy is his commitment to education,” said athletic director Rick Mazzuto. “After six years in the pros, he came back and not only finished his undergraduate degree, but he subsequently got an MBA. So, I think the combination of experience at a very high level of college baseball, plus commitment to higher education, makes him a very good choice for us.”
Along with being a fiery competitor as a baseball player, Curtis has also had success as an assistant coach. While being a full-time assistant at Fresno State since 2002, Curtis has had the opportunity to be involved in just about every aspect of a Division I baseball program, including on-the-field coaching, recruiting, multiple-position coaching, strength and conditioning, and academics.
The end result for Fresno State was five consecutive WAC titles, four straight NCAA Regional appearances, national recognition for multiple recruitment classes and, of course, a National Championship in 2008.
Curtis attributes his success to those who came before him.
“I’ve had an opportunity to be around good people,” Curtis said. “I’ve learned from good people. I’ve had an opportunity to get experience in a number of different areas, and hopefully, I can bring that experience and help build this program into one that can compete for the Big West Championship.”
For Curtis, it’s not just about the scorecard on game day, he said.
Curtis has much bigger plans for his team.
“I want our guys to be trained to be good men, to be good employees, to be leaders in their jobs, to be leaders in their families, and that’s really my goal for them.”