(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS - Joining the athletics department at Montana State University Billings, Derek Waddoups has been hired as head coach of the MSUB baseball program announced by director of athletics Krista Montague on Friday.
“We are extremely excited to announce Derek Waddoups as our next head baseball coach here at MSUB,” Montague said. “We had an outstanding pool of candidates and Coach Waddoups rose to the top right away. We were very impressed with the experience he gained after spending a considerable amount of his career at one of the most premier junior college programs in the country. The Salt Lake Community College baseball team has been consistently ranked nationally, and its athletes have an extremely high completion rate as well.”
Waddoups will report to work on January 6 and begin working with MSUB student-athletes on January 10 as they prepare to defend regular season and post-season Great Northwest Athletic Conference titles this spring. He will become the fourth head coach in program history since the inception of the sport in 2006. Waddoups will be at the forefront of the effort to propel MSUB baseball into a perennial NCAA Division II West Region contender and brings more than 15 years of collegiate coaching experience to Billings.
“I want to thank Krista Montague along with the entire athletics staff for the opportunity to lead an outstanding group of student-athletes,” Waddoups said. “I am impressed with the culture that Coach Sutton and his assistant coaches have established in the baseball program and look forward to continuing that tradition and advancing the baseball program moving forward. The opportunity to join a group of champions as they look to continue in excellence on and off the field is so exciting. I look forward to bringing my optimism and positive energy to MSU Billings as we work to achieve our academic and athletic goals together.”
Prior to joining the coaching staff at MSUB, Waddoups served 10 years as assistant coach at Salt Lake Community College, where he was the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach. He was also charged with coaching the catchers and supervising strength and conditioning, as well as position player speed development programs. Last season, the Bruins finished 36-13 and 26-7 in the conference. The team played three games in the Region 18 tournament but ultimately fell to College of Southern Idaho.
Over his tenure at SLCC, the Bruins have moved more than 85 players on to 4-year institutions or to join the professional ranks. Overall, the program has had 29 players drafted in the Major League Baseball amateur draft or sign with professional baseball teams since 1997.
Off the diamond, Waddoups was the lead instructor for the renowned ‘Know Greater Heroes’ (KGH) leadership program involving SLCC student-athletes. Waddoups taught a leadership course to student-athletes prior to traveling through the community to perform elementary school assemblies. KGH is an educational and motivational program that takes Bruin athletes, coaches, and the Bruin Bear mascot to local elementary schools promoting healthy lifestyles, a drug-free life and leadership from within.
“One thing that stood out to me was his core values of optimism, positive energy, and servant leadership,” Montague said. “Coach Waddoups is not only committed to have a competitive and successful team on the field, but also is passionate about building a program that will create well rounded individuals. His strong commitment to helping his players earn a degree was impressive as well. Coach Waddoups career up to this point has allowed him to learn how to manage all aspects of a successful baseball program, and I am confident he will hit the ground running when he gets here in January. We are honored to welcome him and his family to Billings.”
Prior to joining the Bruin staff, Waddoups spent the 2007 season at the University of Texas-Brownsville as the pitching coach, and he spent the 2005-06 seasons at Bellevue University as the hitting and catching coach where they were participants in the 2006 NAIA World Series. Derek spent the summer of 2006 with the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwoods League as the pitching coach.
As a player, Waddoups led Bellevue University to the NAIA World Series twice, finishing third in 2003 and sixth in 2004. He was a two-year team captain and All-Region catcher in 2003 and 2004 and was an Academic All-American in 2004 and received the National “Champion of Character’ award. Before his time at Bellevue, Derek played at the College of Eastern Utah in the SWAC where he was an all-region player and team captain.
At Roy High School, Waddoups was a three-sport varsity athlete and awarded athlete of the year as a senior. He graduated with a master’s degree in leadership from Bellevue University in 2006 and is happily married to Carly Waddoups. The couple has three children, daughter Paisley, and sons Paxon, and Porter.
“The search committee was impressed by how coach Waddoups is a fierce competitor who has developed a positive and inspiring coaching style,” said head baseball search committee chair and NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative Tom Rust. “It was clear to the committee that he immediately developed a rapport with the team and genuinely cares about student-athletes’ personal, academic, and professional development beyond baseball. We are excited to welcome him to MSUB.”
Waddoups replaces Aaron Sutton, who went 89-67 (.571) and 80-40 (.667) in the GNAC over three seasons from 2017-2019. Sutton will move to Fort Myers, Florida at the end of the calendar year to take a new position as field manager for the Minnesota Twins single A affiliate Fort Myers Mighty Mussels.