College of Charleston confirms firing Matt Heath

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Twenty four hours after firing head baseball coach Matt Heath, the College of Charleston released a statement on Saturday night confirming the news.

"Matt Heath is no longer the head coach of the College of Charleston baseball program as of Friday, June 30, 2017." The statement read. 

"The College thanks Coach Heath, his family and his staff for all of their contributions to the Cougars baseball program over the years.  Coach Heath has spent seven years as an assistant coach and the past two years as the head coach. The College wishes him well in his future endeavors.  

Assistant Coaches Austin Morgan and Jeff Whitfield will serve in their same capacities during this transition. The search to hire the College's next head baseball coach will begin immediately."

The coach confirmed he had been fired as of Friday night.

This comes after Heath was being investigated by the school because of complaints from former players about alleged verbal abuse.

Athletics Director Matt Roberts sent an email to current Cougars players just after 6 p.m. on Friday informing them of the decision.

"We will immediately begin a national search for a new leader and believe that great days are ahead for the program. We are fully invested in your success on and off the field. We are confident that we will once again compete for championships here at The College." Roberts wrote.

Heath, who was promoted to head coach in 2015 after serving as Monte Lee's pitching coach, has gone 59-57-1 in his two seasons as head coach including going 28-31 in 2017, the school's first losing season since 2001.

Heath released the following statement Friday night:

I am extremely disappointed that I will not get to see this opportunity all the way through. I got to watch LSU and Florida play for the national championship series the other night and dreamed of taking the college of Charleston to the place where both of the teams I used to play for were just the other night.

I am very confident that I know what it takes to get there and throughout my coaching career I've cared about my players tremendously and will miss these guys more than they will ever know.

I really wish I could have continued to guide these guys who have bought into what me and my staff have tried to teach them both in baseball and in life.

As for the allegations, I am not a lawyer and I don't really completely understand all of that but the lawyers I've been dealing with are very confident that I have been wronged and will be taking the necessary steps from this point on. I am crushed that it has gotten to this point but President McConnell refused multiple requests from me to meet and discuss these false claims.

I am extremely humbled by the overwhelming support I've received from so many of my former and current players as well as parents and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I've received so many text messages, emails and phone calls that it truly makes me feel like I've done the right things throughout my nine years here.

I lastly want to thank all of my coaching staff and apologize to them and their families for the circumstances they find themselves in. Nothing crushes me more than the situation they are in and I'd tell any head coach out there that is in need of a good assistant coach, I have some great ones that I recommend.

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