MacMillan announces addition of den Dekker to the CSU baseball coaching staff

MacMillan announces addition of den Dekker to the CSU baseball coaching staff
Matt Den Dekker during the Gators' game against the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at in Miami, FL / UAA Communications photo by Carl Kafka (Source: Carl Kafka)

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern head baseball coach Marc MacMillan announced the hiring of Matt den Dekker to the CSU baseball coaching staff on Wednesday afternoon.

den Dekker joins the Bucs following a successful Major League Baseball career that featured stops with the New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers, and Miami Marlins. He comes to the Bucs by way of the University of Florida where he served as a student-assistant coach this past season.

He will be working primarily with the Charleston Southern hitters and outfielders.

"The more I spoke with Matt the more I knew he was the right coach for our players at CSU," MacMillan shared. "His time at Florida as a player and assistant yielded excellent results, and his Major League Baseball career earned him great respect from all that he came in contact with on a daily basis. The strong recommendations he received, his understanding of the importance of building relationships with our players; and both his knowledge and verbiage for hitting and outfield play made a lasting impression on me. He's a Christian, a champion, a tireless worker, and a rising star."

den Dekker served as a student-assistant coach at the University of Florida from August 2019-March 2020. Among his primary duties included coaching first base, while also assisting with hitting, base-running, and outfield. He also assisted in the development of the team's scouting reports and game plans.

Prior to starting his coaching career, den Dekker played in the majors for six seasons with the Mets (2013-14, 2018), Nationals (2015-16), and Detroit Tigers (2017). Over the course of his professional playing career, he hit .271 with a .335 on-base percentage, 487 runs scored and 401 runs batted in, in addition to 112 stolen bases on 152 attempts.

During his collegiate playing career, den Dekker was an outfielder for the Gators from 2007-10, helping them reach the 2010 College World Series. He went on to be drafted by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. Upon his departure, den Dekker was regarded as the top defensive outfielder in school history. With the Gators, he earned an All-SEC First Team nod in 2008, an All-SEC Second Team laurel in 2010, along with SEC All-Defensive Team selections in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

He is still currently in the Gators' top 10 for career runs scored (220, 4th), stolen bases (65, t-5th), hits (262, t-8th), runs batted in (159, t-10th), and games played (234, t-10th). den Dekker also finished his collegiate career with a .310 batting average.

What They Had to Say About Matt den Dekker

"Matt was a great player for us at Florida. He was a tremendously hard worker and willed himself to the big leagues. He came back this year and finished his degree and was instrumental in helping us to a 16-1 start and #1 ranking. Matt will be a great addition to the Charleston Southern program. I am very happy for Matt and his family!" – Kevin O'Sullivan, University of Florida head coach

"CSU got a great one in Matt den Dekker. For me, it's all about the person that make people good at what they do, and Matt is a tremendous human. The same attributes that made Matt successful as a player are the same things that are going to make him a successful coach. His hiring is going to prove to be a big asset to CSU's program moving forward." – Joe Dillon, Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach

“You got a Christian man at a Christian institution. He’s a tremendous person with a great demeanor who can talk to anybody. Matt is an excellent teacher who communicates his message both poignantly and clearly. I believe he’ll be perfect for CSU baseball.” – Dusty Baker, Houston Astros manager