USC Baseball Hires Matt Fonteno as Assistant Coach
LOS ANGELES – USC baseball head coach Jason Gill announced the hiring of Matt Fonteno as an assistant coach for the Trojans this week.
Fonteno comes to USC after three seasons with UC Santa Barbara, where he helped revitalize the Gauchos' offense and lead the team to the postseason each of the last two full seasons. Fonteno was elevated to associate head coach by UCSB following the 2019 season.
"I am extremely excited to welcome Matt, his wife Lindsay and their four children into the Trojan Family," said Gill. "He is a proven winner with postseason experience at two different universities. Matt will take over the hitting coach responsibilities as well as playing a big role in our recruiting efforts along with Coach Ted Silva. His ability to not only recruit high-end talent, but also develop it, is what made him so attractive to us. The bottom line is that he is a winner wherever he goes and the players under him get better."
UCSB's runs per game jumped nearly two full runs after Fonteno arrived in 2019, with the Gauchos going 45-11 and earning a No. 2-seed in the Stanford Regional that year. After posting a 13-2 record in the shortened 2020 season, the UCSB offense scored the 18th most runs in the country in 2021, propelling the team to a 41-20 record and No. 3-seed in the Tucson Regional.
"I'm honored and humbled to have the opportunity to be a part of the USC baseball program," said Fonteno. "Coach Gill has been a coach who I've really respected and I'm looking forward to getting a chance to work with him. I'm ready to get to work and am really looking forward to meeting all of the current players, alumni, administrators and support staff in the department. My family and I are excited to make the move and become Trojans. Fight On!"
A tremendous developer of talent, the Gauchos saw seven position players selected in the MLB Draft under Fonteno's watch, produced three All-American position players (two freshmen) and had 10 position players earn All-Conference recognition.
Prior to his time in Santa Barbara, Fonteno served as an assistant at Saint Mary's for five seasons. In just two years, he helped turn the Gaels into perennial contenders on the West Coast. After a 16-39 record in 2014, St. Mary's improved to 28-27 in 2015, its first winning season in six years. The 2016 season was even better for SMC as the Gaels went 33-25 en route to its first ever West Coast Conference regular season title, first ever WCC Tournament championship and first ever trip to an NCAA Regional. St. Mary's continued its success with a 37-20 showing in 2017 and its third straight 30-win (31-23) season in 2018.
With Fonteno on staff, the Gaels matched a program record twice, with four players selected in both the 2016 and 2018 MLB drafts. In all, 13 Gaels were drafted during Fonteno's tenure, including 10 since 2016 when Fonteno took over as recruiting coordinator.
Prior to St. Mary's, Fonteno spent one season as an assistant coach at Nevada and four seasons as an assistant at Chico State. While at Chico State, Fonteno was a part of the 2012 Wildcats team that won the NCAA Division II West Region and advanced to the World Series. While serving as the recruiting coordinator at Chico State, he brought in 17 all-conference selections, one conference Freshman of the Year, eight All-West region selections, one All-American and two MLB Draft selections.
Before arriving at Chico, Fonteno spent three seasons as an assistant at UNLV where he worked with outfielders, hitters and base runners and had seven players taken in the MLB draft.
He has also served as an assistant coach at Cal Lutheran, one of the top Division III programs on the West Coast, while coaching summer ball with the Battle Creek Bombers (Mich.), Petersburg Generals (Va.) and the Highland Park Blue Sox (Texas).
Fonteno graduated from York College in Nebraska, where he was an all-conference centerfielder and led the Panthers to their first ever national ranking. He also played collegiately at College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif.