Troy names Skylar Meade as new Baseball Coach
TROY, Ala. – One of the most respected and renowned assistant coaches in the country, Skylar Meade has been named Troy’s new baseball head coach following four seasons as the pitching coach at South Carolina, Troy Director of Athletics Brent Jones announced Wednesday afternoon.
Meade will officially be introduced at a press conference Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Stadium Club of Veterans Memorial Stadium. The press conference will be open to the public, and it will be streamed live on Facebook (TroyAthletics).
A 14-year coaching veteran, Meade has previous stops at Michigan State, Middle Tennessee and Eastern Illinois following a standout playing career at Louisville, where he pitched in the College World Series. Meade has coached 28 players who have been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, with 12 of those players taken within the first 10 rounds.
Meade is coming off a season in which six South Carolina pitchers were selected in the MLB Draft earlier this week, which was tied with Arkansas for the most pitchers selected from any one school. Brett Kerry earned D1 Baseball and NCBWA All-America honors while Will Sanders was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, was a Freshman All-American selection by two organizations and was recently selected as a member of USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. Additionally, Jack Mahoney earned Freshman All-America honors from Perfect Game.
“Skylar is a dynamic leader who has a proven track record of success,” Jones said. “We are excited to welcome Skylar, his wife Jesse and their two boys to the Troy Family. He is widely recognized as one of the top pitching coaches and recruiters in the nation. Skylar will build upon the great tradition and the history of success that Troy Baseball is known for. I would like to thank our selection committee for their hard work in this process as Skylar rose to the top of an extremely deep and talented candidate pool.”
The Gamecocks posted the fourth-best ERA in the Southeastern Conference in 2021, while South Carolina’s staff totaled 624 strikeouts in just 507 innings pitched. South Carolina hosted an NCAA Regional and picked up an in-season sweep of No. 5 Florida.
“We have established ambitious goals for our baseball program, and we believe Skylar Meade is the head coach to get the job done,” Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor said. “Skylar has been to the College World Series, so he understands what it takes to compete at the highest level. Under Coach Meade’s leadership, I am confident the best is yet to be for Trojan baseball.”
Meade joined the South Carolina staff before the 2018 season and during his four seasons, 14 Gamecock pitchers were selected in the MLB Draft. Seven of those picks came in the top 10 rounds, including Carmen Mlodzinski, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 31st overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
“First and foremost, my wife and family could not be more excited to join the Troy Family,” Meade said. “We’d like to thank Chancellor Hawkins, Brent Jones, Kyle George, Sandy Atkins and the committee for their belief in our vision for Troy Baseball. We will hit the ground running with this job and start the process of making 2022 a great year. Lastly, there is no way to get to every person who has reached out to us, but to every single one, we say thank you. Go Trojans!”
He made an immediate impact in his first season with the Gamecocks as they held opponents to a .243 batting average and posted 542 strikeouts in 553.1 innings of work. In the shortened 2020 season, South Carolina pitchers combined for a 2.81 ERA with 184 strikeouts in just 144 innings pitched. In 2019, Kerry began his rise up the national pitching ranks under Meade’s guidance as he was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and a Freshman All-American by three different organizations.
Meade joined the South Carolina staff following three seasons as the pitching coach at Michigan State. Under his watch, a Spartan pitcher led the Big Ten in ERA in each of his last two seasons on staff (Walter Borkovich in 2017; Dakota Mekkes in 2016). Additionally, the Spartans posted their top three strikeout totals in school history his final three seasons with 409 strikeouts in 2015, 466 in 2016 and 420 in 2017.
Michigan State led the Big Ten in ERA (2.75), opponent’s batting average (.234) and runs allowed (199) in 2016. That ERA also was third in the nation and fifth lowest in school history. Meade helped Mekkes earn NCBWA All-America honors after finishing the season with the best strikeout per nine innings (15.16) and hits per nine innings (4.11) ratios in the nation. In his first season, Meade helped Joe Mockbee to a 1.78 ERA, the lowest by a Spartan since 1974.
Prior to his stint at Michigan State, Meade spent two years as the pitching coach at Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raider pitching staff lowered its team ERA in each of his two seasons including posting the program’s lowest mark in 13 years during his final year on staff.
Meade also mentored Zac Curtis, who was selected in the sixth round of the MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Daniel Palo, a Colorado Rockies draftee.
Prior to joining the staff at Middle Tennessee, Meade spent five seasons at Eastern Illinois, first as a graduate assistant before being elevated to an assistant coach in 2009. EIU posted one of the Ohio Valley Conference’s best rotations during his time at the school. The Panthers sported the best team ERA in the OVC in four of his five years – 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 – while finishing second in 2009.
Meade helped lead the Panthers to the 2009 OVC regular season championship and the 2008 OVC Tournament title; the berth in the 2008 NCAA Tournament was just the second in school history.
During his tenure at EIU, Meade saw a number of his pitchers rack up All-OVC accolades in addition to being selected in the MLB Draft. In 2010, Josh Mueller was drafted in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies. Tyler Kehrer, who led the OVC in strikeouts and opponent batting average in 2009, became the highest-drafted EIU player since 1988, as he was taken 48th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Compensation Round A.
Meade joined the coaching staff at EIU following his playing career at Louisville. Meade anchored a pitching staff that helped lead Louisville to an appearance in the 2007 College World Series. The southpaw recorded nine wins and limited opposing batters to a .247 average during the Cardinals’ run to Omaha.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Meade earned his bachelor’s degree in sports administration from Louisville in 2007 and completed a master’s degree in kinesiology and sports studies (sports management) in the summer of 2009 from EIU.
Meade and his wife, Jesse, have two children, Kasen and Mikah.
Skylar Meade Coaching Timeline
2022 Troy Head Coach
2018-21 South Carolina Assistant Coach
2015-17 Michigan State Assistant Coach
2013-14 Middle Tennessee Assistant Coach
2009-12 Eastern Illinois Assistant Coach
2008 Eastern Illinois Graduate Assistant