BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Former Hilltopper Baseball relief pitcher Matt Wilhite has returned to The Hill as an assistant coach with the WKU softball program, as announced by head coach Amy Tudor on Thursday.
“It is amazing to see how this door opened and it is with great pleasure and thankfulness to announce the hiring of Coach Wilhite,” Tudor shared. “Matt and his family are a great addition to our program and I’m excited they have decided to join WKU Softball. Coach Wilhite is a winner on and off the field and WKU Softball welcomes him and his family back to The Hill; it is a good day to be a Hilltopper.”
After earning All-American status following his senior campaign at WKU, Wilhite went on to an eight-year professional baseball career. The Franklin, Kentucky, native spent much of his professional career within the Angels’ organization before joining the Colorado Rockies’ system for a couple seasons.
Wilhite finished with a career record of 28-20 while sporting a 4.68 ERA in 369 professional appearances. The right-handed pitcher also registered 23 saves and 341 strikeouts during his career.
Since 2012 until his hire at WKU, Wilhite taught and coached at Franklin-Simpson High School, his former school. During that stretch, the Lady Wildcats softball squad recorded four-consecutive District 13 championships. Wilhite was named the Region 4 Coach of the Year following FSHS’s 22-12 season that included a perfect 8-0 mark in district play in 2014.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity Coach Tudor and WKU have provided me with being an assistant coach,” said Wilhite. “This school holds a special place in my heart as well as my family’s. I am excited to both work with this talented group of young ladies that we have on our softball team, and help bring another Conference USA championship to this program.”
“I believe Coach Tudor, Coach [Kayla] Bixel and myself can make this one of the premier softball programs in Conference USA, to give us a chance to compete for a championship and get us to those regional appearances with a chance to one day get to a College World Series,” Wilhite concluded.
During his time as a student-athlete at WKU, Wilhite etched his name all over the baseball record book, ranking first in three different top-10 categories. Wilhite owns the record for single-season appearances with 37 games played during the 2003 season and ranks third on the same list with 33 appearances the season prior. Also during the 2003 campaign, Wilhite recorded 11 saves, which ranks second on the single-season top-10 list.
With 23 career saves from 2000-2003, Wilhite owns the WKU career record in the category. The four-year baseball letterwinner also continues to hold the top spot on the career appearances top-10 list with 110. Wilhite collected numerous accolades, including becoming the first relief pitcher to be named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2003 and an All-SBC First Team relief pitcher in both 2002 and 2003, also collecting All-South Central Region Team honors those seasons.
Franklin, Kentucky, continues to be called home by Wilhite, who resides there with his wife Dyan and daughters Ellyson (5) and Owenn (3).