September 24, 2011

Mihoci, Turner join Golden Eagle baseball staff

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech baseball head coach Matt Bragga has made a couple of additions to his coaching staff in the form of former Tech player Matt Mihoci and Brandon Turner.

A native of Jefferson, Ohio, Mihoci is no stranger to the Tech baseball program, as he played four seasons in the infield from 2005-08.

"Matt was the very first recruit of mine at Tennessee Tech, and he'll always hold a special place in my heart," Bragga said. "He knows our program inside and out and he will be charismatic coach for our team."

During his four-year career as a Golden Eagle, Mihoci played in 185 games, including 154 starts. He finished with a .299 batting average, 74 RBI and 77 runs scored.  He was also named second-team all-OVC as a second baseman in 2008.

Mihoci graduated in 2008 with a degree in business finance and earned his MBA in finance in 2009.

"It's great to be back, having spent the last few years away," Mihoci said. "Being away from Tennessee Tech made me realize how much I missed it here."

In the summer of 2010, Mihoci took on a coaching role for the Alabama Post 34 team that advanced to the state championship game.

"Coaching was initially what I wanted to do when I first started at Tech," Mihoci said, "I quickly realized that this is what I love to do."

He then moved on to Western Texas College in the fall of 2010. During his tenure at WTC, Mihoci helped guide the Westerners to a 37-17 record, which broke the previous record of 25 wins in a season.

The Westerners sported a 4.28 team ERA as a pair of pitchers were named to the Texas Juco All Star Game and two were named first-team all-conference.

Mihoci's last stop before returning to Tech came last summer as he served as an assistant coach for the Florence Redwolves of the Coastal Plain League.

"As a member of coach Bragga's staff you learn something new every day and I am looking forward to getting everything I can out of this experience," Mihoci said.

A two-time SEC Freshman of the Week out of Mississippi State, Turner brings a wealth of experience as a player and as a coach to the Golden Eagles.

"I have a great relationship with Brandon that dates back to when I was recruiting him," Bragga said. "I was thrilled when he decided to join our staff and now that he is here I can see why he comes so highly recommended by everyone he's worked with."

"I am glad to be here," Turner said. "It's great working for a great coach like coach Bragga and what he has done at Tennessee Tech over the last few years is phenomenal."

Recruited by Bragga out of Walker Valley High School, Turner eventually joined to the Mississippi State Bulldogs, where he quickly made a name for himself.

Named second-team NCBWA All-American in 2007, Turner participated in the 2007 College World Series. During his freshman season, he finished second in the SEC in batting average with a mark of .399.

After a distinguished career at Mississippi State, Turner was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 12th round of the 2008 MLB draft. 

As a member of the Jamestown Jammers, Turner finished third in the New York-Penn. League in batting average in 2008, en route to a being named to the NYPL All-Star Game. In 2009, he was promoted to the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers.

Before, during and after his playing career, Turner has also distinguished himself as a coach.

"While I was in the minors I always wanted to coach," Turner said. "My dad coached for 38 years and it has always intrigued me."

Turner began his coaching career as a member of the Chattanooga Traveling team in 2009, before serving as the advanced scout and infield coach for Lee University Flames. In 2010, Turner helped guide the Flames to an NAIA National runner-up.

Turner then moved on to Carson-Newman, where he took on several responsibilities including the infield, hitting and recruiting.

In 2011, Turner got his first taste as a head coach as he helped guide the Tennessee Styx to the regular season co-Championship in the Great South league.

He has also helped out at several baseball camps including Wes Hodge's Real Sports Academy Hitting Camp and the Bobby Valentine All-American Baseball Camp.