Matt was drafted by the LA Dodgers out of high school in 2013, and decided to continue his career the collegiate route. Matt played for both Grand Canyon University and Colorado Mesa University, and spent his summers playing for a number of summer ball leagues. Haggerty brings extensive experience in the recruiting aspect of College Baseball, a wealth of knowledge offensively, and has many connections in the baseball world.
He is the current Graduate Assistant for the GCU Lopes, and was previously the assistant coach at Scottsdale Community College. Matt's dad, Jim, played for ASU Baseball during the 1977 World Series, and was an assistant coach at GCU in '87. Matt has coached with the Thunder for several years, is thrilled to step in to the Director role, and can't wait to see new and returning faces on the field.
Shea joins the Thunder this year in parallel with his role as Volunteer Coach on the Grand Canyon baseball team. Most recently, he was the Director of Player Personnel at Penn State after a two-year playing career with the Nittany Lions. He brings high energy to the coaching staff, and is known for his "very detailed coaching regimen", as quoted by GCU head coach, Andy Stankiewicz. We're excited to introduce him to the Thunder coaching crew, and know that he will be a perfect fit.
Recent GCU alumni, David Avitia, signed with the Chicago Cubs as a non-drafted free agent his senior year in 2021, becoming GCU's 18th free-agent signee all-time. During his time at GCU, Avitia earned All-WAC honorable-mention honors, and finished his career with over 1,000 innings of work behind the plate. One of the nations premier collegiate defensive catchers, Avitia stopped over half of opponents stolen base attempts during his last 3 seasons, and caught 39 of 88 (44.3%) for his career. Avitia finished tied for fifth in the WAC his senior year with 11 runners caught stealing, despite missing the first month of the season due to injury. We're thrilled to add his skill and experience to our coaching roster, and know you will be too!
2018 GCU graduate Mick Vorhof ended his collegiate career as GCU's all-time pitching leader with 93 career appearances. Vorhof was named second team All-WAC, tying for conference lead with five saves during WAC play. Vorhof had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (16.0) since GCU's return to Division I in 2014, with the next closest being Jorge Perez's mark of 5.0 in 2016. With 48 strikeouts and three walks, his strikeout-to-walk ratio ranked third nationally among pitchers with 35.0+ IP. Vorhof currently continues his career with the New York Yankees, drafted from GCU in 2018.
Second baseman, currently playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Drew brings extensive knowledge and experience to the coaching staff. Drew was drafted by the Colorado Rockies from High School in 2011, and again by the Philadelphia Phillies from Arizona State University in 2014. Drew's bloodlines stem from baseball, as his father Andy played seven seasons in the Major Leagues for the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, and Arizona Diamondbacks, and is currently the Head Baseball Coach at GCU.
Recent GCU graduate, Tyler is currently the student manager for GCU baseball, and is working towards his MBA as a graduate student at GCU. This is Tyler's second year as a Canyon Thunder coach, and we are happy to welcome back his knowledge and energy on the field. Tyler was a pitcher during his playing years, and stopped playing baseball after high school in order to pursue coaching earlier. Tyler was the student manager for University of Texas at Arlington from 2018-2020, before coming to GCU in 2021. Tyler's bloodlines in coaching run deep, as his mother Sandra was the head softball coach at Central AZ College from 2007-2014, and his dad Jon is the current pitching coach for GCU baseball.
Matt comes to us from Lone Jack, Missouri. He is in his third year at GCU, and is finishing up his degree in Sports Management. At GCU, he helps with day-to-day operations, and works with infielders, outfielders, and pitchers. Matt has been with the Thunder for two seasons now, and is continuously growing and learning. Matt was an assistant coach and operations director last summer in the Northwood's collegiate league with the Battle Creek Bombers.
Arizona local, Ethington was drafted by the Red Sox out of Mountain View high school in Mesa in 2012. Previous first baseman, third baseman, and relief pitcher, Ethington played 3 years in Rookie Ball and A Ball as a pitcher, and played 4 years of Indy ball as a two-way player.