HBCU Baseball 2024 Coaching Carousel Update

Black College Nines will continue to keep updates on the latest coaching changes for the coming 2024 season. Get all the latest offseason moves of HBCU baseball and recent head coaching and assistant coaching and staff addition changes that have taken place heading into the 2024 season .

Recent coaching changes…


Florida A&M University 

In – Infield/Hitting/Catcher Coach Tucker Rayburn

In – Pitching Coach Jeremiah McCollum

Note: Both former Rattlers bring experience to the coaching staff. Rayburn and McCollum were part of the 2019 MEAC Championship team and knows Head Coach Jamey Shouppe system. They are destine to assist Shouppe to back-to-back SWAC championship and repeat appearance into the NCAA tournament. Rayburn will work with Assistant Coach Brett Richardson with infield at first base, hitting instructor and work with the catchers while McCollum will command the pitching staff.

Norfolk State University 

In – Pitching Coach Brett May

In – Outfield Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Joe Morris

Note: Mays spent the past two seasons as the pitching coach at NCAA Division III Randolph-Macon College. Last season, he helped guide the Yellow Jackets to a 32-15 record, while the team was ranked as high as sixth nationally. In addition, Randolph-Macon received an at-large postseason bid to the NCAA Regionals, facing off against top-ranked Johns Hopkins. During the 2022 season, Mays helped guide the program to a 26-12 overall record and No. 24 national ranking.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore 

In – Assistant Coach Kyle Houts

Note: Houts will primarily work with the Hawk hitters. Prior to UMES, Houts spent a season at Ave Maria University in Florida. While at Ave Maria University, Houts was the hitting, catching and outfielder’s coach. During his time there, the Ave Maria baseball team ranked 17th in the nation among all NAIA programs, totaled a batting average of .306, scored 444 runs, hit 37 homeruns, as well as being the first time 10 years to make the SUN Conference Tournament, and the first time in program history to make it to a Regional Championship game. Houts also spent some time coaching in the Northwoods League for the defending NWL Champion Kalamazoo Growlers serving as the hitting and positions coach. Houts was also the Associate Head Coach at Lane College in Tennessee, a Hitting Intern/Youth Hitting Director at Driveline Baseball in Kent, Washington, and has been able to work alongside professional, independent, and high collegiate level hitters. Houts has implemented several nuances of hitting technology in day-to-day preparations along with helping with several impactful studies and data collection for the MLB.

Bethune Cookman University 

In – Assistant Coach/Hitting/Infielders Derek Cartaya

Note: Cartaya joins the Wildcats after four seasons as Volunteer Assistant Coach at Florida International University. The Pembroke Pines, Florida, native’s responsibilities included coaching infielders, assisting with hitters and serving as the Panthers’ Camp Coordinator. Cartaya completed his collegiate playing career at FIU in 2021 with a .296 career batting average over 199 games, the14th most games played in Panthers program history.

Jackson State University 

In – Pitching Coach Justin Thomas

Note: Thomas spent the previous five seasons as Head Baseball Coach at Bethany College NCAA Division III in West Virginia, leading the Bison to 84 wins during his tenure. Under Thomas, Bethany tied a school-record with 27 wins in 2019, and finishing as the runners-up in the conference. He also served as pitching coach for the 2022 MLB Draft League Champion West Virginia Blackbears, as well as a player development coach with the Elizabethton RiverRiders in the Appalachian League. Thomas had previous ties to HBCU Baseball spent four years as head coach at Voorhees College. His 2017 team posted a 20-win season, the program’s best mark in 15 years. From 2012-2014, Thomas served as Penn-State University – Greater Allegheny pitching coach, helping the program to a pair of conference championships and a national runner-up finish in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).

North Carolina A&T University 

In – Pitching Coach Forrest Arnold

Note: Arnold previously coached at Eastern Illinois, helping them reach the NCAA regional tournament in 2023. Arnold came to Eastern Illinois in August of 2022. In his one season at Eastern Illinois, the Panthers reached the Vanderbilt Regional, won 38 games and the OVC tournament. Arnold coached Eastern Illinois pitching produced 418 strikeouts, 14 saves and seven shutouts. The 2023 Panthers also broke the program record for innings pitched (518.0). Arnold spent a season coaching HBCU Baseball under Head Coach Carlton Hardy at Savannah State in 2021. The Tigers posted a 14-7 record and appeared in the Black College World Series. Arnold also assisted in starting a junior college program – South Carolina Union – in 2018. He remained the program’s pitching coach until 2020. He also served as the head coach in the Beach Collegiate Baseball League in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he won a championship and earned coach of the year in 2019. He pitched four years at Coker University, making 64 appearances and striking 147 while posting a 5-3 record with a 3.99 ERA as a senior.

Mississippi Valley State University

In – Head Coach CJ Bilbrey

In – Director of Baseball Operations/Recruiting Coordinator Montaous Walton

Note: CJ Bilbrey became the next head baseball coach for the Mississippi Valley State coming baseball season. Bilbrey was a former HBCU Baseball head coach at Harris-Stowe University in Missouri, Bilbrey was a four-year baseball player at HSSU. He spent seven seasons as a college assistant coach at North Central Missouri College, Maryville University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with both pitchers and hitters. Coached summer college baseball for the St. Louis Gamers in the Lewis & Clark Baseball League registering a 47-22 record winning the league championship in 2013. Bilbrey joined HSSU for two seasons serving as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach before receiving the interim head coach position in 2015. Bilbrey was then named head coach at Harris-Stowe and won 18 games in his first season as skipper in 2016. Then the team broke through with 30 wins in both 2017 and 2018 – only the third and four time a baseball team at Harris-Stowe has won 30 or more games in the 75-year-history of the program. Coach Bilbrey clinched his 100th win for the program in 2019 that put him second all-time on the Harris Stowe wins list in 2019. Forty-three of his players earned Academic All-Conference selections as well as five Scholar Athlete awards.

Montaous Walton comes with solid experience having three seasons in the past at Cincinnati Christian University as well as one season at Central Christian college of Kansas, two seasons at Wright State Lake Campus and most recently at NAIA Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi where he was part of the Bearcat squad that went to the 2023 College World Series.

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