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Coaching Staff

2014-15 Baseball

Drew Keehn

Drew Keehn

Baseball - Head Coach

E-Mail:  Drew Keehn

Coach Keehn enters his fourth year leading the Matador baseball program; his first three seasons have delivered 95 wins, a playoff appearance in 2012 and Region I Coach of the Year honors that same year. Coach Keehn spent one season as an assistant at AWC before taking over for John Stratton in 2012. Keehn started his collegiate coaching career in 2004 as an assistant at Odessa Junior College before moving back to Central Arizona College to work as the team’s recruiting coordinator and pitching coach from 2005 through 2007. Keehn’s final recruiting class finished 3rd in Grand Junction in 2008. During the summer Coach Keehn honed his craft by leading the pitching staff under Steve Abney for the Brainard Blue Thunder in the Northwoods League in 2005 and as head coach of the Liberal Bee Jays in 2006 & 2007 with an NBC appearance in 2006. Afterwards, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California hired Coach Keehn from 2007-2010. Keehn oversaw a Lions’ pitching staff that placed in the top of the conference in ERA and fewest walks allowed in 2009 a staff that helped lead the Lions to a 2nd place finish in the WCC Championship Series. 

Coach Keehn has had the opportunity to coach 25 MLB drafted players during his coaching career including major leaguers Josh Spence of the San Diego Padres and Ryan Wheeler, currently with the Anaheim Angels. While at Arizona Western the Matadors have produced four first team all-conference players and three second team selections. The Matadors have produced academically under Coach Keehn with 41 Dean’s List recipients. The team boasts a 2.85 overall GPA in the first three years and including a 3.124 GPA in the fall of 2014.

Collegiately Keehn played at Central Arizona College from 1992-94. Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the ’93 Major League Baseball draft. Keehn spent three years in the Rockies’ organization and worked his way up to Class A-Asheville.  A native of Wyandotte, Michigan, Keehn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science at the University of Arizona, and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Phoenix.  Keehn and his wife Aybuke, a former NJCAA All-American and NAIA All-American in track and cross-country, are blessed with two children: daughter Nisa, who will turn 4 this spring, and son Ozan, a recent addition this past summer.

Kyle Carothers Assistent Basketball Coach

Kyle Carothers

Baseball - Assistant Coach

E-Mail:  Kyle Carothers

One of Drew Keehn’s first tasks when he moved up from assistant to head baseball coach was find someone he trusted as his lead assistant as much as Keehn was trusted by longtime AWC Head Baseball Coach John Stratton. That man was Kyle Carothers, since Keehn saw that Kyle’s experience with every aspect of playing, training for and coaching baseball on the high school, junior college, four-year university, and pro levels over the last decade would benefit the program on several levels. Carothers finished off a star playing career at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, by joining Whitman’s coaching staff shortly after earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from WC in 2002. He served as an assistant for the Missionaries in the spring of ’03, then extended his playing career that summer playing 1st base in the Canadian Baseball League. Carothers made the trek to the Grand Canyon State for the first time after that, spending two years as a high school assistant coach (under Keehn) at Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson. A longtime student of the fitness game, Carothers’ next move was to the four-year college level, where he spent the next two years as a fitness coordinator and personal trainer at the University of Arizona. The spring of 2006 saw Carothers return to the high school level as a hitting instructor for the Sahuaro High School varsity baseball team in Tucson. His first taste of head coaching was the next two summers at the Wilkinson Academy in Lynnwood, Washington, coordinating all on-field activities. Carothers’ junior college career began in 2006, when he returned to the Grand Canyon State to be the Strength & Conditioning Coach at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Carothers spent four years working with the Coyotes’ baseball, basketball, volleyball and golf players before jumping at the chance to return to coaching by heading to Yuma.
While at CGCC, Carothers continued to work toward his Master’s Degree, and earned it in 2008 from Arizona State University in the field of Exercise and Wellness. Carothers and his wife, Brianna, are happy to be new residents of Yuma, and dote over their four-year-old son, Peter, and their daughter, Kinley.

Matt Greely

Baseball-Pitching Coach

Matt Greely is entering his first season as the Matadors Head Pitching Coach. Matt spent last season under the same title at Everett Community College. The EVCC Trojans finished the 2014 campaign with a 2.18 ERA and a .222 batting average against in conference play. Matt was an Assistant Coach at College of Idaho in 2009. He then moved back to his hometown in Juneau, Alaska to complete his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. While back in Alaska he also was the Pitching Coach for Thunder Mountain HS for one year before being promoted to Head Coach during his last three years. Matt spent the summer of 2013 as Head Coach of the North Shore Emeralds, a semi-pro team in Washington.  He also spent this last summer as the Head Coach of the 18u Laces Baseball Academy (WA). Matt was a pitcher for four years in college. He played and received his AA from Walla Walla CC (WA) from 2005-06. Matt then attended University of the Cumberlands (KY) and played for one season before transferring closer to home and finishing his playing career and Bachelor’s degree in Sports and Fitness Management at College of Idaho. Greely finished his career at C of I with a 3.71 ERA. Matt played his summer baseball throughout college in the Boise Summer Collegiate League. Matt summer career was highlighted by a 7-1 record, 67 IP in 2005. Coach Greely has a passion for working with young people. He has taught high school PE and Health, worked in drop-out prevention, and works several clinics and camps throughout each season. His mom (Marla), dad (John), and brother (Sam) still live in Juneau, Alaska.

 Jack Watson Jack Watson

Baseball - Assistant Coach

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of when Jack Watson first took a step on the AWC campus. That was when a young Watson accepted the challenge of building the brand-new Matador Baseball program from the ground up. Watson began his AWC tenure in 1964 as a professor, and then one year later became the school’s athletic director and first-ever head baseball coach. Under Jack’s direction, the Matadors’ athletic programs flourished for the next decade, especially the football team, which went to six straight bowl games, and won the National Championship in 1972. Jack’s successful run overseeing the department ended in 1975, when he stepped down to move into the private sector. Watson was just as successful there as he was on campus, spending the better part of the last four decades in the insurance industry running his own business. In 2004, Watson and the Matadors reunited after then-head coach John Stratton asked Watson to join his coaching staff, and nine years later, Watson is the only remaining coach from that time. Before coming to Yuma, Jack was a baseball star-first at North Phoenix High School and then on a baseball scholarship at the University of Arizona. Jack then began his coaching career while attending graduate school at the U of A, coaching the Wildcats’ freshman baseball team. He then moved on to coach Glendale High School to the Arizona State Baseball Championship in 1959. Watson’s legacy at AWC is indelibly etched-thanks to the Jack Watson Scholarship, which was formed 5 years ago by a large group of Watson’s former players to honor him, and will give future baseball student-athletes a chance to get an education in Jack’s name. Jack and the love of his life, Marlee, are celebrating their 56th year of marriage, and still dote on their two children and two grandchildren.


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