The Wrongful termination of Marshall Head Baseball Coach Jeff Waggoner

The Wrongful termination of Marshall Head Baseball Coach Jeff Waggoner

October 13, 2022
Signatures: 224Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Kristy Blair

This is a travesty, a local Marshall HEAD Baseball Coach, Jeff Waggoner, was let go, today, for NO APPARENT REASON, other than they wanted to go in a different direction. What direction is that? Jeff has been here for 17l years! 17 years of dealing with no field, no locker rooms, no bathrooms even at the field and they let him go, right before it gets built? He has our Baseball Team, in good shape. We have a winning team and they ALL love Coach Waggoner and are very upset he was, let go!! Our Football team has fallen, by the wayside, as well!! I, personally, along with MANY other people, feel like something BIG has happened in our Athletic Dept at Marshall! After a huge win at Notre Dame, 2-4 days later, our Offense Line Coach, just up and quit. Since then, we have a totally different team. It's time for some answers, but one thing is for sure, Jeff Waggoner needs brought back as the Marshall Head Baseball Coach!! 


Here is Jeff's Bio

2016 Conference USA Head Coach of the Year
2008 All-Pavlovich Team Coach of the Year
28 All-Conference USA Selections
23 Players selected in MLB Amateur Draft since 2008

2020’s shortened season was Coach Waggoner’s 14th season at the helm of Marshall University’s baseball program. During his tenure with the Thundering Herd, he has mentored 33 players to be drafted or signed at the professional level, including four players who reached the major leagues: Dan Straily (Debut: 2009 – Oakland A’s), Aaron Blair (Debut: 2016 – Atlanta Braves), Kevin Shackelford (Debut: 2017 – Cincinnati Reds), and JD Hammer (Debut: 2019 – Philadelphia Phillies).

Waggoner also has four former Herd student-athletes currently playing minor league baseball: Corey Bird (2016, seventh round – Miami Marlins), Buris Warner (2016, 22nd round -- Detroit Tigers), Elvis Peralta (2019, 26th round – Oakland A's) and Joshua Shapiro (2019, 34th round – Milwaukee Brewers). In June 2020, Robert Kwiatkowski signed a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox.

Waggoner was named the 2016 Keith LeClair Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading the Herd to a record season. Marshall won a program record 34 wins, including a win over 17th-ranked Florida Atlantic. The Herd also set a program record 21 wins in C-USA play. Marshall boasted its highest-ever RPI of 60. Waggoner’s team featured three C-USA All-Conference first team members (Chase Boster, DJ Gee and Tommy Lane), one C-USA All-Conference second team member (Corey Bird) and a member of the All-Freshman team (Joshua Shapiro). He also oversaw Tommy Lane to be named C-USA Newcomer of the Year. Marshall also found success in the classroom with a 3.01 GPA during the fall semester.

The 2016 MLB amateur draft featured four players from the Herd, second most in a single draft, and one undrafted signee. Corey Bird was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the seventh round with the 203rd overall pick. Burris Warner was the second player drafted in the 22nd round to the Detroit Tigers. JD Hammer followed in the 24th round to the Colorado Rockies. Parker Danciu rounded out the group in the 39th round to the Atlanta Braves. Aaron Bossi was signed by the New York Yankees as an undrafted free agent.

Waggoner produced all-conference USA performances in 2014 and 2015. Chase Boster earned All-Conference USA second team honors in 2015, while Corey Bird was chosen to the All-Freshman team in 2014.

Waggoner saw four more players drafted through the 2012 and 2013 season. In 2012, pitchers Joe Church (17th round to the San Diego Padres) and Mike Mason (24th round to the Colorado Rockies) were selected. In 2013, Aaron Blair became the highest drafted player in program history (first supplemental round - 36th overall - to the Arizona Diamondbacks) and Isaac Ballou (15th round to the Washington Nationals).

The 2011 season featured eight players who would go on to be drafted by MLB teams and two players who were signed as free agents. Greg Willams (Texas Rangers), Mike Mason (Texas Rangers), Joe Church (Los Angeles Angels), Isaac Ballou (Pittsburgh Pirates), Kenny Socorro (Chicago Cubs), Arik Sikula (Toronto Blue Jays), Shane Farell (Toronto Blue Jays), Rhett Stafford (Oakland Athletics) were each drafted in the 2011 MLB, marking the most drafted players in a season in Marshall baseball history. Victor Gomez (Atlanta Braves) and Ian Kadish (Toronto Blue Jays) were also picked up by big league teams as free agents.

Along with the most drafted players in a season, Waggoner’s club had four players earn Conference USA honors. Kenny Socorro was selected to the All-Conference USA team as an infielder and freshman, Aaron Blair, was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team. Kyle Blank and Arik Sikula both earned academic recognition through the conference, after being picked to the Conference USA All-Academic team.

In the 2010 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, Kevin Shackelford, Ryan Kiel and Aaron Blair were selected. Other notable players drafted include Steven Blevins, Tommy Johnson and Nate Lape in 2008, while Eddie Rush and Dan Straily were picked in 2009.

In 2008, Waggoner led the Herd to 30 wins, the most wins in a single-season at the time. Marshall notched 30-30-1 overall record and finished sixth in C-USA, with a berth in the 2008 Entergy C-USA Baseball Championship tournament. The Thundering Herd finished the tournament in second place.

At the tournament, Marshall defeated third-seeded Tulane twice, and second-seeded Southern Miss twice, before falling to Houston in the championship game, 3-2. All three of those teams were NCAA Regional participants in 2008. For his efforts, Waggoner was named All-Pavlovich Team Coach of the Year in "Collegiate Baseball" Newspaper.

In his first season with the Herd, Waggoner led the squad to a 21 wins that included 15 victories at home. The Alliance, Ohio, native helped lead Marshall to series wins against both Memphis and Houston. Waggoner led one of the biggest victories in school history, knocking off then No. 1 Rice in 2009 in Houston led by major-leaguers Anthony Rendon and Brock Holt.

Before taking over the head coaching position at Marshall, Waggoner spent two seasons as an assistant with the nationally-ranked North Carolina State University Wolfpack.

While with the Wolfpack, Waggoner was a part of two N.C. State teams that had a combined record of 81-41 and played in two NCAA tournaments. In 2006, N.C. State finished second in the ACC Tournament and was runner up in the NCAA Austin Regional. The Wolfpack ranked as high as seventh in the nation that season while finishing third nationally in hitting (.333) and second in the ACC in fielding percentage (.970). A total of six players were named to All-ACC teams, with two (Ramon Corona and Matt Camp) claiming All-America honors.

Waggoner's responsibilities with the Wolfpack included player development, recruiting, academic support, travel and directing N.C. State's summer baseball camps.

Before his arrival in Raleigh, Waggoner spent two seasons at Kent State University. The Golden Flashes captured the 2004 MAC Tournament Championship during his tenure and also had seven players selected in the Major League Baseball draft, including first round draft pick Emmanuel Burriss. Burriss has played seven years in the Majors with San Francisco, Washington and Philadelphia.

He was also an assistant coach at George Washington University from 2000-02, where he helped guide the Colonials to a school record for wins in a season (42) and the Atlantic 10 championship in 2002. George Washington led the A-10 and was among the national leaders in both batting average (.326) and home runs (91) that season. The Colonials posted a two-year record of 80-45 during Waggoner's stay, and five GW players were selected in the MLB draft.

Before his two years at George Washington, Waggoner spent the 2000 season at the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y., helping St. Rose earn a berth in the Division II College World Series.

Waggoner has worked with two collegiate summer baseball teams. He was the head coach of the Arlington Senators of the Clark Griffith League in 2002, guiding the Senators to a 32-10 regular-season record, the Clark Griffith League championship, and the All-American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA) national championship. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach for the Schenectady Mohawks of the New York Collegiate League in 1999 and 2000.

Waggoner lettered two years as a catcher at Cleveland State University, and graduated with a sport management degree in 1998. He played two years at Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., prior to transferring to Cleveland State.

Waggoner received his master's degree in Educational Psychology from St. Rose in 2001. He has two daughters, Kacee and Madelyn.

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