ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone announced today that Boston College assistant Scott Friedholm has been named as the Bulldogs new head baseball coach pending approval by the school’s Board of Trustees.
Friedholm will become the program’s ninth head coach as he succeeds Tom Smith, who retired following the 2014 season. A press conference to introduce him will come in the next few weeks.
“We are thrilled to welcome Scott Friedholm to UNC Asheville as our new head baseball coach,” declared Cone. “Our goal is to build a championship caliber program that contends for Big South Conference titles and NCAA Tournament berths on an annual basis. We believe Scott brings the experience and vision that will allow our program to reach new heights.
“He has an impressive coaching background at outstanding academic institutions like Boston College, the Naval Academy and Maine,” added Cone. “We believe Scott fits our tagline – Champions in Athletics and Leaders for Life – perfectly. All of us are looking forward to having Scott, his wife Angie and their two sons, Camden and Cooper joining up in Asheville.”
“I am very excited to be the next head baseball coach at UNC Asheville,” stated Friedholm. “This is an outstanding academic institution with a baseball program that has a great deal of potential. I can’t wait to get to Asheville and get started.
“I’m grateful to the search committee and Janet Cone for giving me this great opportunity,” Friedholm also said. “I believe that together, we will develop a lasting, winning culture at UNC Asheville where our student-athletes compete for Big South championships, graduate with degrees from an outstanding university and are role models within our community.
“I also want to thank Boston College and Coach Gambino for the privilege of working here for the last four years,” Friedholm also said. “Working at Boston College has been a wonderful experience for me and my family.”
Friedholm has served as the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach for Boston College the past four years. He helped the Eagle program improve from 12 to 22 wins this past season as BC went 9-7 in the second half of the year. Highlights of that stretch was sweeping a three-game series with Super Regional finalist Maryland plus winning a series at 2013 College World Series club, N.C. State.
He worked to make the 2014 the best season for the BC staff, registering an ERA of 4.27, a four-season low. The Eagles also tallied 352 strikeouts and a .261 opponent batting average over 489.1 innings, all bests under Friedholm’s tutelage.
In 2014, redshirt sophomore Andrew Chin was drafted in the 15th by the New York Yankees. Chin’s 3.46 career ERA currently ranks fourth in BC record books after two seasons under Friedholm. The southpaw’s .214 opponent batting average ranked ninth in the ACC in the regular season, he earned New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-England Third-Team honors and was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for a complete-game, two-hit performance in a 3-1 victory at No. 25 Clemson on May 16. Chin was the first Eagle to throw a two-hitter since 2005 and a complete game since 2010.
From 2011 to 2012, he lowered his pitchers team ERA to 0.34, while BC pitchers struck out 55 more batters. Eagles' arms increased the save totals while the opposing batting average decreased. In 2013, he worked with a young staff, including seven new arms, to improve throughout the season. He lowered the ERA 3.17 from the first half of the season to second, as well as the opponent batting average by about 30 points.
Three other BC pitchers have been drafted under Friedholm's tutelage. After their final seasons at BC, John Leonard and Mike Dennhardt were taken on the second day of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft in the 32nd round. In 2012, Matt Brazis, who spent two years with Friedholm and who is second all time in BC record books with 15 career saves, was drafted in the 28th round.
In the same role at Navy, Friedholm guided the pitching staff to the highest five-year win (149), strikeout (1,757) and save (59) totals among any other five-year stretch in program history. He developed the first two pitchers to ever be drafted out of Navy while also mentoring 12 all-conference selections, three freshman All-Americans and one All-American. The Midshipmen won 30 games in four of the five years he was at Navy. The program had done that just three times in the previous 110 seasons.
Two pitchers were also drafted under Friedholm, as Mitch Harris was chosen in the 24th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the second player in Navy history to be drafted, but chose to return for his senior season. He was then taken in the 13th round the following year, along with pitcher Oliver Drake (43rd round).
Prior to arriving in Annapolis, Friedholm spent four seasons in the same capacity at Maine, producing a pair of MLB draft picks and guiding the Black Bears to two NCAA Tournament appearances. Friedholm also served as the pitching coach for two seasons at Bryant, where the Bulldogs set school records in both overall and Northeast-10 Conference wins in consecutive years.
Friedholm played four seasons at Providence from 1995-98. As a freshman, he was part of the Friars squad that won 44 games and a program-record 16 Big East games that earned them a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Friedholm earned All-Big East and all-region honors in 1996 and then as a senior, he hit .395 with 13 homers and a school-record 66 RBI, earning All-America honors.
Friedholm signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay organization in June of 1998. He played for the St. Petersburg Devil Rays of the Class A Florida State League. In 1999, he attended the Rays' spring training camp.
Friedholm graduated from Providence in 1998 with a degree in history. He and his wife, Angie, have two sons, Camden and Cooper.
What People are Saying About Scott Friedholm
Mike Gambino (Head Baseball Coach at Boston College)
"We are extremely excited for Scott to be named the head coach at UNC Asheville, This is a big loss for the Boston College baseball program and a big gain for UNC Asheville baseball and athletic department. Scott will bring a high level of character, energy and work ethic. He has a passion for what he does, he loves his players and they love him. He has been a great pitching coach and assistant for a long time and he will make an excellent head coach. More importantly, he is a great husband and father, and we will miss having Angie, Cooper and Camden at our games and around the program."
Jason Ronai (UNC Asheville Baseball Alum and former Assistant Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy)
“Scott Friedholm and I worked together for five years at the Naval Academy. He is a tremendous man and an outstanding coach. Scott will blend in perfectly with the community at UNC Asheville and build a great program. Everyone will enjoy getting to know him and his enthusiasm will be contagious. He is an amazing recruiter who knows what kind of student-athletes UNC Asheville needs because he’s been recruiting those kind of student-athletes for the past decade at Maine, the Naval Academy and Boston College. This is a great day for the UNC Asheville baseball program.”
Tom Peters (Senior Associate Athletic Director at Boston College)
"We are very happy for Scott to receive this opportunity and everyone at Boston College wishes him well. We appreciate the contributions he has made to the BC baseball program in the last four years at the Heights, and we know he will provide great leadership at UNC Asheville."
JW Davis (Member of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees and Member of Search Committee)
“The caliber of the applicants for our head baseball coaching position was outstanding and a tribute to our university. Scott Freidholm stood out as the best among them. He’s going doing a great job with our baseball program.”