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Jim Leggett
Jim Leggett has been with the Mountaineers since September 2023.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Baseball Promotes Leggett to Pitching Coach

Following nine prior seasons as a collegiate pitching coach and four months serving the Mountaineers’ baseball program as the Director of Operations – Pitching Performance, Jim Leggett has been promoted to serve as App State’s pitching coach, head coach Kermit Smith announced on Friday.

“My wife and I already feel like the High Country is home, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be the next pitching coach at App State,” Leggett said. “The vision of Coach Smith, the athletic department and the University make this unbelievably exciting to be a part of.

“Thank you to Coach Smith and everyone involved for believing in me for this opportunity. I cannot wait to continue carving this path of helping our student-athletes become the best they can be. If we keep that as our focus, I firmly believe we will compete at the highest level of college baseball right here in Boone.”

“Jim is a winner,” Smith said. “He has done everything from winning a state championship as a high school player to competing in the NCAA II and JUCO World Series four times as a coach and player. He has coached eight pitching staff and four of them have finished in the top-two in their respective conferences. Most importantly he is a great person. He and his wife Kate will affect our program and community in a positive way.”

Leggett takes over for Ricky Meinhold, who was hired by the Toronto Blue Jays organization after formerly working in the Major Leagues for the New York Mets.

Since joining the Mountaineers in December, Leggett has been instrumental in working with App State pitchers in the new state-of-the-art pitching lab, which opened this fall, and is used to improve pitching performance and aid in injury prevention.

Prior to joining the App State staff in September, Leggett served as the pitching coach at Trevecca Nazarene in Nashville, Tenn., where he helped lead the Trojans to three consecutive 30-win seasons, including a 2021 Division II College World Series berth, followed by a 37-win campaign the following season. In 2023, the Trojans claimed another division title, with two of Leggett’s weekend starters earning all-conference recognition with sub-3.00 ERAs.

During his four full seasons at Trevecca Nazarene, Leggett developed 10 all-conference pitchers, including a pair of all-region honorees and one All-American. His 2021 staff boasted a team ERA of 4.30, which led the conference and ranked as high as eighth nationally during the season.

A native of Rocky Mount, N.C., Leggett was an all-state pitcher and state champion at Rocky Mount High School before beginning his college career in 2009 under Smith at Belmont Abbey, which made it to the Division II College World Series.

Leggett then transferred to Pitt Community College, where he again made a College World Series appearance as a pitcher the following year. Leggett received his associate’s degree from Pitt Community College in 2011 and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from East Carolina in 2014.

In 2015, Leggett began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant and pitching coach in Greenwood, S.C., on a Lander staff with Smith as the head coach and Britt Johnson as an assistant. Leggett helped Lander’s pitchers post a 3.98 ERA that led the Peach Belt in 2016 on the way to a College World Series appearance and a program-record third-place finish in the national rankings.

Leggett went on to become a full-time pitching coach at Francis Marion in Florence, S.C., from 2017-18, helping the Patriots to an 18-2 start during the 2017 season, their best start in program history.

What they’re saying about Leggett…

“Coach Leggett was an important part of my career; through college and professional baseball. There were tools that Coach implemented into my pitching development that helped me. Whether that was helping me doing a daily routine, to pitch design, or the mental side of pitching, Coach Leggett brought his own twist to a game that is changing constantly and made it consistent throughout my career. I’m grateful for the time I had with him and I know that Appalachian State’s pitching staff will be grateful to have him.”

– Brandon White (12th Round Draft Pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2016 out of Lander University)

“I’m excited for the players and the future of the program with the promotion of Jim Leggett to pitching coach. We have worked alongside each other for the last four months and I know he will continue to maximize the development of each individual he is tasked to lead. He’s had success at every step of his journey, and I know that will continue in this new role here at App State. This is a special place with special people, and I’m excited to watch Jim lead this pitching staff to perform at a high level, now and into the future. I am here to support him every step of the way! Congratulations Jim, and Go Mountaineers!”

– Ricky Meinhold (Former App State pitching coach, Toronto Blue Jays – Coordinator, Pitching Development)

“Congratulations to Jim Leggett on being hired as the new Pitching Coach at Appalachian State! Jim brings an incredible amount of passion and purpose to the App State Program. His devotion to getting the most out of his players by building meaningful relationships through trust, communication, and preparation is impressive. His growth-oriented mindset and drive to get better are surely going to set the tone for the players, and make a huge impact on the entire program. Though the entire App State Pitching Staff is in great hands, so is the entire App State Program because Jim’s presence and passion is going to rub off on everyone”.

– Alan Jaeger (Jaeger Sports)