NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State University baseball program announced two new additions to the Spartans’ staff Monday. Matt Mitchell has been added as the program’s new volunteer assistant and Ryan Chipka joins NSU as the director of player development.
Mitchell will work primarily with the catchers but will also assist with other offensive and defensive instruction. Mitchell will also serve as the camp coordinator for Spartan baseball camps.
Mitchell comes to NSU after serving the last four years as an assistant coach at Averett University in Danville, Va., where he worked with the pitchers, served as recruiting coordinator and also prepared the team’s practice plans. A native of Hampton, Va., Mitchell played four years at Averett (2009-12) as an infielder and pitcher. He played in 114 games in the field at Averett and logged an 8-5 record in 109.2 innings on the mound. He was an All-USA South honorable mention performer as a senior and also earned USA South all-academic team accolades.
Mitchell, who played at Hampton High School, has also served as an assistant coach with the Peninsula Pilots summer collegiate baseball team in the Coastal Plain League since 2012. He has helped the Pilots win two Petitt Cup league championships in his tenure.
“Matt is going to be a tremendous addition to our coaching staff,” associate head coach Joey Seal said. “Being from this area, he brings even more connections that will be vital to our recruiting efforts. Matt brings great energy and a vast wealth of experience and success at varied levels of college baseball.”
Chipka will serve a multi-faceted role at NSU. He will oversee the strength and speed training and nutritional plan for the baseball program. He will also be in charge of obtaining and creating all scouting information, monitoring the team’s academic progress and other program enhancements.
Formerly, Chipka served as the volunteer assistant baseball coach at the University of Toledo last season and as head coach at Rochester College for two seasons prior to that. At Rochester, Chipka led the Warriors to consecutive USCAA Small College World Series appearances.
“Coach Chipka’s arrival on campus adds a new dimension to our program,” Seal said. “We added this position to ensure our players are getting the entire experience a student-athlete deserves. We feel his experience and success at various levels will make an immediate impact with our program. Ryan is a very driven and detail-oriented worker and we look forward to having him on board.”
In addition to the hiring of Mitchell and Chipka, Seal also announced that Drew Suttmiller, who formerly served as NSU’s volunteer assistant, will now serve as the team’s hitting coach in addition to assuming a larger role in recruiting. Suttmiller has been a member of the coaching staff for the past six years, working with the infielders and hitters. He has served on staff for the Spartans as they have won the last two MEAC Northern Division regular-season titles.
“We are very excited to give coach Suttmiller more responsibilities and more of a role within our program,” Seal said. “Coach Suttmiller has proven throughout his time with us that he is not only a great instructor, but also a very good evaluator of talent. Drew is a tireless worker and has been on the cutting edge of all hitting and defensive metrics.
“It is very rare to have the opportunity to add just one of these three guys,” Seal continued. “To be able to add all three in one off-season is truly a testament to the direction this program continues to head. We are very excited to have such a dynamic coaching staff lead our outstanding student-athletes.”