ASHEBORO – Experiencing success in a summer collegiate baseball league certainly looks good on a coaching resume. What coaching staff wouldn’t be improved with the addition of a coach who has won a summer collegiate title in any of the summer leagues now available?
The Asheboro Copperheads’ coaching staff just improved with the hiring of Jeremy Knight as the assistant coach. Knight, who will work under the direction of six-year head coach Keith Ritsche, moves to the Coastal Plain League after a couple of seasons with the New Market Rebels of the Valley Baseball League, where he won a league championship in 2018.
Knight is currently the assistant baseball coach at Southern Alamance High School, working under veteran mentor Jason Smith.
“We are excited about adding Jeremy to our staff as he will be a great fit for this upcoming summer,” said Ritsche, who is also in his first year as the team’s general manager. “I’ve had some really great assistant coaches in the past, and I first of all want to thank them for what they have done for the Copperheads. I have no doubt that Jeremy will do well following in their footsteps as he brings plenty of knowledge to the game, including with the use of technology with his players. In addition, having the experience of what it takes to win a summer league championship will have a large impact on our success.”
Originally from Charlottesville, Va., Knight is the former head baseball coach and defensive coordinator for the football team
at Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg, Va. Knight is now the hitting/outfield coach for Southern Alamance, which competes in the Mid-Piedmont Conference along with Randolph County foes Asheboro and Southwestern Randolph high schools.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to get into what I view as a bigger summer collegiate league,” said Knight, who recently moved to North Carolina in order to be closer to his wife’s family. “College coaching is where I want to get to in my career.”
Knight, who earned a Media Studies and Sports Journalism degree from Radford and then a Masters in Education from Liberty, will be working with the Copperheads’ hitters this summer, a position he held with the New Market team.
“As a hitting coach, I like to sit down and talk about what their coaches have told them in their exit interviews and I want to base everything around their needs,” said Knight, who has also coached basketball and football at the high school level. “I still have my philosophies and ways I like to do things, but I will cater to them as much as possible.”
Knight said he is looking forward to the season, knowing full well there will be challenges.
“It’s really a unique situation because they are coming off a full season already,” Knight said. “You’re playing a professional schedule and most have never played before.”
Knight said he hopes to help bring Asheboro its first CPL title.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Knight said about winning the VBL title in 2018. “It really means a lot to the community. There are no professional teams in Virginia and a lot of communities are built around summer baseball. It was a great summer.”
The Copperheads are hoping to have one of those as well.