Maness was hired by the UNCW baseball team | Sports

Seth Maness is at a crossroads this year. After the odds of continuing his professional baseball career were lost, the 33-year-old right-hander had to weigh his options.

In the two years since his last professional baseball appearance on the mound, Maness had been an assistant coach of the Canes Travel Baseball team 17 and under, but he also had an accounting degree from the Carolina of the Is that led him to seek jobs in this field.

“I had no idea. I knew it was going to happen at some point. I got my accounting degree and I wasn’t ready to take that route, ”Maness said. “I looked around and I couldn’t quite put my finger on anything and baseball is my true love.”

As a result of her true love, Maness, a 2007 graduate of Pinecrest, was announced last week as a new hire on the UNC Wilmington baseball coaching staff. Maness will be the player development program coordinator, a new position for the Seahawks following staff turnover this offseason.

“It’s a new role. I’m really right on the bottom of the barrel. I’m trying to get my foot in the door and move on, ”said Maness. “I will really do whatever they need to do.”

Maness got in touch with the UNCW coaching staff this year after hearing that a position had opened up when he met former UNCW coach Mark Scalf around Wilmington this year.

“I then contacted Coach (Randy) Hood and said, ‘I’m in the area, if anything opens up in the next couple of years I’d like to put my name in the hat,'” he said. Maness said.

Maness bought a house in Wilmington in 2017 and has lived there since 2020.

“The longest I’ve been in North Carolina has been here in 2020 and 2021,” Maness said. “I missed it.”

The experience of the past two summers and falls with the Canes has opened Maness’ eyes to what the future of baseball looks like. The high school baseball scene has changed a lot over the past 15 years, with player development taking a big step forward in preparing players to play to the next level, whether in college or the pros.

“I kind of see why I don’t play anymore because of how good these kids are and how tall they are,” Maness said. “They’re so good now. Guys are throwing ’90s in the middle. Hitters are unreal. It’s a good thing to be part of it to be a coach.

After being drafted in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB Draft in East Carolina, Maness made his major tournament debut in the 2013 season and appeared in four games of the 2013 World Series won by the Cardinals. . Maness made 215 appearances in the relieving box in his first three seasons, including a career-high 76 in 2015.

He signed with the Kansas City Royals after the 2016 season, making eight appearances during the 2017 season with the Royals. His last professional appearance in his nine-year professional career dates back to 2019 as a member of the Nashville Sounds, the triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

At ECU, Maness has been a four-time winner of all conferences. His 38 career wins remain a program record, as does his strikeout mark of 334 in his 411 career innings pitched.

In his nine years with the pros, Maness said the bond at the clubhouse was very different from what he had experienced in college, which made his urge to coach at the college level all the more so. stronger.

“I am thrilled to be a part of college baseball. I really like the varsity baseball scene. I feel like this is the last team unit firing in the same direction for a common goal. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen at the professional level, but there is more individuality at the professional level, ”said Maness. “In college, everyone wants to go to Omaha. Everyone wants to win a World Series, but I don’t feel like it’s as strong as the college bond. I am delighted to be a part of it.

The UNCW just finished a 32-22 season this spring and has made back-to-back NCAA appearances in 2018 and 2019.

Former Pinecrest pitcher and Sandhills Athletic Conference player of the year RJ Sales is a freshman for the Seahawks this season.

“The opportunity to add Seth to our squad was obvious,” UNCW coach Randy Hood said of Maness in a press release. “His experiences of being one of the best to play in the ECU and then in the major leagues where he played on the biggest stages will allow him to be such a great resource for our players and to help us in all phases of their development. I certainly look forward to working with him. “

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