- Current Team
Matt Parker begins his fifth season leading the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Eagles Baseball program.
The OKWU Eagles continued their winning tradition under Parker in 2015. For the second consecutive year the Eagles clinched the MCAC regular season championship and finished the season 49-14 overall—adding to the school record for highest winning totals in a season. The Eagles received an at large bid to the NAIA Opening Round where they were chosen as the #1 seed in the Davenport, MI regional—finishing one win shy of returning to the NAIA World Series for the 2nd consecutive year. The Eagles finished the 2015 season ranked 11th in the Perfect Game Poll and 14th in the NAIA Baseball Coaches Poll after having been ranked in each poll throughout the season. OKWU baseball produced 11 All-Conference players and led the MCAC All-Conference team with eight 1st team selections with two Gold Glovers recognized. For the 3rd consecutive season, the Eagles claimed the Freshman of the Year (Aaron Garner). On top of tying the NAIA national record for double plays in a season—82 in 63 games; OKWU Baseball finished the 2015 season ranked in the top of several national categories: #3 in total runs scored (538); #4 in total runs batted in (473); #4 in batting average (0.345); #5 in runs batted in per game (7.508); #5 in total hits (692); #7 in total doubles (134); and #17 in ERA (3.290).
Parker’s 4th head coaching season saw the program soar to new heights. During the 2014 campaign, Oklahoma Wesleyan again set a school record for wins. This time topping the 50 win plateau as the Eagles finished the season 58-8 overall. The 58 wins led all classifications of collegiate baseball. The historic season saw the Eagles set a school record with 29 consecutive victories from March 28th to May 25th. OKWU Baseball captured their first ever Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Titles. The spring saw the Eagles break into the Top 25 for the first time in school history at #16. Over the course of the schedule Oklahoma Wesleyan climbed all the way to #3 in the final poll. OKWU qualified for its first NAIA Championship Opening Round when they were awarded the #1 seed in the Jackson (MS) Bracket. This tournament saw the team go 3-0 en route to their first Avista-NAIA World Series berth. OKWU finished a very impressive third in Lewiston, ID. The Eagles lost to eventual NAIA National Champion Cumberland University. The 2014 season saw an onslaught of awards make their way to Bartlesville, OK. Oklahoma Wesleyan placed 12 on the All-MCAC teams with 9 of those making First Team All-MCAC. Defensively, Coach Parker watched as 6 Eagles earned MCAC Gold Gloves. OKWU nearly swept the major conference awards as they brought home the MCAC Player of the Year (Jose Ruiz), Newcomer of the Year (Jeff Butler), Freshman of the Year (Garrett Easton), and Coach of the Year. This is the second time in Parker’s three seasons that the Eagles have claimed the Freshman and Coach of the Year honors. The accolades did not stop at the conference level. Nationally, Oklahoma Wesleyan watched as several Eagles were recognized. Senior outfielder Jose Ruiz was named the NAIA National Player of the Year, American Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year, and the NCCAA National Player of the Year. Ruiz was also named 1st Team All-American and All-Tournament Team at the World Series. Diego Ibarra, who went 13-1 on the mound, was named NCCAA National Pitcher of the Year and made the All-Tournament Team at the World Series. Jeff Butler was named All-American Honorable Mention and made the NAIA World Series All-Tournament Team. The junior second baseman also won the coveted Charles Berry Hustle Award while in Lewiston, ID. Ruiz, Ibarra, and Butler were joined on the NAIA World Series All-Tournament Team by Cody Riley and Garrett Easton. Coach Parker was awarded the ABCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year honor as well.
As a team, the 2014 OKWU Eagles ranked in the top 12 in 10 different major categories. The Eagles’ pitching staff led by Diego Ibarra and Zach Hendrix ranked 12th in ERA and 4th in opponent’s batting average. Defensively, behind the 6 MCAC Gold Glovers, Oklahoma Wesleyan finished 6th in the nation with a .971 fielding percentage. Not to be out done, the offense finished in the top 10 in 7 different categories. The Eagles finished 7th in batting average (.335), 8th in slugging percentage (.469), 3rd in runs scored with 583 runs in 66 games, 5th in hits per game, 3rd in total hits (716), 7th in doubles (128), and 9th with 43 homeruns.
During his first season at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Parker led the Eagles to one of the most successful seasons in school history. OKWU completed the 2012 season 42-25 finishing 3rd in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) and National Runner-Up at the National Christian College Athletic Association World Series in Mason, OH. The 42 wins was a school record for the Eagles at that time. Under Parker’s tutelage, the Eagles ranked in the top 12 in the NAIA in 9 offensive categories including 3rd in runs scored, 9th in doubles, and 12th in batting average. OKWU stole 115 bases out of 146 attempts. Parker watched as the Eagles had 10 players named MCAC All-Conference, claimed 4 MCAC Gold Gloves, and had an NAIA All-American (Cory Ford). During his first season in Bartlesville, Coach Parker was named Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
In year two, the Eagles did not let up. Oklahoma Wesleyan University again topped the 30-win plateau finishing 31-24 and 3rd in the MCAC. Parker again led OKWU to the MCAC Conference Tournament semi-finals. The 2013 campaign saw 7 players named MCAC All-Conference including Freshman of the Year honors for CJ Gregory.
Prior to coming to Oklahoma Wesleyan, Parker spent the previous three seasons as an assistant at California Baptist University. During his time there, the Lancers baseball program reached new heights. In 2010, Parker assisted CBU in finishing 49-15, ranking #3 nationally, and making just the second ever trip to the Avista-NAIA World Series. Cal Baptist won the Golden State Athletic Conference twice in Parker’s three seasons. Additionally, Coach Parker coached the All-Conference shortstop each of his three seasons including the GSAC Player of the Year in both 2010 and 2011. Parker saw six players drafted during his tenure with the Lancers.
Before going to CBU, Parker spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Garden City (Kan.) Community College, leading the Broncbusters to the Region VI championship game. While there, he also served as an associate scout for the San Francisco Giants.
Prior to his time at Garden City, he spent the 2005-06 season as an assistant coach at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
Parker also spent two summers as an assistant coach with the Chillicothe (Mo.) Mudcats, leading them to the 2006 Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas (M.I.N.K) League championship and an appearance in the 2006 NBC World Series. During the summers between his collegiate career, Coach Parker also coached with the Batesville and Searcy American Legion teams from 2002-05 and led Batesville American Legion to the 2004 Arkansas American Legion championship game.
Parker played four seasons at NAIA Lyon College in Batesville, Ark., earning All-TranSouth Conference honors as a 2005 senior. He was a two-time TranSouth Scholar-Athlete as a 2004 junior and 2005 senior. He earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors as a senior.
A 2005 graduate of Lyon, Parker graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in business administration and had the highest GPA among business administration majors. He earned his Master’s in Sports Administration from Henderson State in 2007.
Parker and his wife, Lindsey, reside in Bartlesville.