Georgia College Athletics hopes a historical trend holds true with the hiring of the baseball program’s ninth head coach, Nolan Belcher.
“If you followed Nolan Belcher, then you followed success,” GC Athletic Director Wendell Staton said in Friday’s virtual press conference introducing the new head coach. “Success follows him wherever he goes.”
An Augusta, Ga. native and graduate of Greenbrier High School, Belcher won three high school baseball state championships and back-to-back NCAA National Championships as a South Carolina Gamecock in 2010 and 2011. His coaching career has taken him to USC Aiken where he served as pitching coach one year and recruiting coordinator for two. Belcher most recently spent the last two seasons as a volunteer assistant on the College of Charleston staff.
His naming as Georgia College head coach makes this his second stop in Milledgeville now after having worked under previous head Jason Eller as pitching coach/recruiting coordinator for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. During that 2018 campaign, Bobcat pitchers set a program record with 468 strikeouts. Other notable accomplishments during his first tenure on the staff include having four players drafted into the Major Leagues, five All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans. Georgia College also had one Region Pitcher of the Year and a Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year when Belcher first coached here.
“I’m honored and humbled to be the next head baseball coach at Georgia College,” said Belcher. “I want to thank Wendell and President [Steve] Dorman for giving me this wonderful opportunity to work at such a great university with some great people. The opportunity to lead a program with such high academic standards, a rich baseball tradition and back home in my home state of Georgia is a dream come true.”
Belcher’s introductory press conference was held virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic so the media could not attend, but he did spend some time explaining what he wants his team to look like.
“To me personally, I want people when they talk about the Georgia College baseball program and my teams to say it’s a bunch of guys who play the game the right way, play very hard and are guys who enjoy coming to the ballpark every day and have a good time playing the game,” he said.
In his own playing days in Columbia, S.C., Belcher threw more than 250 innings for the Gamecocks, making 38 starts before finishing his career with an 18-13 record and 3.30 earned run average.
Belcher takes over a program that last won a conference championship in 2018. The Bobcats were 13-2 in the 2020 season before the pandemic shut play down. That record included five wins over ranked programs.
At 31 years old, Belcher explained why now is the time for him to take on his first head coaching role.
“For me it was a lot of different reasons,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work for a lot of great head coaches with Coach [Kenny] Thomas, Coach Eller and Coach [Chad] Holbrook. I feel like I've learned a great deal. From a development standpoint I feel like I’m ready. Being familiar with the program and the values that Georgia College has, it aligns with what I believe in, so I felt like that was a great fit. It’s such a competitive league, it’s close to home, and my wife wanted to come back, so that was a big reason as well.”
Georgia College’s 2021 baseball schedule has not been released yet.