Matt Mitchell joined the Spartan baseball program in the fall of 2016 as NSU’s volunteer assistant coach. 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. In addition, Mitchell also served as the team’s camp coordinator, developed scouting reports on opponents and handled other administrative functions for the team. In his tenure at Averett, Mitchell’s players earned 15 All-USA South Conference honors and two ABCA all-region awards.
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.
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. A team captain his junior and senior seasons, Mitchell was a two-time All-USA South performer and also earned USA South all-academic team accolades.
Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree in coaching/physical education from Averett in 2012. He is also pursuing his master’s in physical education.
Brian Beard is entering his second season as an assistant coach with the Norfolk State baseball program. He coaches the outfielders in addition to assisting with hitting instruction. Beard also serves as the program’s camp coordinator and assists with recruiting.
Beard was a two-year letterman for the Spartans from 2016-17. He played all over the diamond, starting games at all three outfield positions, first base, second and third bases, and pitcher. In two seasons after transferring from Old Dominion, Beard batted .316 as a Spartan with 22 doubles, 69 runs scored, 50 RBIs and 37 stolen bases while helping the Spartans win a pair of MEAC Northern Division titles and advance to the MEAC Tournament championship round in both seasons. Beard was a first-team All-MEAC outfielder as a senior in 2017, when he batted .332 with 13 doubles and four triples. He also pitched 30.1 innings over 13 appearances in his NSU career, notching two saves as a senior.
Beard was also a standout in the classroom at Norfolk State. He earned first-team academic all-district and second-team academic All-America honors from CoSIDA as a senior, the first player in NSU baseball history to do so. He was also a member of the NSU Athletics Director’s Honor Roll and MEAC All-Academic Team. Beard earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from NSU in 2017.
A Chesapeake native, Beard graduated from Great Bridge High School, where he was an all-district baseball and football player.