Lexington, SC - When the Lexington County Blowfish take the field next summer, they will be under new leadership.
The Blowfish have hired Matt Padgett to be the new head coach of Lexington County’s home team.
Matt is a Lexington native, playing at Lexington High School, graduating in 1995. In his time as a Wildcat, he received All-State honors in both baseball and football. He attended Clemson University, where in his final season with the Tigers, he collected 58 RBI with 14 home runs on a .376 batting average. He was also named First Team All-ACC in his final season.
Matt was selected in the fifth round of the Amatuer Draft by the Florida Marlins in 1998. In 2004, for AAA-Albuquerque, he hit 24 home runs with 93 RBI in what would be his best season in the minor leagues. During his playing career, he also played winter ball in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Venezuela.
After his playing career, he turned his sights on coaching. Coach Padgett lead the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League to the playoffs in 2016 and 2017. He returned to the Midlands of South Carolina in 2016 as the junior varsity head coach for Ben Lippen. In 2018 and 2019, as part of the varsity coaching staff, he led the Falcons to a SCISA-AAA State runner-up finish both seasons. Padgett returns to Ben Lippen in 2020 in pursuit of the State Championship one again.
“We reached out to former Blowfish head coach Jonathan Johnson” Blowfish co-owner Bill Shanahan stated. “Jonathan is a special advisor for the team and he recommended we talk to Matt. When the winningest coach in Blowfish history puts his support behind someone, we take notice."
“Matt is a true professional,” Jonathan Johnson said. “His time spent in professional baseball has given him knowledge beyond most coaches’ comprehension. These young men will be fortunate to play under Matt next summer.”
Lexington County Blowfish General Manager Theo Bacot echoed these sentiments. “We’re excited to have someone who grew up in Lexington leading our home team. His experience in the coaching profession speaks for itself, and we’re looking forward to watching Matt lead our team back to the Pettit Cup Playoffs.”
"I’m really excited to coach the Lexington County Blowfish," Padgett stated. "I take pride in Lexington baseball. I lived less than a mile from Ballpark Road growing up. Playing baseball at Lexington High under Tommy Williams, he taught me how to respect the game and playing right here in Lexington is where it all started for me."