Heidelberg University has been a mainstay among the leaders of the Ohio Athletic Conference and the nationally ranked since Matt Palm took over the program in 2000. Success comes from hard work and dedication, all of which Palm has instilled into the program over the course of his tenure.
The spring of 2013 will mark Palm’s 14th season guiding the Berg and expectations will continue to be at an all-time high.
In 2012, Palm led a youthful Heidelberg squad to a 27-17 record. The team made its fifth straight appearance in the OAC Tournament Championship Game.
The 2010 season was the most successful in the history of the program. Heidelberg finished with a record of 42-8 , claimed its fifth overall, fourth straight, OAC Regular Season crown and its fourth overall, third consecutive, OAC Tournament title. Heidelberg closed out the year winnings its first ever Mideast Regional Championship to earn its first trip to the NCAA Division III World Series.
The record breaking season was highlighted by eight All-Americans, eight ABCA Mideast Region honorees and eight All-OAC picks. Picking up Mideast Region and OAC player and pitcher of the year honors was Ricardo Lizcano and Andy Lowe. Palm was also tabbed the OAC Coach of the Year for the fifth time of his career and was named the Mideast Region Coach of the Year.
Its accomplishments were even more impressive in the classroom, as Nathan James won the inaugural NCAA Elite 88 Award, which honored the student-athlete with the highest grade point average of all the teams competing in the World Series. Heidelberg also had six Academic All-OAC selections and five academic all-district honorees.
Under Palm’s guidance, the Berg has posted a 20-win season every year since 2000, including six 30-win campaigns and two 40-win outings. Heidelberg has made 13 appearances in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament with 12 coming with Palm’s direction, including nine consecutive.
In 13 seasons, Palm boasts an overall record of 408-176-2 for a .698winning percentage. Prior to Palm’s arrival the program owned just a .387 winning percentage. He became the college's career win leader in 2002 and reached the 100-win mark midway through the 2003 season. In 2007, Palm reached the 200-win plateau during Heidelberg’s annual trip south to open the season and he eclipsed 250 wins in 2008. He continued to add to his career win total in 2009, topping 300 during the OAC Tournament. His 400th win came in a 9-4 victory over his alma mater Wooster on April 24, 2012.
Palm has brought a tradition of championship caliber teams to Heidelberg since day one which includes the following highlights:
- Five OAC Regular Season Titles (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
- Four OAC Tournament Titles (2004, 2008, 2009, 2010)
- Four NCAA Regional Appearances (2004, 2008, 2009, 2010)
- One Mideast Regional Championship (2010)
- One World Series Appearance (2010)
- 15 All-Americans
- One Mideast Region Player of the Year (2010)
- One Mideast Region Pitcher of the Year (2010)
- One Mideast Region Coach of the Year (2010)
- 36 All-Mideast Region honorees (14 First Teamers)
- Four OAC Players of the Year (2000, 2003, 2006, 2010)
- Three OAC Pitchers of the Year (2002, 2009, 2010)
- Five-Time OAC Coach of the Year (2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010)
- 107 All-OAC honorees (47 First Teamers)
- One Academic All-American (2000)
- One NCAA Elite 88 Award winner (2010)
- 14 CoSIDA Academic All-District IV (Five First Teamers)
- 38 Academic All-OAC honorees (30 First Teamers)
He joined Heidelberg after spending one year as an assistant baseball coach at Indiana University in Bloomington. Palm earned his master's degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta. During that time, Palm was an assistant coach with Emory University. The Eagles advanced into the NCAA Regionals every season he was with the program.
During his undergraduate career at The College of Wooster, Palm was a catcher. Throughout his four seasons with the Scots, Wooster posted a 112-55 mark. He had a career batting average of .332 with eight home runs, 101 RBI and 29 doubles. In his senior year of 1995, he hit .352 with 40 RBI.
Aside from his coaching duties, Palm was named director of athletics at Heidelberg on June 1, 2008 after serving as the associate director of athletics during the 2007-08 academic year. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the athletic department, with a strong emphasis on the overall experience that a student-athlete receives while at the Berg. Palm oversees the “H” Association, which raises funds for all student-athletes, as well as continually generates enthusiasm for all athletic teams through the Berg Pride program.
Palm is a native of Orrville, Ohio and is a graduate of Smithville High School. He resides in Tiffin with his wife, Michelle, three sons, Samuel, Nicholas and Charlie, and their daughter, Cecilia. Follow Coach Palm on Twitter, @mpalm7.
2000: 32-13-1 (12-3-1)
2001: 27-16 (12-6)
2002: 25-15 (9-9)
2003: 32-12 (15-3) OAC Regular Season Champion
2004: 32-14-1 (12-6) OAC Tournament Champion
2005: 23-18 (11-7)
2006: 26-16 (11-7)
2007: 28-15 (13-5) OAC Regular Season Champion
2008: 41-10 (15-3) OAC Regular Season & Tournament Champions/Regional Finalist
2009: 37-9 (15-3) OAC Regluar Season & Tournament Champions
2010: 42-8 (15-3) OAC Regular Season & Tournament Champions/Mideast Regional Champion/World Series
2011: 36-13 (13-5) Regional Finalist
2012: 27-17 (11-7)
Career: 408-176-2 (.698) / 164-67-1 (.709)