|Title:||Associate Head Coach|
|College:||The Citadel, 1996|
David Beckley is in his 13th season on the coaching staff at The Citadel, including his third as associate head coach and seventh as the recruiting coordinator. Beckley works primarily with the infielders and base runners.
Under Beckley, the Bulldogs have flourished defensively. Head coach Fred Jordan has always preached that good pitching and solid defense wins championships, and Beckley firmly believes in that system.
Under Beckley’s tutelage, The Citadel has turned in some of its finest defensive seasons in school history. The 2003 team set the school mark with a fielding percentage of .968 and proceeded to break that again the following year with a .974 mark, committing only 69 errors in 2,633 total chances.
More recently, the Bulldogs eclipsed the .970 mark in fielding percentage when they committed only 67 errors in posting a .971 mark.
Several of Beckley’s pupils have parlayed their success at The Citadel into opportunities on the professional level, including five who were selected in the MLB Amateur Draft. First baseman Chip Cannon, who was named to the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger All-America team as a senior in 2004, was selected in the eighth round by the Blue Jays in 2004.
In 2006 shortstop Matt Matulia was picked by the Cubs followed by first baseman Chris McGuiness (Red Sox, 2009), catcher Richard Jones (Cubs, 2009) and second baseman Bryan Altman (Padres, 2010). McGuiness made his major league debut with the Texas Rangers during the 2013 campaign.
Second baseman Jon Aughey signed as a free agent with the Royals in 2005 while shortstop David Griffin played with the Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League from 2002-03.
Beckley's other task is to put pressure on opposing pitchers and defenses by coaching the Bulldog base runners. A huge threat on the bases himself during his playing career at The Citadel, the 1996 graduate swiped 103 bags in four seasons and has instilled his approach into his players.
Since Beckley joined The Citadel staff, five players have benefited from his knowledge to steal at least 50 bases in their career, a group headed by 2012 graduates Nick Orvin (74) and Justin Mackert (67). They joined Aughey (65), Chris Ard (54) and Trent Weathers (50) as among the leading base stealers in Bulldog history.
Mason Davis, a junior on the 2014 team, should join that list as he enters the season with a total of 36 steals. Hughston Armstrong, who is entering his senior season, stole 18 bases in 19 attempts a year ago.
Beckley played a pivotal role in the development of Weathers, who was selected the 2003 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. He played in every game in his debut season and batted over .300 while stealing 25 bases (in 30 attempts), the most by a freshman in Citadel history.
In 2010 the Bulldogs led the Southern Conference with 127 stolen bases, the second most in school history, and six players reached double figures in that category.
Beckley was a four-year letterman under Jordan from 1993-96 and was the top base stealer in SoCon history at the time of his graduation. He was a member of conference championship teams in 1994 and 1995 and was named The Citadel’s MVP as a senior in 1996 when he batted .335 with 65 runs scored and 37 stolen bases. He played in 236 of 242 games with 232 starts in his career and ranks in the top 10 in several offensive departments.
Prior to returning to The Citadel, Beckley was the head coach at Berkeley High School and had stints as an assistant coach at Barnwell High School and James Island High School. He graduated from Stratford High School in 1992 and was the High School Sports Report Lowcountry Co-Player of the Year along with former Bulldog pitcher Brian Callahan.
Beckley is married to the former Lauren Garmon of James Island. The couple has two daughters, Payton and Sydney Grace, and a son, Tanner.