CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlottesville Tom Sox are excited to welcome Nick Balley, Zach Bennett, and Zach Woolard as assistant coaches for the 2022 summer. Balley and Bennett will serve as assistant coaches, while Woolard will serve as the team’s pitching coach. Balley, Bennett, and Woolard join Head Coach Ramon Garza to complete the 2022 coaching staff.
Nick Balley enters his first season as a Tom Sox assistant coach in 2022. Balley joins the Tom Sox after finishing his playing career at the University of Texas at Dallas and comes to Charlottesville for his first career coaching job.
Balley played three seasons for the Comets, the last two alongside Tom Sox Head Coach Ramon Garza. He finished his career with a .286 batting average, 35 runs scored, and 40 RBI across 58 games. He especially heated up down the stretch this season for UTD, batting .375 with five RBI in the month of May.
Prior to his time with the Comets, Balley had stints at Cedar Valley College and Eastfield College after redshirting his freshman year at the University of California-San Diego. In each of his two JUCO seasons, Balley had a batting average over .275, scored more than 45 runs, and had over 20 RBI. He also gained acumen as a utility infielder, playing second base, shortstop, and third base over the course of his career.
Balley recently completed his master’s degree in corporate innovation and has begun a career in real estate finance in addition to his baseball career. Balley says he is excited to begin his coaching career in Charlottesville alongside a former teammate, and has heard nothing but good things about the Tom Sox organization:
“With the team that we’ve assembled, I couldn’t be more excited to get to work with all the guys. I got the chance to talk to Mike, and I like the work that he’s done here and the organization that he’s brought. I’ve heard only great things from Ramon and his time in Charlottesville with the Tom Sox. If I want to sum it up in 2 words: really excited.”
Zach Bennett enters his first season as a Tom Sox assistant coach in 2022. Bennett joins the Tom Sox while serving as an assistant coach at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi. Throughout his 5-year coaching career, Bennett has mentored many all-conference and all-region selections, 20 Division I commits, and one MLB draft pick.
In 2022, Bennett helped mentor a sophomore class that graduated 100% of its student-athletes and sent every one of them to a 4-year college. The team finished with a collective 3.38 GPA and had 18 players finish with a GPA over 3.5. On the field, the Wolves hitters finished with a .285 team batting average, .820 OPS, and scored just over five runs per game.
Bennett joined Co-Lin after spending one season as an assistant coach at Florence-Darlington Tech in Florence, South Carolina. Under Bennett’s assistance, the Stingers advanced to the second JUCO World Series in their program’s history after winning both their region and district championships. Bennett helped lead a high-powered offense who had a team batting average of .346, OPS of 1.011, and scored 9.9 runs per game. Bennett mentored eight All-Region selections, including Hunter Parks, an eighth-round draft pick by the Cincinnati Reds.
Bennett spent the 2021 summer with the High Point-Thomasville HiToms of the Coastal Plain League, who finished 32-22 and made the CPL playoffs.
Prior to his time in South Carolina, Bennett spent three years as an assistant coach at Kings High School in Ohio. The Knights lost only 14 games over his three seasons while winning a conference championship in 2019.
Said Bennett: “This is a great opportunity; I think we have a lot of talent in Charlottesville and it’s one of the premier destinations for collegiate summer baseball. It’s a place where I’m looking forward to having a lot of success and I’m very excited to be a part of the Tom Sox family.”
Zach Woolard enters his first season as the Tom Sox Pitching Coach. Woolard joins the Tom Sox for his first career coaching job, having just wrapped up his pitching career at North Carolina Wesleyan (Rocky Mount, N.C.) where he graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice.
During Woolard’s time at NC Wesleyan, the Bishops won two conference titles, two division titles, and appeared in one NCAA Division III regional. Woolard helped the Bishops to a 92-53 record over his four years, pitching in 21 games and striking out 18 batters.
In addition to his time with NC Wesleyan, Woolard pitched during the 2020 summer for the Tarboro River Bandits of the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League. He threw in eight games (one start) with a 3.86 ERA and 11 strikeouts.
Said Woolard: “I’m very excited for this summer, to be a part of such a talented team, and be on a coaching staff that has so much knowledge of the game. My expectation for this summer, aside from trying to win a championship, is to help these guys be prepared to go back to their schools after this summer and be ready to step up into roles that their team needs them to.”
Garza, Balley, Bennett, and Woolard will join an elite roster of collegiate players as the Tom Sox begin their season next Friday (June 3) on the road against the Harrisonburg Turks. The Tom Sox will play their home opener the following day (June 4), as they host the Covington Lumberjacks. Admission and parking at Charlottesville High School is free all season long thanks to Carter Bank & Trust.