Robert Woodard, head coach of the Charlotte 49ers baseball team, and Austin Knight were named Conference USA’s coach and player of the year, respectively.
Woodard, C-USA’s Keith LeClair Coach of the Year winner, was recognized for transforming the Niners, who were picked to finish fifth in the East Division preseason poll and miss the conference tournament. Instead, Charlotte captured the regular season title with a 24-8 mark in conference play and posted the highest national ranking in program history. The Niners finished the regular season 39-17, currently the best record since 2011 and are one win shy of becoming the sixth team all-time to hit the 40-win mark.
Knight is the fifth 49er to win Player of the Year and the first since Justin Seager in 2013. He also took home the Newcomer of the Year award after his first season in C-USA and was named First Team All-Conference USA.
Currently, Knight is hitting .355 with nine homers and 56 RBI. The sophomore leads the country with 28 doubles and is on the heels of Associate Head Coach Bo Robinson’s all-time record of 32. His 77 hits stand second in the league, and he’s one of only four players in the country with 50 runs, 70 hits and 50 RBI in the regular season. Knight has hit .300 or higher in 10 series this season.
In addition to Knight, starting pitcher Bryce McGowan and relief pitcher Christian Lothes earned All-Conference First Team honors.
Aaron McKeithan and Will Butcher earned All-Conference Second Team accolades for their roles in the middle part of the Niners lineup this season.
Lothes and Butcher also earned All-Freshman Team honors along with LuJames Groover III.
Read more on the Charlotte 49ers website.