Riser named head coach at Southeastern
HAMMOND, La. – Picayune’s Matt Riser has been named the head baseball coach at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Riser is a 2002 graduate of Picayune Memorial High School, and the 30-year old becomes SLU’s 16th head baseball coach and one of the youngest at the NCAA Division I level. He has served as head baseball coach on an interim basis since Jay Artigues relinquished the duties to take over as Director of Athletics in June.
Artigues made the announcement Tuesday, following a national search. The appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
“I’m really excited to see Matt take over at the helm of the baseball program,” Artigues said. “It’s something special to my heart, spending eight years to take the program to the level it’s at now. It was important to hire somebody who could not only take the baton and keep it at that level, but take it to the next level. Eight years ago, our program was at the bottom of the Southland Conference, and now we’re knocking on the door every year. I think Matt is the guy who can take us to the next level.”
Riser was a standout member of Picayune’s 2002 state championship team, and then went on to a stellar career at Pearl River Community College where he played under Artigues.
He then signed a scholarship with Tulane and played on the Green Wave’s 2005 team that went to the College World Series.
“It’s a dream come true, especially being this close to home,” Riser said. “The ultimate goal is to have your own program, but it’s so much more than an individual accomplishment.
“I couldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for coach Artigues and everything he’s done for me as far as a player and giving me my first job. I’m very thankful to him. I’m also very thankful for the players. Those guys go out and bust their tails every single day. Those are the guys who have to do it. They’ve got to throw the strikes, make the plays and get the big hits. If they didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have this opportunity.”
Artigues felt all along that Riser was the right fit to lead the Lions.
“I was fortunate enough to sign Matt as a player his freshman year and see him get his first chance to play college baseball. I gave him his first opportunity as an assistant coach at the collegiate level and now, to be able to watch him take over as a head coach, he’s definitely one of the top young coaches in the country. I’m excited to see his career take off.”
After his time at Picayune High, Riser played under Artigues at Pearl River Community College, where he led PRCC to the state title. He batted .376 as a sophomore and .347 as a freshman, while compiling 110 hits, 30 doubles and 109 runs scored in his two-year junior college career.
He then signed with Tulane, and led the Green Wave to the College World Series in 2005.