Baseball Coaching Staff

Jim Gantt

Head Coach
Alma Mater: Catawba '89
Office Phone: (704) 637-4469

Jim Gantt became the head coach of the Catawba College baseball program in the summer of 1996 and was inducted into the Catawba Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.  In 2012, Gantt was named the ABCA Southeast Region Coach of the Year and the North Carolina Amateur Coach of the Year as he guided the team to the NCAA II National Finals where Catawba finished fourth in the nation. Gantt also earned ABCA Region Coach of the Year honors in 2019. 

In 2015, Catawba returned to the National Finals and finished as the national runner-up, equaling the school record with 47 wins. The 2019 team became Gantt’s third squad to claim a regional title and advance to the National Finals, equaling the record of 47 wins.

Under Gantt, Catawba has posted 30+ wins in 21 straight season, not counting the 2020 Co-VID year when the Indians were 19-3. Catawba has produced nine 40-win seasons since 2004.  Catawba has made a 13 appearances in NCAA II Regional play. Gantt has a career record of 886-436, guiding Catawba to 24 championships. 

Gantt was honored as South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year for the 12th time in 2021 after guiding Catawba to an unprecedented sixth straight conference championship. He was also named the league Coach of the Year in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014 and 2013 in leading Catawba to championships. He earned the honor in 2011 as the Indians garnered a SAC regular season championship at 41-15 and advanced to the regionals for the fourth consecutive year.

In 2008, he earned SAC Coach of the Year as the Indians claimed a SAC Championship. The squad advanced to the NCAA II South Region Championship game and posted a 43-18 mark. He was named the 2006 SAC Coach of the Year after the Tribe went 47-14.  Catawba won both the SAC regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA II South Region Championship game.  The Indians were ranked as high as #2 in the nation.

Gantt also earned SAC Coach of the Year honors in 2004 after guiding the Indians to a then school record 42 wins, including its first-ever berth in the NCAA II Regionals. In 2005, Catawba won the SAC title and went 35-19. The 1997 squad, his first as head coach, equaled a then second most win total with 32. Gantt also led the Indians to the 2002 SAC Tournament title and was named SAC Coach of the Year for the first time in 1999.

As an assistant for seven seasons, Gantt was a key part of Catawba’s five straight seasons with at least 27 wins from 1991-95. The Indians won back-to-back South Atlantic Conference championships in 1992-93 and was a perfect 21-0 in league games in 1992 (38-7 overall). He currently serves as the coach of Rowan County’s successful American Legion team, guiding the team to several World Series appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 2016.

In 2015, Gantt was inducted into the North Carolina American Legion Hall of Fame. He was named the North Carolina Amateur Coach of the Year in 2002 after guiding Rowan to a 43-2 record and a state championship. As an assistant, he helped the legion team to the 1996 Southeast Regional Championship, advancing to the World Series in Roseburg, Oregon.

Gantt, who graduated from Catawba in May 1989, with a bachelor’s degree in sports management, had an outstanding four-year career as a player for the Indians. As a third baseman, he was an all-conference performer and helped to Catawba to the 1988 Carolinas Conference championship and to the NAIA District 26 Tournament.  Gantt was an all-conference player at Newton-Conover (NC) High School before graduating in 1984.

Gantt resides in Salisbury with his wife, Adrian and their daughter Blakley.  Adrian, a 1998 Catawba alum, served Catawba as a head field hockey coach and an assistant softball coach before joining Jim in the Catawba Hall of Fame in 2017.

Baseball Coaching Staff

Curtis Owen

Assistant Coach
Office Phone: (704) 637-4250

 Curtis Owen joined the Catawba College Baseball Program as an Assistant Coach in the summer of 2021. He comes to Catawba after serving as the Head Baseball Coach at William Peace University since 2017.

Owen had spent two season as an assistant at WPU after arriving from UNC Greensboro, where he was a volunteer assistant. He also served as an assistant coach and head strength and conditioning coach at Brevard College.
Prior to his stint at Brevard, Owen served as the Facility Supervisor and Lead Baseball Instructor for the Town of Cary, N.C. where he supervised athletic facilities and instructed baseball camps for young athletes to give them proper instruction to grow and improve their baseball skills.
In 2010, Owen was the assistant coach for the 16U USA National Team Identification Series and was a Trials Coach for the USA Women’s National Team. He was the assistant baseball coach at Daniels Middle School in 2009 and spent time as the Head Baseball Coach at Northern Granville Middle School from 2002-03, where he helped evaluate players to properly form a team, devised workout and practice plans while also providing field maintenance and organizational duties.

Following his year at Northern Granville, Owen went on to play two seasons at Pitt Community College where he lined up in centerfield for the Bulldogs (2003-05).
In addition to his baseball work, Owen served as a Relay for Life Team member, a Multiple Sclerosis Walk volunteer as well as a PEPI Facilitator.

Baseball Coaching Staff

Brett Mulkey

Assistant Coach
Office Phone: (704) 637-4250

Baseball Coaching Staff

Jeremy Simpson

Graduate Assistant
Alma Mater: Catawba '20

Voted first team All-South Atlantic Conference as shortstop in 2021 … was a first team All-SAC pick in 2019 ... named second team all-region in 2019 ... claimed second team All-SAC honors in 2017 ... named the SAC All-Defensive Team shortstop in 2016, 2017, 2019 an 2021 ...

HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter at West Rowan High School ... earned the Falcons Coaches Award ...

PERSONAL: Born Jeremy Blake Simpson on Oct. 31, 1997 in Statesville, NC ... son of Stephen and Deatra Simpson ... exercise science major.

Baseball Coaching Staff

Lee Poteat

Graduate Assistant
Alma Mater: Catawba '20

Transfer from St. Andrews ... hit .396 as a freshman starting in 52 games ...
Voted second team All-South Atlantic Conference in 2021 … was the SAC All-Defensive Team right fielder … named the SAC and NCBWA Southeast Region Player of Week on March 3, 2020 …selected as the SAC All-Defensive Team right fielder in 2019 ... 

HIGH SCHOOL: Two-year starter at West Rowan High School ... helped Falcons to a pair of conference titles ... started on Rowan American Legion World Series runner-up team in 2016 ... was named the Area III Player of the Year ...

PERSONAL: Born Lee Bradway Poteat on April 11, 1998 in Salisbury ... son of Rodney and Leslie Poteat ... mom played volleyball at Catawba and was a 2002 inductee into the Sports Hall of Fame ... sports management major. 

Joel Burgess

Volunteer Asst. Coach
Alma Mater: Wingate '81

Joel Burgess joined the Catawba Baseball Staff as a volunteer coach in the summer of 2020. He has worked in Rowan County as a Strength & Conditioning specialist and a Physical Therapist Assistant since 1996. He consults with all area high schools, middle schools, and local colleges.

Burgess has continued his education extensively in the areas of athletic performance as well as bio-mechanical assessment and program design. He has blended his experiences as a college pitcher with clinical research to optimize throwing health and program development for young athletes.   

A 1981 graduate of Wingate, Burgess earned a degree in Community and Commercial Recreation. He has a A.A.S in Physical Therapist Assistant from Stanley Community College.

Bobby Parnell

Volunteer Asst. Coach

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