The 2023 season marks Andy Sawyers’ seventh as Southeast Missouri’s head coach.
In the last two years alone, Sawyers led SEMO to one Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title, back-to-back OVC Tournament crowns and two NCAA Tournament appearances. For the first time in program history, the Redhawks claimed the league’s OVC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons during the 2021 and 2022 campaigns.
During the 2022 season, SEMO compiled a 37-22 overall record and finished second in the OVC with a 16-8 mark. The Redhawks, after dropping their first game of the conference tournament, won three-straight elimination games to secure their second-straight OVC Tournament championship. SEMO outlasted top-seeded Belmont, 5-4, in 10 innings to get the title.
The Redhawks later represented the OVC at the NCAA Regional in Louisville, Kentucky. That trip came a year after SEMO advanced to the NCAA Regional in Oxford, Mississippi.
SEMO was nearly unbeatable at home in 2022, where it led the nation with a 23-2 record. The Redhawks won their first 14 games at Capaha Field en route to their best home record in program history. In addition, the Redhawks finished the year with 24 come-from-behind victories.
The Redhawks hit a program record 97 home runs with five players getting 10 or more. SEMO also had seven All-OVC selections, two American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-South Region picks and one draft pick (Andrew Keck, 10th round, Atlanta Braves) in 2022.
Academically, SEMO’s baseball team recently recorded a 3.45 grade point average for its best fall term GPA in program history. During the 2021-22 academic year, the Redhawks had two OVC Medal of Honor recipients and 20 Commissioner’s Honor Roll selections.
In all, Sawyers has over two decades worth of collegiate coaching experience.
Prior to arriving in Cape Girardeau, he worked two seasons as the Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator at Big 12 Conference member Kansas State. There, Sawyers oversaw the hitters and catchers, while helping coordinate recruiting efforts.
Sawyers has coached in two College World Series, two NCAA Super Regionals and nine NCAA Tournaments during his coaching tenure. He has mentored 40 Major League Baseball draft picks, including two first-round selections and nine top-10 round picks.
Sawyers’ coaching career began at Northwestern (La.) State in 1999 as a volunteer assistant coach, helping the Demons finish second in the Southland Conference.
He first played collegiately at Point Loma (Calif.) Nazarene College in 1994. Following a year off, he played at Mendocino (Calif.) Junior College in 1996 before finishing up his playing career at Nebraska.
A native of Willits, California, Sawyers received his bachelor (1998) and master’s (2000) degrees from Nebraska. He is married to the former Dena Lindeblad and the couple have two sons, Andrew James (A.J.) and Alex.
Trevor Ezell was elevated to Associate Head Coach for Southeast Missouri's baseball program on Dec. 6, 2022.
In his first year as SEMO's full-time hitting coach in 2022, Ezell led the Ohio Valley Conference Champion Redhawks to a program record 97 home runs in 2022. Four different players hit .317 or better with 10 or more home runs that year. Additionally, SEMO hitters had over 400 (405) RBI in a season for the first time since 2016.
Before taking over as hitting coach, Ezell worked as the Redhawks Director of Offensive Player Development, where he handled various administrative duties and assisted with stat compilation, analytical breakdown, video analysis and scouting.
A native of Bryant, Arkansas, Ezell returned to Cape Girardeau following a two-year stint in Minor League Baseball. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays during the summer of 2019 after making a trip to the College World Series at the University of Arkansas.
Ezell wrapped up his college career with the Razorbacks after spending four years at SEMO. He earned both First-Team and Second-Team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors. Ezell started 181 games and accumulated 251 hits, 194 runs, 128 RBI, 48 stolen bases and 45 doubles in his career. He also hit .336, boasted a .495 slugging percentage and held a .967 fielding percentage during his time as a Redhawk.
In his final college season, Ezell hit .329 with a team-high 25 doubles and 72 runs scored en route to Second-Team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team accolades at Arkansas in 2019. His 72 runs also ranked fourth in the SEC and 11th in the nation. Additionally, Ezell was the Razorbacks top hitter in the 2019 NCAA Tournament hitting .459 with 17 hits, six doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in eight contests.
Matthew Kinney in his second stint as Southeast MIssouri's pitching coach.
Kinney spent last fall at Davidson and one year at Army West Point as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
Prior to those moves, Kinney was with the Redhawks from 2016-21 working first as a volunteer assistant before taking over as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped SEMO win the 2021 OVC regular-season and tournament titles, and advance to the NCAA Oxford Regional hosted by Ole Miss. Two of his SEMO pitchers were drafted by Major League Baseball teams.
At Army, Kinney oversaw a pitching staff that led the Patriot League that led the Patriot League in ERA, shutouts, strikeout-to-walk ratio, hits allowed per nine innings and batting average against. The staff featured Patriot League Pitcher of the Year Connelly Early and two all-conference honorees.
Kinney earned his finance degree from Belmont and his master's in sport management from Florida State in 2016.
As a player at Belmont, he helped the Bruins to the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships and a berth in the Baton Rouge Regional. He split time as a pitcher and outfielder before pitching full-time in 2015, when he posted a 1.80 ERA and struck out 62 in 35 relief appearances.
Kinney played the 2016 season at Florida State and reached the Gainesville Super Regional with the Seminoles. That year, he was 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in 27 relief appearances.
He also played for and coached with the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League.
Kinney is married to the former Allyson Bradshaw, who played basketball at SEMO.
Harrison Heffley is in his first year as Southeast Missouri's volunteer assistant coach.
Heffley finished up his playing career at Harding University where he hit .348 with 43 runs, 11 doubles, nine home runs and 37 RBI in 41 starts as a senior during the 2021 season.
A native of Rogers, Arkansas, Heffley transferred to Harding from the University of Arkansas where he redshirted in 2017 before spending three years as part of the Razorbacks support staff.
Heffley is a 2016 graduate of Rogers High School. There, he went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA and recorded 67 strikeouts in 55 innings his senior year. Heffley was a Class 7A All-State selection and was both the Perfect Game and 7A West Player of the Year.