Staff
Head Coach
Tom Walter

A proven program builder and player developer, Tom Walter enters his ninth season in 2018 as the head coach of Wake Forest baseball. Walter signed a new seven-year contract in June which runs through 2024.
Walter is coming off a banner season in 2017, which includes Wake Forest hosting and sweeping the Winston-Salem Regional and finishing a game away from the College World Series, concluding the year with a 43-20 overall record. The Demon Deacons set program records in ACC wins (19), ACC series wins (eight), All-ACC honorees (nine) and home runs (106). The Deacs also set a new team-high with eight student-athletes drafted, including program records of two in the top 50 overall picks and four in the top seven rounds.

Wake Forest has earned back-to-back NCAA Regional bids after competing in the College Station Regional in 2016.

Walter has helped 26 players get drafted or sign pro contracts over the last six years & led the Demon Deacons to six straight winning seasons for the first time since Wake Forest posted seven straight from 1997-2003. Those pro Deacons are highlighted by big leaguers Mac Williamson (Giants) and Tim Cooney (Cardinals), and Will Craig, the 22nd overall pick in the first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016.

Walter is one of just two active head coaches in the country to lead three different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament, becoming just the seventh coach all-time to do so. He joins the ranks of Larry Cochell, Augie Garrido, Sunny Golloway, Andy Lopez, Ron Polk & Jack Stallings.

While at Wake Forest, Walter has overseen the development of 2016 National Player of the Year Will Craig, All-America selections Craig, Nate Mondou, Stuart Fairchild, Gavin Sheets and Ben Breazeale, as well as a total of 19 All-ACC selections. Wake Forest had nine All-ACC picks in 2017, a program record and most in the ACC.

To Walter and the coaching staff, development off the field is equally as important as on the field. All of the program's seniors have graduated on time for five consecutive years, and the team has raised more than $100,000 for various charities including the ALS Association, JDRF, and the Vs. Cancer Foundation. The team has had 100 percent roster participation in community service for eight straight years, and also took a service trip to the Dominican Republic in 2012. Walter also selflessly donated a kidney to outfielder Kevin Jordan just days before the 2011 season opener. Jordan was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease and needed a transplant. Without hesitation, Walter gave Jordan one of his own, and in turn, gave Jordan an opportunity at a new life.

Walter was named head baseball coach at Wake Forest on June 16, 2009. Wrapping up his 20th year as a head coach, Walter has amassed an overall record of 667-549. His 500th-career win came at home against Clemson (2-1) on May 18, 2012, while win number 600 also came against Clemson on March 11, 2016. With 239 wins at Wake Forest, he enters 2018 as the third-winningest coach in program history, trailing only George Greer (608 wins in 16 years) and Marvin Crater (269 wins in 12 years).

Prior to coming to Wake Forest, Walter spent five seasons at New Orleans, where he helped the Privateers to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008. New Orleans also boasted one of the best offenses in college baseball under Walter. The Privateers set school records for home runs in both 2007 and 2008 with 97 round-trippers in '08. In 2008, the team also set school records in hits (743), runs (581) and RBIs (524). The offense, which ranked in the top 10 nationally in eight offensive categories throughout the year, helped UNO record its most wins (43) since 1996.

Walter came to New Orleans after a successful eight-year coaching stint at George Washington, which included leading the Colonials to the 2002 NCAA Tournament and an appearance in the Winston-Salem regional, which was hosted by Wake Forest.

During his time at George Washington, 26 of Walter's players went on to play professionally. In 2002, six Colonials were taken in the MLB Draft, which marked the most players taken from the school in a single year.

While at GW, Walter also was the head coach for the Cotuit Kettlers of the Cape Cod Baseball League in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He led the Kettlers to the playoffs in '97. At Cotuit, Walter coached eight players who went on to the majors and 25 players who signed professional contracts. Included on some of his teams were big-leaguers Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Garrett Atkins.

Walter graduated from Georgetown in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in finance. He later went on to earn his MBA at George Washington in 1994, while serving as an assistant coach for the Colonials.

Assistant Coach
Bill Cilento

Bill Cilento enters his ninth year as an assistant coach at Wake Forest in 2018. He works primarily with the Demon Deacon hitters and infielders.
In his time as a coach, 53 of his student-athletes have gone on to play professionally, including five big leaguers.

Cilento mentored current San Francisco Giant Mac Williamson, who was recruited to Wake Forest as a pitcher. After transitioning to outfield, Williamson went on to earn All-ACC honors and was drafted in the third round before working his way to the MLB.

He also oversaw the development of National Player of the Year Will Craig, the first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016. After not making an all-conference team his freshman year, Craig's improvement earned him ACC Player of the Year honors in 2015 and made him a unanimous first team All-American in 2016. Stuart Fairchild and Gavin Sheets were both All-Americans and top-50 overall selections in the 2017 MLB Draft.

Wake Forest has had 13 hitters earn all-ACC honors the last three seasons, including All-Americans Craig, Fairchild, Sheets, Nate Mondou and Ben Breazeale.

The Demon Deacons have developed into one of the nation's top offenses under Cilento's watch. Wake Forest has ranked in the top 50 nationally in home runs each of the past three seasons, also ranking among the nation's leaders in batting average, doubles, walks, slugging and OBP. In 2017, Wake Forest became the first Division I school in the nation to surpass 100 home runs in the BBCOR era, leading the nation with 106 blasts and 1.68 longballs per game.

The 2017 Demon Deacons hosted and swept the Winston-Salem Regional and finished a game away from the College World Series at the Gainesville Super Regional. Wake Forest finished the year with a 43-20 overall record, the most wins in 15 years. The Deacon offense ranked in the top 20 nationally in homers, slugging (fifth - .509), runs (ninth - 481), hits (ninth - 693), walks (11th - 306), runs per game (13th - 7.6), doubles (15th - 129), on-base percentage (15th - .401) and average (.308). In addition to breaking the program home run record, Cilento also helped the Deacs break the program fielding-percentage record with a mark of .978.

He has helped the Demon Deacons post six straight winning seasons for the first time since the program tallied seven straight from 1997-2003. Wake Forest earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2016, defeating Minnesota in the opening-round game.

"Having worked with Bill for two years at the University of New Orleans, several things stood out to me," head coach Tom Walter said. "Bill has a passion for college baseball that is exemplary and is a tireless worker and relentless recruiter. He is also able to quickly and easily develop a mutual respect and unique rapport with his players."

Cilento joined the Wake Forest staff after serving the previous three seasons at Brown University where he worked as the hitting coach and the infield coach. As a team, Brown hit .308 during the 2009 season, finishing the year with a 24-19-1 record.

Cilento made an immediate impact with the Brown baseball program in his first season in 2007, helping the Bears to their first-ever Ivy League Championship and NCAA regional berth. Brown led the Ivy League in nearly every offensive statistic in 2007, including winning the batting average category by 39 points.

Walter and Cilento worked together at New Orleans for two seasons. Cilento worked with the Privateer infield during his two seasons at UNO and also assisted with recruiting. In his last season, New Orleans improved its record by 11 games, finishing fourth in the Sun Belt Conference.

Before his time at New Orleans, Cilento was an assistant at his alma mater, Siena. In three seasons, he coached five players who were selected in the MLB Draft, the MAAC Pitcher of the Year, a freshman All-American and six All-MAAC selections.

Cilento worked as a hitting instructor for the 2002 regular season champion Schenectady Mohawks of the New York Collegiate Baseball League, where he coached longtime big leaguer Hunter Pence. In 2001, he coached the American Legion's Cissel Saxon Post 41 in Montgomery County, Maryland, to the 2001 Maryland State Championship.

Cilento was a four-year starter at Siena and was a member of two MAAC regular season championship teams. He was also a part of the 1999 Siena team, which competed in an NCAA regional at Wake Forest Baseball Park.

A native of Brookeville, Md., Cilento graduated from Siena College in 2003 with a degree in accounting.

Cilento lives in Winston-Salem, N.C. with his wife Jennifer and his daughters, Brooke, Katie, and Megan.

Assistant Coach
Matt Hobbs

Matt Hobbs joined the Wake Forest coaching staff in 2014 and enters his fourth year as the pitching coach in 2018.
Since his arrival, nine Demon Deacon pitchers have been drafted or signed to minor league teams in two years, including four each following the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In his coaching career, 30 student-athletes were either drafted or signed pro contracts, including 27 who were undrafted heading into college.

He's guided eight players to be drafted in the top-10 rounds, and overseen a total of seven big leaguers: Rob Zastrysny, Guido Knudson, Matt Stites, Dylan Axelrod, Jeff Stevens, Chuckie Fick, and Tanner Scheppers.

In each of his three years in Winston-Salem, the Demon Deacons have improved in ERA (5.73 to 5.24 to 4.11), strikeouts (364 to 435 to a program-record 559), walks per nine (5.03 to 4.35 to 3.83) and opponent batting average (.281 to .280 to .247). The Demon Deacons have also significantly improved their win totals each year under Hobbs, from 27 to 35 to 43, winning the 2017 NCAA Winston-Salem Regional and falling a game short of the College World Series at the Gainesville Super Regional.

The pitching staff excelled down the stretch, recording a 3.81 ERA, .240 opponent batting average and more than a strikeout per inning against the likes of Florida, West Virginia and UMBC in the NCAA Tournament.

Hobbs oversaw Parker Dunshee's development as he became a two-time all-conference starting pitcher, seventh-round draft pick and Wake Forest's all-time strikeout record holder. Fellow pitchers Donnie Sellers (11th round), Connor Johnstone (21st round) and Griffin Roberts (29th round - did not sign) were also drafted for the first time in their careers, as Johnstone and Roberts also earned All-ACC honors.

Before coming to Wake Forest, Hobbs spent four years as the pitching coach at his alma mater, Missouri in the SEC. During his four years as a Tiger, Hobbs had seven of his pitchers drafted in three seasons and he has guided four players to All-Conference honors.

In Missouri's first year in the SEC in 2013, Hobbs helped mentor Rob Zastryzny who was selected with the second pick of the second round in last year's draft. Hobbs also helped guide pitcher Keaton Steele to All-SEC First Team honors as Steele was the only player in the nation to lead his team in wins, saves and homers at the plate.

The pitching staff in 2013, despite being made up of eight newcomers, ranked among the best in recent Mizzou history with a 3.87 ERA in 50 games. That was the best team mark by a Tiger team since 2006. His three regular starters all had ERAs 3.80 or lower and his staff allowed just 152 walks, third in the league behind only Kentucky and South Carolina.

In 2012, he mentored starter Rob Zastryzny to honorable mention All-Big 12 honors and closer Dusty Ross to a spot on the All-Big 12 second team. Also, Hobbs, during his time at the University of San Francisco, turned Kyle Zimmer from a third baseman into a pitcher. Hobbs' tutelage and foresight paid off for Zimmer, who was drafted fifth overall in the MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals.

In 2011, three of his pitchers were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and he coached All-Big 12 Freshman Team honoree Rob Zastryzny and All-Big 12 honorable mention pick Phil McCormick.

Hobbs spent the 2010 season as the pitching coach at the University of San Francisco, where his staff ranked fourth in the West Coast Conference in ERA and was second in the league in fewest walks per nine innings.

Before USF, Hobbs spent three years as the associate head coach, pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at UC-San Diego. The Tritons made a trip to the Division II College World Series in 2009. They finished that year ranked No. 3 after claiming the school's first ever Regional Championship.

Under Hobbs, UCSD's pitching staff allowed the fewest number of walks per nine innings in D-II in 2009 and ranked 12th nationally with a 3.73 ERA.

Prior to his stint at UC-San Diego, Hobbs spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Santa Barbara City College. In 2006, Hobbs' staff allowed the fewest walks in the Western State Conference, while the 2005 squad led the WSC with a 2.27 ERA. During the summers, Hobbs was the pitching coach for Foresters Baseball, which won the National Baseball Congress World Series in 2006 after finishing runner-up in 2005. Hobbs also served one season as an assistant coach at Chapman University, where he worked with the pitchers and catchers.

Hobbs pitched at Missouri from 1999-2002, where he won 13 games and struck out 125 batters. Hobbs was drafted twice, first by the San Diego Padres in 2001 and then by the Kansas City Royals in 2002.

Hobbs and his wife, Marta, have two daughters, Addison and Taylor, and a son, Will.

Volunteer Assistant Coach
Joey Hammond

Joey Hammond joined the Wake Forest coaching staff as the volunteer assistant coach and enters his third season in 2017. A former professional baseball player for 11 years, Hammond came to Wake Forest after spending five seasons as the head coach of Westchester Country Day School.
He has helped guide seven Demon Deacon hitters to All-ACC honors in his first two seasons, including All-Americans Will Craig, Nate Mondou and Stuart Fairchild.

Hammond works extensively with the Wake Forest outfielders, helping three of them hit better than .300 in 2015. Fairchild was also perfect defensively in 123 chances in right and center field, while fellow outfielders Kevin Conway and Jonathan Pryor made just one and two errors, apiece.

Hammond was drafted in the 25th round of the 1998 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles and spent eight seasons with the Orioles and three with the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent the last eight seasons of his baseball playing career at the AA and AAA levels while playing at least 100 games at each infield position and over 150 games in the outfield.

"Joey's passion and energy are what makes him special," said head coach Tom Walter. "He brings 11 years of professional playing experience as well as three state championships as a local high school coach. Most importantly, he has a way of communicating with these young men that make every one of them want to run through a brick wall for him."

In his playing career, Hammond was a .274 hitter and collected over 1,100 hits. He was voted to the Reading Phillies All-Decade team (2000's) alongside current pros Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels.

During his time at Westchester Country Day School, he helped lead the Wildcats to the Final Four of the NCISAA 2A Championship each year and won the past three state championships.

He compiled a 104-31-1 record during that span while focusing on player development. During his time, 14 of 20 graduated players have gone on to college baseball including Wake Forest pitcher, Donnie Sellers.

A native of Frederick, Maryland, Hammond earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Charlotte and was a standout shortstop from 1996-1998. He was named to the All-Conference USA All-Tournament team two times and was First Team All-Conference USA in 1998 after batting .398 with 100 hits in the season.

Hammond resides in Greensboro with his wife Rebecca and three sons, Caleb, Josh and Mason