LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell softball head coach Joey Lye has announced the completion of the coaching staff with the addition of assistant coaches Matt Burns and Ketarah DeVries. Burns comes to Lewisburg after spending the past two seasons on the staff at Skidmore College, while DeVries joins the Bison after wrapping up an outstanding career as a pitcher at Saint Francis University.
“I am extremely excited to announce our new staff members,” Lye said. “Both individuals are a good fit for our program, and I anticipate Matt and Ketarah to add value as well as gain important experience while helping lead the Bison through the coming seasons.”
Burns will serve as the program’s recruiting coordinator and will instruct the hitters and catchers, while DeVries will lead the team’s pitching staff and take on the responsibilities of team travel.
After spending four years coaching collegiate baseball, Burns made the switch to softball with is two seasons as the assistant at Skidmore. In his first season with the Thoroughbreds in 2016, the team won 18 games, a four-win improvement from the previous season, and went on to finish as the runner-up in the Liberty League Tournament, just missing the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The team improved to 19 victories in 2017 and again qualified for the Liberty League Tournament.
In two seasons at Skidmore, Burns helped guide five players to All-Liberty League honors. Four players were voted to the NFCA All-Northeast Team, and one earned NFCA All-America recognition.
Prior to Skidmore, Burns spent one season as a volunteer assistant coach on the last baseball team at Akron – the program is set to be reinstated in 2020. He also had baseball coaching stops at SUNY New Paltz and Bard. Additionally, he spent a summer on the staff of the Watertown Wizards in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
Burns earned a combined B.A./M.S. for Teachers from Plattsburgh State in 2011. He was a four-year letterwinner on the Cardinals baseball team and played on the program’s first nationally-ranked team in 2010.
Despite just graduating with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Saint Francis in 2017, DeVries had already taken steps toward a coaching career. Most recently she spent time working with the pitching staff at Highland Community College this past summer. She has also worked as a pitching instructor for elementary and high school aged players in her hometown of Forreston, Illinois, during her offseasons, and has worked as an assistant coach for the Freeport Crush, a youth summer travel team, for the past three summers.
DeVries was a team captain at Saint Francis, where she led the Red Flash to the 2017 NEC title, an appearance in the NCAA Regional, a 49-11 overall record, and a perfect 16-0 mark in the conference. She was a two-time First Team All-NEC selection and a two-time ECAC All-Star. She also excelled academically, earning NFCA Division I Scholar-Athlete recognition, as well as Academic All-NEC status.
DeVries will be in charge of the Bison pitching staff, as well as team travel.
“Both assistant coaches bring backgrounds and experiences different from my own, which was immensely important to me in the hiring process,” Lye said. “I strongly believe we will complement one another well and look forward to working with them.”