Brian Hoop, SMHS Head Coach
In the summer of 2017, Brian Hoop was named South Meck’s new Baseball Coach. Hoop served as head coach at Butler High School for one season (softball), leading the program to a 16-10 record and a berth in the NC State Playoffs last season.
Hoop spent the previous 18 years in both high school and college baseball. Before his short stint at Butler High School, Hoop’s college coaching career included stops at Florida State University, Indiana State University, Charleston Southern University and Belmont Abbey College.
At Belmont Abbey College, Coach Hoop served as recruiting coordinator and coached the infielders, pitchers, and base runners. Hoop mentored Emilio Pagan to a First-Team All American accolade and eventual 10th round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners. He was the highest pick in school history.
Prior to his move to North Carolina, Hoop spent two seasons at Florida State, which was capped off by a memorable run to the 2010 College World Series at historic Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. He coached in two NCAA Regionals and two NCAA Super Regionals.
Hoop came to FSU from Indiana State University where he served as recruiting coordinator and hitting/catching coach for two seasons. He also assisted with base running and defensive instruction during his time with the Sycamore Baseball team. While at Indiana State, the Sycamores raised their team batting average and enjoyed a 40% increase in on-base percentage in each of his two seasons. Additionally, the ISU’s fielding percentage improved by 20 points. In 2007, Indiana State posted a team fielding percentage of .987. Hoop made his greatest impact at ISU in the very important role of recruiting. His first class featured 22 players covering five states including two former Major League draft picks. His second recruiting class included 15 players, three of which were drafted by professional organizations.
Prior to arriving in Terre Haute, Indiana, Hoop spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, S.C. While at CSU, Hoop helped rebuild a struggling Buccaneer program as his first recruiting class featured 28 newcomers. In two years, Hoop guided four players to all-conference accolades, while three players were honored with all-conference academic awards.
Hoop arrived at Charleston Southern in December of 2004 after spending a year and a half as an assistant at Porterville College in California. At Porterville, Hoop served as the recruiting coordinator taking on three players who were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft and four student-athletes that went on to sign with Division I schools during the fall signing period. He worked directly with the catchers, infielders and hitters.
During his time as an assistant coach, Hoop has coached more than 30 players that have gone on to play professional baseball including 5 current big league players.
In 2005, Hoop served as manager of the Kelowna Falcons, a collegiate team in the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League, and head coach of the Langley Blaze in 2004, a summer league team in the Pacific International League. In the summer of 2003, Hoop was manager and head coach of the Central Cal Select Baseball club which won the West Coast National Championship in Reno, Nevada. Hoop's success did not stop there as his 2002 Triple Play baseball club team from Seattle, Wash., went on to win the USABA World Series in Carson City, Nevada, while placing fourth at the USABA World Series in 2001.
Hoop lettered as a catcher for Marshalltown Community College, in his hometown of Marshalltown Iowa, where he led the team in batting average, hits and RBI. He was a student assistant at Iowa State University in the fall of 2000.
In December of 2004, Hoop graduated from Fresno State University with a Master's Degree in kinesiology. He earned his Bachelor's Degree at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO. Hoop is married to Elizabeth Medlin of Monroe, NC who works as an athletic trainer for OrthoCarolina. They have a daughter Jordyn Elizabeth Hoop who was born on January 4th, 2015.
Aaron Mills, Assistant Coach
Coach Mills’s coaching history has spanned over the course of 16 years. He started as a summer coach for his former high school in Augusta, Ga. After having kids of his own, he decided to coach them beginning in T-ball through various travel baseball organizations in the Charlotte area. He is one of the coaches for the Sabres summer development team.
Prior to coaching, he was recruited as a two-sport athlete for football and baseball and ultimately chose to go to Augusta University on a full baseball scholarship. At Augusta University, he was recruited as a middle infielder but became the #2 conference starter on the mound and played every position in an official game except catcher and first base.
He met his beautiful wife, Kristina, who was also at Augusta University on a basketball scholarship. She also played softball and ran cross country. They have 4 children: Seth, Thomas, Anslei, and Brody.
Matt Gilman, JV Coach/Varsity Assistant
Coach Gilman is entering his first season at South Meck in 2019, following nine years of coaching in Virginia. After graduating in 2008 from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, Coach Gilman returned to his alma mater Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA as a JV Assistant Coach.
Two years later, Coach Gilman took the Head JV Coach position at Langley High School in McLean, VA. Coach Gilman spent six seasons coaching the JV team at Langley, leading the Saxons to a combined 45-24 record and one District Championship. Coach Gilman also spent one season as a Varsity Assistant Coach at Langley in 2017.
Coach Gilman and his wife Samantha moved from Washington, DC to Charlotte in February 2018. Coach Gilman works full time as a technology writer and editor for SmithBucklin, an association management company.
Brandon Taylor, Assistant Coach
Coach Taylor enters his 1st season in the 2019 season as Assistant Baseball Coach at South, and his 15th year coaching baseball at many different levels. Prior to coming to South Meck, Coach Taylor was the Head Baseball Coach at Cox Mill High School in Concord, NC. While at Cox Mill, Coach Taylor led the Chargers to 2 conference tournament championships, while posting a 61-31 record.
Coach Taylor has also served as Head Coach at the Summer Collegiate level, leading the Concord Weavers and the Lake Norman Copperheads in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League.
Other roles that Coach Taylor has worked in include, Head Middle School Baseball Coach - South Charlotte Middle School, Assistant Baseball Coach-American Legion Charlotte Post 262, Head JV/Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach - Myers Park High School, as well as serving as the Head Coach for many travel/showcase baseball organizations in and around the Charlotte, NC area.
Coach Taylor also works as a Physical Education Teacher at Dilworth Elementary School in Charlotte.
When not on the field, Coach Taylor enjoys spending time with his wife Julie, daughters Haley and Savannah, and son Bryce.