11/7/13 – Marion Military Institute is excited to announce the hiring of Matt Downs as their Head Baseball Coach, effective immediately. Matt Downs graduated from Bibb County High School, where he played in two state championship games, winning the 4A state title in 2001. He spent one year at Shelton State as a pitcher/infielder before being drafted in the 25th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2003 MLB June Amateur Draft. He chose not to sign with the Pirates and accepted a baseball scholarship to the University of Alabama. Downs played his last three years at UA where he helped Alabama win the Southeastern Conference Championship in 2006. He earned a Player of the Week Award that May after his strong hitting performance against the University of Tennessee helped Alabama clinch the championship. Downs hit .290 (81-for-279) with seven home runs and 67 RBI in his 80-game career at UA, with the majority of his playing time coming as a senior in 2006.
Matt Downs was drafted out of Alabama by the San Francisco Giants in 2006 in the 36th round. Downs reached the major leagues in 2009, starting at second base temporarily for the Giants during that season. He played a few games with them in 2010 before he was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros that August. Downs spent the entire 2011 season in the major leagues, batting .276 and leading the major leagues with 15 pinch-hit runs batted in (RBI). Following the 2012 season, the Astros made him a free agent and he signed a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins in 2013.
Downs has worked as a pitching coach, field and hitting instructor at all levels.