The 2020 Riverview High School baseball team.

After not formally having a head coach for the last year, the Riverview Sharks baseball program finally has their man. Former Brandon Eagles Head Coach Matt Stallbaumer brings experience and a strong pedigree to the fold.

Stallbaumer spent 15 years as the headman at the storied Brandon High School program, leading the Eagles to 10 region tournament appearances and a 7A state-runner up in 2012. He then retired from coaching after the 2017 baseball season.

Longtime Sharks Head Coach Bill Leiby, who spent 15 seasons at Riverview, retired before the 2019 season to take a job outside of coaching. The team wasn’t able to hire a coach before the season, so the coaching staff in place managed the team for the 2019 season.

The Sharks found a perfect fit in Stallbaumer, hiring him in December 2019. The former Brandon skipper had been out of the game for about a year and a half before taking the job. He said that he wasn’t necessarily planning on getting back into coaching, but felt that this opportunity was the right fit.

Stallbaumer has his program at Riverview already up and running. He added a couple of new members to his coaching staff. Former Brandon shortstop and USF Bull Jordan Feist, who played for Stallbaumer from 2011-2014, joined the staff, as well as former Chamberlain Head Coach Jason Smith.

“I’m hoping to continue the successful program that Riverview’s had, and maybe knock on the door of some things that they haven’t quite accomplished yet,” said Stallbaumer.

Riverview is off to a quick start this season, beating Freedom 8-1 in the season opener and defeating East Bay 9-3, starting 2-0 in the Stallbaumer era. The Sharks come in with a lot of talent and experience with six seniors, three of which have signed on to play in college.

Star shortstop Macallister Jorgensen (UT signee) will hit at the top of that potent lineup. First basemen/DH Andrew Jrolf (Metropolitan Community College signee) and left-handed pitcher Tyler Misla (College of Central Florida signee) will also be key players on the 2020 squad.

“For me, getting used to blue and black when I had a closet full, and I mean a closet FULL of maroon and white, it was weird, but exciting,” he said. “People say that change is good; for me, being out a year and a half from coaching, I missed it.”

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.