Skylar Meade signs contract extension with Troy University
Published 11:50 am Friday, September 22, 2023
By Caleb Thomas
Troy Baseball head coach Skylar Meade inked a four-year extension with the school following a 40-win season and NCAA regional appearance in 2023. It was the Trojans best finish since 2018, when they won 42 games.
In two seasons under Meade, Troy has gone 72-46 and has earned wins over No. 3 ranked Coastal Carolina in 2022 and No. 24 ranked Boston College in 2023. The extension is just the latest investment in a baseball program that is getting a renovated Riddle-Pace Field.
“It’s awesome to be able to stay [in Troy],” Meade said. “There are aspects of [the extension] that are great for family, but at the same time it doesn’t change anything from a mindset of what we’re trying to do very quickly here.”
The Trojans have certainly seen a quick rise under Meade, going from 27 wins in 2021 to 32 and now 40 wins in ‘22 and ‘23. While last season’s success might have been a surprise looking from the outside, Meade says there was an expectation of success from the start of the year.
“We had a belief from August of ‘22 that we should be and would be an NCAA tournament team,” Meade said. “It’s awesome that we did that, but that’s in the past.
“There’s only one team that should be happy right now and that’s LSU because they won the National Championship.”
Last year’s team success translated to individual wins in the offseason – two players from the ‘23 squad, Zach Fruit and William Sullivan, were selected in the MLB draft. Additionally, Ben Thompson and Caleb Bartolero signed free agent deals with the Los Angeles Angels.
Meade spoke about the culture he is instilling in the clubhouse, and says that success in 2024 will depend on that, particularly with roster turnover.
“The part that can’t change is our culture,” Meade said. “Our culture is what spills us to extra wins and pushes guys to elevate their games.
“Bringing this team and making it cohesive again is going to be the key for us in the 2024 season.”
Although there is a lot of roster turnover between student-athletes graduating and turning pro, one star from last season is returning: Shane Lewis. Lewis, who broke the program home run record last season with 27 dingers, was named an All-American by three different publications and won Sun Belt Player of the Year. Lewis decided to return to Troy for his Junior year.
“I think [Lewis returning] is the greatest recruiting tool that a program could have,” Meade said. “He could be playing professional baseball right now, but he valued his degree and he valued what another year of development could do in this program.
“I don’t think there’s a bigger indicator of what’s going on here than what Shane decided to do.”