Stewart comes to Atlanta after a successful playing and coaching career in Asheville, where he was most recently the Bulldogs’ head coach for five seasons, from 2005-2009.
In 2006, Stewart led UNC Asheville to the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance by capturing the Big South conference tournament as the Bulldogs won a school-record 28 games during the year. Baseball America recognized UNC Asheville as one of the most improved programs in the nation under Stewart’s guidance.
“Willie is a fantastic addition to our coaching staff,” says Frady. “He is already a veteran coach who brings terrific Division I experience with him and he has faced many of our common opponents. He is an offensive guy who will help our hitters develop, he’ll be very involved with our recruiting efforts and we think he’ll really fit nicely into his role on the staff.”
A UNC Asheville alum, Stewart lettered four seasons for the Bulldogs from 1996-2000, earning first-team all-conference honors at second base his senior year. That 2000 season, he batted .300 with 32 RBIs and established a school-record 18-game hitting streak.
Stewart then spent three years as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs and one season on the staff at Elon, where he helped guide the Phoenix to the 2002 NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection.
Currently, four of Stewart’s former players are playing professionally. At Asheville, two players earned all-region honors, five made the all-conference team and one earned Big South Pitcher of the Year honors.
Stewart also helped his Bulldogs squad achieve the highest GPA of any male team at UNC Asheville.
He remains very active in summer player camps and has also coached two summer wooden bat league squads.
“Willie truly emerged as the best candidate through an extensive national search and we’re thrilled for him to be here with us,” adds Frady.
A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Stewart and his wife Christine have two children- son Kendall, age four, and daughter Kailyn, age two.