- Assistant Coach
After joining the team for select games in August and September to aid their playoff push, Matt Brunson heads to The Steel Yard in a full-time role as an assistant coach in 2023.
Though this season marks his professional coaching debut, Brunson is no stranger to the American Association. He makes his return to the league 16 years after taking the field during their second season of existence in 2007.
Originally from Denver, Colorado, the Detroit Tigers selected Brunson with the 9th overall pick in the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft out of Cherry Creek High School. He went on to spend three seasons in the minor leagues, splitting his time between the Tigers and Florida Marlins organizations.
Once his time in affiliated baseball came to a close, Brunson decided to go back to school and play wide receiver for the University of Colorado football team in 1998. As a senior in 2001, he caught 13 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns as he helped the Buffaloes win the Big 12 Conference Championship and earn a bid to that year’s Fiesta Bowl against Oregon State University.
Four years after his final college season, Brunson returned to the diamond and signed for the Yuma Scorpions at 30 years old ahead of the inaugural Golden Baseball League season in 2005. He suited up in 77 games during his lone year in Arizona and batted .284 with three home runs, 20 runs batted in, 71 hits, 67 runs scored, 32 stolen bases, and 67 walks to just 54 strikeouts.
Brunson went on to play for both the Newark Bears in the Atlantic League and the Brockton Rox in the Canadian-American Association in 2006. He made his first foray into American Association baseball in 2007 with the St. Paul Saints, where current RailCats manager Lamarr Rogers was the Hitting Coach.