The Wolfpack signs 10 pitchers, three outfielders, an infielder and a catcher in a class that should help to provide a foundation for the program for years to come.
With the highest-ranked class in program history, NC State brings in the top-rated class in the ACC
Chris Hart, a former infielder and catcher at Florida State, is in his ninth season with the NC State baseball program, his seventh as an on-field member of the coaching staff, and his sixth as a full-time assistant coach. Hart spent the 2007 season as the Wolfpack's volunteer assistant coach, and the two years prior to that as the program's director of baseball operations. Hart coaches the hitters, infielders and catchers.
Hart became the program's lead recruiter in 2010 and produced immediate results on the recruiting trail, signing one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. Among the 13 heralded newcomers on the NC State roster that fall were Brett Austin, a supplemental first-round draft pick and the highest-drafted recruit to attend NC State in 31 years; Carlos Rodon, the 2011 North Carolina High School Player of the Year and a 16th-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers; and Trea Turner, a slick infield prospect who went in the 20th round to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Baseball America ranked the Wolfpack's 2010-11 class No. 4 in the country.
Since Hart has been a part of the on-field coaching staff, the Wolfpack has produced nine position players who received All-ACC honors and 11 who have signed professional contracts.
Hart knows the Atlantic Coast Conference well. He was a four-year letterman for head coach Mike Martin at Florida State from 1999-2003. He was a utilityman as a freshman, starting as the designated hitter against lefthanded pitching and playing 50 games in all. He began his sophomore year as the Seminoles' starting catcher, but fractured his tibia eight games into the season. He was granted a medical hardship by the NCAA, restoring a year of eligibility, and came back as a redshirt-sophomore a year later, in 2001.
Lingering problems from his rehab cost Hart playing time the next two seasons, but he blossomed as a senior, playing in 67 games and making 63 starts at second and third base. He batted .305 with 10 doubles, four home runs and 35 RBIs that season as FSU rolled to a 54-13 record and a berth in the NCAA Super Regionals. Hart saved his best for the end of his playing career. He batted .438 in the 2003 ACC Tournament in Salem, Va., then batted .350 with three doubles and four RBIs in the NCAA Regionals, including a four-hit game vs. Rutgers in the third round of the regional.
In all, Hart played 195 games for the Seminoles, starting 116 and batting .271 with 23 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 72 RBIs. Hart's four Florida State teams (1999, 2001-03) posted a combined record of 218-60 (.784) and appeared in the NCAA Super Regionals all four years. The Seminoles advanced to the College World Series in 1999 and 2000. During his career at Florida State, Hart played every position on the field except for pitcher and center field.
Upon graduation, Hart spent one year (2004) as an assistant coach at St. Petersburg (Fla.) College, where he served as hitting coach and third-base coach, and was involved in all aspects of the program. Hart coached all positions defensively, and was involved in the program's recruiting as well.
During the summer of 2004, Hart was head coach of the Loudoun Rangers of the Shennandoah Valley League. At Loudoun he coached players from seven different Division I Conferences, including the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East and Conference USA.
Hart was a two-time all-state selection and a four-time all-county pick in four years at Clearwater Central Catholic High School. Twice he was named All-Suncoast, and was the county home run leader as a junior. He was selected to the Florida All-Star Team as a senior, was Florida's 1998 American Legion Player of the Year, and was taken in the 46th round of the 1998 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
Hart graduated from Florida State in 2003 with a degree in sport management. He is single and resides in Raleigh.