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Duluth hires Shiloh's Champitto as baseball coach

DULUTH - After spending most of his baseball life in the Shiloh community, Matt Champitto is switching jobs.

The 33-year-old was announced Friday afternoon as Duluth's new head baseball coach, a job that came open when Bobby Link was relieved of his duties eight games into this season. Ryan Moity was the Wildcats' interim coach the remainder of the season.

Champitto said he isn't one to switch jobs often, and that leaving Shiloh wasn't a decision he made lightly.

"No. 1, Duluth is closer to my home," said Champitto, a 1993 Shiloh grad. "Before I had kids, the 55-minute drive was nothing. But now with kids, they don't get to see many of my games. And this is a great community in Duluth. They have a great baseball tradition and a great young team.

"There's a lot of potential over here."

Champitto has fielded competitive teams at Shiloh, including his final one that finished 10-14, and has sent 27 players to college in five seasons as the Generals head coach. He also is active with USA Baseball and serves as president of the Georgia Dugout Club.

He inherits a Duluth team that was 5-19 heading into Friday night's season finale against North Forsyth. But the Wildcats have just two seniors and plenty of young talent, something Champitto remembered from coaching against Duluth earlier this season.

"They were pretty young and had a pretty good base skill set," Champitto said. "They've got a lot of kids in the program, so that's good to see."

Champitto will bring his Shiloh varsity assistant, Thomas Lepage, along to fill the same role at Duluth. Lepage is a former All-American at Jacksonville University.

SideBar: The Champitto File

Who: Matt Champitto

New position: Head baseball coach at Duluth

Former position: Head baseball coach at Shiloh

Age: 33

Education: Graduated from Shiloh High School in 1993; graduated from West Georgia in 1999; has master's degree from Alabama and specialist degree from Piedmont

Background: Has coached for nine years at Shiloh, the last five as head baseball coach; played three sports at Shiloh; current president of the Georgia Dugout Club; heavily involved with USA Baseball's 18-and-under program; in the same Shiloh graduating class as Duluth girls basketball coach Jeremy Huckaby

Family: Wife Kristina; daughter Taylor, 5; son Davis, 2