Rich Billings returned to Lake-Sumter State College in June of 2015 as the Head Baseball Coach. He returns after one year as the Head Baseball Coach at Leesburg High School where he also taught 10th grade World History and led the Yellow Jackets to a 12-12 record following an 8-16 mark in 2014.
Prior to his stint at LHS he was an assistant coach in 2013 and 2014 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. While at FAU, he worked with outfielders and assisted with hitters while also serving as the Owls first base coach and Coordinator of Baseball Camps. He helped the Owls to a 2013 Sun Belt Conference Championship and an appearance in the Chapel Hill Regional. FAU just missed out on a Super Regional appearance losing in the championship game in 13 innings to the #1 nationally ranked, North Carolina Tarheels. The Owls finished the 2013 season ranked 20th nationally.
Billings is no stranger to Lake-Sumter State College however. He spent five seasons (2008-2012) as the head coach before moving on to FAU. Billings also spent two seasons (2006-2007) as an assistant coach at LSSC before becoming the youngest college head coach in the country in 2008 at age 23.
During his 5-year head coaching stint at LSSC Billings saw his 2009 team break the school record for team batting average finishing the year right at .300. He also saw 4 of his teams earn spots in the top five in all time fielding percentage while his 2012 team has the 3rd best ERA in program history. He also led the 2011 squad in their first trip to the FCSAA State Tournament after a 2nd place finish in the Mid-Florida Conference. While at the tournament they also earned the school’s first ever state tournament victory when they eliminated the State College of Florida Manatees 8-3 in game two.
Billings has sent over 70 players to the 4-year level in just seven seasons; 20 of those to the Division I level. He has coached 12 Academic All Americans with two teams finishing in the top 15 nationally in team GPA. In 2008 he coached the Florida Defensive Player of the Year (Nick DelGuidice) while also seeing his first player drafted (RHP John Michael Blake – 32nd Round – San Francisco Giants).
Billings also has coaching experience with the Leesburg Lightning of the Florida Collegiate Summer League. He spent the 2007 and 2012 seasons as the hitting coach for the Lightning and took over as the head coach in 2015. In three of his five seasons with the Lightning he has helped them to the FCSL championship game at Tropicana Field winning the title in 2007. He also served as the hitting coach for the Wilson Tobs of the Coastal Plain League in Wilson, NC in 2014. He helped the Tobs earn their first playoff berth since 2009 before being eliminated in the second round of the 2014 CPL Playoffs.
Billings played for current Athletic Director, Mike Matulia, at Lake-Sumter State College in 2002 and 2003 after graduating in 2001 from Leesburg High School. He earned All Mid-Florida Conference honors as an outfielder after his freshmen season. He was an All-Academic Team selection for both the conference and state both years and was also chosen as a member of the USA Today All-Academic Team in 2003. Following his sophomore season he was named the Bob & Merrill Westrick Male Student Athlete of the Year. He started every game at LSSC in his two years and earned his Associate in Arts Degree in 2003. Billings continued his baseball career at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN where he played for head coach Tony Skole. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History from ETSU with a minor in Geography in 2005 and went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Phoenix in 2007.
Billings and his wife Betsy live in Grand Island with their daughter Brantleigh.