Scott Heather was named the head coach of the Bucknell baseball program on June 18, 2012, succeeding the retiring Gene Depew. Heather spent the previous eight years as an assistant coach at Bucknell, helping the Bison to a pair of Patriot League Tournament titles and NCAA appearances.
It took Heather, the 2014 Patriot League Coach of the Year, just two seasons as head coach to lead the Bison through a successful postseason run. Under Heather's tutelage, Bucknell won the Patriot League regular season and Patriot League Tournament titles in 2014. The Bison advanced to the NCAA Regional at Virginia and posted the second NCAA win in program history, defeating Liberty 5-2 behind a complete game four-hitter from pitcher Dan Weigel.
In his seven years as head coach, Heather has guided the Bison to three 20-win campaigns and 156 victories overall. The squad has qualified for the Patriot League Tournament four times under Heather, who ranks second on the program's all-time wins list heading into the 2022 season.
A former pitcher at the University of Arkansas, Heather served as the pitching coach during the first eight years of his tenure at Bucknell. The staff had a 4.30 ERA in 2006, marking the team's lowest since 1983 (4.10). The strong pitching has continued with last year's 3.44 team ERA ranking second in the Patriot League and 73rd nationally.
During his tenure as pitching coach, Heather tutored a number of outstanding hurlers, including 2011 Patriot League Pitcher of the Year Ryan Ebner. Additionally, Heather oversaw the development of 2008 graduates Jason Buursma and Mathew Wilson. Those two former Bison claimed back-to-back Patriot League ERA titles, while Buursma earned a pair of First Team All-Patriot League selections as a relief pitcher. Wilson, who was the 2007 Patriot League ERA champion, broke the school record for career shutouts and pitched a complete-game shutout against nationally ranked Florida State in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Heather has had the opportunity to see Bison pitchers selected in three Major League Baseball Drafts since his arrival in Lewisburg in August 2004. Buursma was drafted in 2007 (42nd round by Seattle Mariners) and 2008 (25th round by St. Louis Cardinals), while Kyle Walter was selected in the 18th round of the 2006 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
In addition to his duties with the Bucknell pitching staff, Heather served as the program's recruiting coordinator and assisted with all fundraising projects during his time as a Bison assistant.
Prior to his stint as an assistant at Bucknell, Heather served as an assistant coach at Arkansas-Fort Smith from 1999 to 2004.
Heather began his playing career at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Ariz., where he was MVP of the 1996 team that was ranked third nationally, before moving on to Arkansas. Heather lettered for the Razorbacks as a pitcher in 1997 and 1998, and then became a student assistant in 1999 when Arkansas won its first Southeastern Conference championship. He also pitched professionally for the Duluth Dukes of the Northern League in 1998.
Heather, who earned his degree from Arkansas in 2003, and his wife, Emily, live in Lewisburg with their daughters, ten-year-old Ellie, and Maren (6).
Former professional baseball player Jason Neitz joined the Bucknell staff in the winter of 2011, and in the summer of 2012 he was promoted to top assistant coach under new head coach Scott Heather. A native of nearby Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, Neitz was drafted in the 37th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants.
Since taking over as Bucknell's pitching coach, Neitz has helped the Bison continue as one of the best pitching teams in the Patriot League by focusing on keeping the ball low and throwing strikes. In 2015, Neitz oversaw a staff that posted an impressive 3.37 ERA, the lowest for a Bucknell squad in nearly 40 years. That figure barely eclipsed the 2014 staff, which registered a 3.44 ERA. In Neitz's first three years as pitching coach, the Bison team ERA was lowered each season.
A 2002 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School, Neitz played baseball for four years at East Carolina before graduating in the fall of 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. A left-handed pitcher, Neitz was 3-2 with an ERA of 4.71 in 80.1 career innings over 43 appearances with the Pirates. He recorded 55 strikeouts.
Neitz, who serves as Bucknell’s pitching coach, played professionally for four seasons, three in the Giants organization, and most recently one with the Washington Wild Things.
Neitz got his start in the coaching profession as an assistant at Mifflinburg Area High School in the spring of 2010.
Josh Kieffer joined the Bucknell coaching staff in August 2021 after spending the last two years at the University of Maine. A native of Millheim, Pa., Kieffer helped the Black Bears qualify for the America East Championship. The 22 wins for Maine were the highest for the program since 2017, and the 22-22 record for the Black Bears was Maine's first .500 or better finish since the 2013 season.
Prior to his time in Orono, Kieffer coached at both Amherst College and Clark University, spending three seasons at the latter.
A graduate of Westminster College, Kieffer played four seasons as a catcher, helping the team qualify for the postseason three of his four years behind the plate.
Kieffer has also spent time in the New England Collegiate Baseball League as an assistant with the Sanford Mariners, and on the coaching staff of the Chathan Anglers in the Cape Cod League, working with top collegiate players from all over the country.
Kyle Norman joined the Bucknell coaching staff in August 2021 after serving as an assistant coach at NJIT last spring, where he worked with the outfielders as well as base running. The Highlanders finished 27-24 in the 2021 spring season, advancing to the Fayetteville Regional and earning their first-ever NCAA Tournament win over Northeastern, 3-2. NJIT also set a program record in stolen bases with 61.
Prior to his coaching career, Norman enjoyed a successful playing career at Monmouth, starting more than 100 games in the outfield for the Hawks. The native of Ellicott City, Md. started all 57 games as a senior, hitting .275 and leading the team in runs scored (45). Norman also finished second on the team in both hits (61) and stolen bases (16).
Additionally, Norman also earned Second Team All- MAAC honors as a junior after transferring from the University of San Francisco, hitting .298 while leading the team in doubles (12).