Jedd Soto completed his 10th season as Saint Mary's College head baseball coach in 2013. He ended the season on a medical leave taken 12 games into the year. He is the school's second winningest coach since 1968 with 209 career victories. Soto picked up his 300th career win as a college head coach on May 2, 2009 and his total of 101 wins from 2006-2009 are the most in a four-year span by a Gaels head coach since 1982. Soto has had 16 pitchers drafted since 2006 and 11 in the past five seasons.
Soto has had one the biggest turnarounds in Division I baseball during the past seven years. Since his first season the Gaels have improved from a national power ranking of 250 in 2004 to a 2008 rank of 95 (out of 296 teams). The improvement of 154 spots in four seasons is one the largest improvements of any Division I program in the nation during that time period. At 36 years old, Soto remains one of the youngest Division I head coaches in the country.
Soto is the second coach in Saint Mary's modern history to record back-to-back improvements in the win column and his 101 wins in the last four seasons are the most for any SMC baseball coach since 1992. The Gaels are 64-32-1 at home since 2006. With four players drafted in 2009 - the most for a Saint Mary's team since 1991 - Soto has had four freshman All America honorees during the past three seasons including Troy Channing, who was one of 12 players up for the Dick Howser National Players of the Year award in 2009.
In the last seven seasons, Soto has had 22 players selected in the amateur draft, including: Ben Griset (Tampa Bay), Brenden Kalfus (Toronto), Jordan Mills (Houston), Cole Norton (Colorado), Patrick Wisdom (St. Louis), Martin Agosta (San Francisco), Kyle Barraclough (St. Louis/Minnesota), Toby DeMello (Seattle), Taylor Reid (Colorado), Brandon Berl (Toronto), Alex Schmarzo (Baltimore), Kyle Jensen (Florida), Anthony Aliotti (Oakland), Scott Schneider (St. Louis), Brian Justice (Toronto), Brian Byrne (Arizona), Mike Sansoe (San Diego), Joel Fountain (Florida/Oakland), Corey Madden (Florida/Chicago), Sam Carter (San Diego), Sean Gleason (Baltimore/Boston) and Joel Staples (Florida).
In addition, 26 players have earned West Coast Conference (WCC) accolades during Soto's tenure at SMC.
Soto retains a strong graduation rate at SMC among players who have completed their eligibility. Draftees have regularly returned to Saint Mary's to complete their degree requirements. Soto's success on the field is transferred to the classroom - 18 Gaels have earned WCC All-Academic honors during his tenure. Eric Cattoni, a 2007 Biology (Pre-Med) major, graduated with a 3.99 grade point average. He was the runner up in the Lowe's Senior Class Student-Athlete of the year award and named to the Academic All American Team presented by ESPN, The Magazine.
Soto hails from a powerful coaching tree that includes former LSU head coach Smoke Laval; and Jim 'Skip' Walker, a 1000-game winner at the collegiate level. Soto has blended these two styles and implemented them into his own approach. The fundamental philosophy of the program is to have "excellence on and off the baseball field." Soto's system challenges the players, coaches and trainers to improve each day until they meet or exceed their goals.
"We were very fortunate to hire someone with Soto's ability to lead our baseball program into the future," stated former SMC Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports, Carl R. Clapp. "He has a tremendous understanding of the game of baseball and runs an outstanding program. His success is not just measured on the field, as he values both the academic and Lasallian traditions of Saint Mary's College."
Soto has continued the tradition of excellence that began at Feather River College (1997-2003) while leading his teams to four 30-win seasons, three conference titles, three regional titles, and one super regional championship. In 2003 Soto led Feather River to the California Final Four in the team's sixth year of existence.
At age 23, Soto launched the first-ever baseball program in Feather River's history. Of the 108 community colleges in California at the time, Feather River was the smallest with a full-time student enrollment of less than 300 students. Baseball was one of five sports offered at the institution and was the only program to win consecutive conference and regional titles.
"Jedd Soto and his staff had some amazing accomplishments at FRC," said Paul Thein, former Feather River College Vice President and Athletic Director. "With minimal resources and its unique location, he established our program as one of the elite baseball powerhouses in the state of California, in a very short period of time."
In the six years Soto spent at Feather River College, he had eight players drafted by Major League Baseball in five years, including five from his 2003 team. Outfielder Chris Roberson was drafted out of FRC in the 9th round in 2001 and 2003 graduate Evan Maclane was drafted by the New York Mets in the 25th round. They have both spent time playing on a major league roster.
In 2003 Soto led the Feather River team to its finest season, which led to a state Final Four finish. The program finished ranked 4th in the state (out of 98 baseball teams), posting a 36-12 record. During the 2000-2003 seasons, Feather River reached the playoffs each year, and won the Golden Valley Conference championship the last three seasons. Soto was named the Golden Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2001, 2002, and 2003 while posting a career record of 167-85 (.663 winning percentage).
While coaching at Feather River, Soto had seven 1st team junior college All Americans, nine first team all state honorees, 28 first team all conference selections, and one freshman All American. The staff sent 44 players to four-year institutions including 15 athletes to division one colleges.
Student-athlete academic achievement has been a focus in Soto's system since he began coaching - the Feather River squad was a four-time recipient of the school's Academic Team of the Year award (2000-2003). Their efforts culminated in winning the prestigious Statewide Pepsi Team Scholar award in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for maintaining a team average 3.45 GPA. Soto also taught sports management and marketing as a full-time faculty member in the Math, Physical and Life Sciences instructional division at Feather River College. He was elected a division chair for the department and was involved in curriculum development, tenure review, and campus-wide strategic planning. He served as an associate scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds during his coaching career at Feather River College.
In the summer of 1997, Soto participated on the construction team to build Feather River's baseball facility, including drainage, dugouts, batting cages, fencing, and grading. Soto raised an additional $220,000, which provided for a professional lighting system, fan picnic area, outfield teams flags, Astroturf areas, storage facilities, and an on-site locker room. In 2003, Feather River College was considered one of the premier baseball diamonds in the state of California.
Soto started his collegiate coaching career in 1997 at the University of Nevada. The Nevada team was co-champions of the Big West conference and played in the Texas Tech Super Regional.
Soto completed a dual master's degree from the United States Sports Academy in Science and Sports Administration 2003. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1996 from University of Louisiana Monroe in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Management and minors in Real Estate and Insurance. He holds an associate's degree from the College of Southern Idaho. During his time at Louisiana-Monroe, Soto's teams won two conference championships, the Southland Conference tournament championship and participated in the NCAA super regional championship. In junior college, his teams won two conference championships, a regional championship, a tri-regional championship and participated in the Junior College World Series.
Soto was born in San Dimas, CA. He grew up in Reno, Nevada and graduated from Reed High School where he was an all conference and all state varsity letterman. Soto played two seasons for the Carson Capitols, winning the USSA national championship in 1993. Soto and his wife, Carly, have two sons, Jay and Jaxson.