Tenn Tech coach to Rice

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Dionysus, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Dionysus

    Dionysus Ok Cool. Hook ’Em!



    by Kendall Rogers at D1Baseball.com

    Vibrant head coach Matt Bragga, who caught the nation’s attention this spring by guiding Tennessee Tech to the super regional round for the first time in program history, will be named the new head coach at Rice, sources told D1Baseball.

    The Owls parted ways with long-time and legendary head coach Wayne Graham a few weeks ago when they decided not to renew his contract, which expires on July 1. Graham’s Owls had a losing record this past season and failed to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in 24 years. However, Graham had a remarkable career with the program, winning over 1,100 games in 27 seasons, while also guiding the program to the mountain top in 2003 with a national title and championship series win over Stanford.

    Rice athletic director Joe Karlgaard did an extensive search for Graham’s successor, and it was thought early in the process that TCU pitching coach Kirk Saarloos would be the choice. That was close to happening, but Saarloos opted to stay put at TCU after the Frogs offered him a lucrative deal to stay put.

    The Owls also interviewed fellow TCU assistant Bill Mosiello, who was a finalist for the opening, while Southeastern Louisiana’s Matt Riser was the other finalist. Karlgaard and the Owls also gave very strong consideration to former Rice standout and big leaguer Lance Berkman, former big leaguer and current Rice assistant Paul Janish and Jose Cruz Jr., while heralded Texas assistant Sean Allen was another solid option.

    In the end, the Owls felt most comfortable with Bragga, who has experienced a great deal of success as of late.

    In addition to guiding the Golden Eagles to a 53-12 overall record and a super regional appearance this season, Bragga also earned Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors last season by leading TTU to a 41-21 overall record, a 23-7 league mark and an NCAA tournament appearance. Bragga, 45, also guided Tech to the postseason back in 2009.

    Overall, Bragga compiled a 445-383-2 record in his 15 seasons with the Golden Eagles.

    The Rice coaching search had its fair share of twists and turns, but Karlgaard and the Owls have their guy, and it’s someone who put on quite the audition last weekend in Austin as the Golden Eagles faced off with Texas.

    Now, he takes over for one of the premier programs in college baseball.

    The Matt Bragga era at Rice has begun.
     
  2. Wishbonemac

    Wishbonemac 250+ Posts

    Good for him. Is that an upward move?

    Can't wait to kick Rice *** again next year!
     
  3. 2003TexasGrad

    2003TexasGrad 1,000+ Posts

    How old is Wayne Graham? Hes got to be at least 80 right?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  4. Wishbonemac

    Wishbonemac 250+ Posts

    He just turned 82.

    Graham attended Reagan High School in Houston and played college baseball at the University of Texas where he played two seasons under coach Bibb Falk.

    Graham was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1957. He played eleven years as a professional with the Phillies and New York Mets organizations.

    He was named Texas minor league player of the year in 1962 after hitting .311 for the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers. Graham had brief major-league stints in 1963 and 1964. He was called up to the Phillies in 1963 and played in 10 games under manager Gene Mauch. One year later, Graham appeared in twenty games for the Mets under legendary manager Casey Stengel.
     
  5. mchammer

    mchammer 2,500+ Posts

    I’m glad Wayne Graham is back at Texas and not at Rice.
     
  6. FWHORN

    FWHORN 5,000+ Posts

    That is a very good hire!
     
  7. Htown77

    Htown77 2,500+ Posts

    Good hire, though I will note he did not win consistently at Tennessee Tech in the 14 years he has been there.

    I will also note, yes, this is a massive job upgrade. Start with the fact that Texas, especially Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Houston and Beaumont may have the best high school baseball talent in the country. Then add to the fact you are the only school in this state not named UT to win a college world series and you have some of the best academics in the world. Yes, Rice is a great college baseball job. He should be able to recruit a lot better at Rice than Tennessee Tech.
     
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  8. Phil Elliott

    Phil Elliott 1,000+ Posts

    He's gonna have to adjust to recruiting kids with very good grades.
     
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