Rodriguez Named Head Coach
Steve Rodriguez, who enjoyed a successful playing and coaching career at Pepperdine University, has been selected as Baylor University's 19th head baseball coach, Vice President and Director of Athletics Ian McCaw announced. read more
Steve Rodriguez, who enjoyed a successful playing and coaching career at Pepperdine University, has been selected as Baylor University’s 19th head baseball coach, Vice President and Director of Athletics Ian McCaw announced June 12, 2015.
“We are excited to introduce Steve Rodriguez and welcome him and his family to Baylor,” McCaw said. “Steve is a dynamic leader, players’ coach, tireless recruiter and wonderful mission fit for our program. His highly successful coaching career and major league baseball playing experience will afford our student-athletes a rewarding experience as we build a championship program.”
An All-America second baseman on Pepperdine’s 1992 NCAA College World Series championship team, Rodriguez has spent the last 12 seasons as head coach at his alma mater, leading the Waves to a 401-300* (.572) record, including a 178-109 (.620) mark in West Coast Conference play, with eight NCAA Tournament appearances, five WCC regular-season titles, three WCC Championship Series crowns and a pair of WCC Tournament titles to his credit. He ranks as the second-winningest coach in program history, his 701 games coached are a school-record and he also earned a pair of WCC Coach of the Year awards.
Jon Strauss brings more than 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, spending the previous six seasons alongside Rodriguez at Pepperdine as the team’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. During his time with the Waves, the Southern California native helped Rodriguez win two West Coast Conference regular season titles, two WCC Tournament titles, make three NCAA Regional and one Super Regional appearances.
He helped develop All-American and 2014 WCC Pitcher of the Year Aaron Brown along with 15 All-WCC pitchers, four WCC All-Freshman Team pitchers and had 12 pitchers taken in the MLB Draft. From 2010-15 Pepperdine pitchers compiled a 3.78 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with 34 complete games, 24 shutouts, 71 saves, 3,002 hits allowed, 1,264 walks and 2,194 strikeouts in 342 games and 3,053.1 innings.”I’m very glad to bring Coach Strauss with me from Pepperdine,” said Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez. “He’ll be a valuable asset in developing our pitchers, which is what he did a great job of at Pepperdine. He’s full of energy, loves being on the field and has a passion for developing players.”
Prior to his time at Pepperdine, Strauss had three separate stays with Long Beach State as an assistant coach (1995-2000, 2006, 2008-09). At LBSU, he helped the program win three Big West championships, appear in six Regionals and finish third at the 1998 College World Series. In 2008, five of his pitchers were taken in the first five rounds of the MLB Draft, including Big West Pitcher of the Year Andrew Liebel. Overall, 65 players signed pro contracts while Strauss was at Long Beach State.
Mike Taylor brings over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, serving the last two as hitting, catching and third base coach for Houston under Todd Whitting. While with the Cougars he helped UH to a pair of 40-win seasons, 2015 American Athletic Conference regular season title, 2014 AAC Championship title, two Regionals and one Super Regional. He had five hitters picked in the MLB Draft, three ABCA All-Region hitters and eight All-AAC hitters. From 2014-15 the UH offense averaged 5.4 runs per game, hit .272 and blasted 61 home runs with 574 walks in 129 games.
“Adding Coach Taylor brings a huge familiarity with the state of Texas for our staff,” said Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez. “He’s going to be our recruiting coordinator and work with our hitters and outfielders. He’s another high-energy coach on this staff. His Texas connections and player development ability will be very valuable to our program.”
Before joining Houston, Taylor was an assistant coach at Rice for 12 seasons under legendary head coach Wayne Graham. He helped the Owls to 12 straight conference titles and a 2003 College World Series title. While at Rice over 85 players under his tutelage were chosen in the MLB Draft, including third baseman Anthony Rendon as the sixth overall pick in 2011.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Ruben Noriega enters his first season as volunteer assistant coach with the Bears. Noriega’s duties will include working with the catchers, coaching first base, assisting with the hitters and will serve as Baylor Baseball Camp Director.
Noriega spent the 2015 season at Western Oregon University, where he helped lead the Wolves to their 15th straight conference championship. While at WOU, Noriega’s duties included coaching the outfielders, base running, assisting with the offense and assisting with recruiting.
In the summer of 2014, Noriega served as the field manager for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in the Northwoods Summer Collegiate League. With the Rafters, Noriega coached two Rawlings Big Stick Award winners and one Finest in the Field award winner.