Rice Baseball Field
A 19-year veteran of the head coaching ranks, Matt Bragga was named the 21st head coach in Rice baseball history on June 15, 2018.
Bragga has spent the last 15 years as the Head Coach at Tennessee Tech, building the program into one of the best in the Ohio Valley Conference. His 446 wins are the second most in school history. The four-time OVC Coach of the Year has led the Golden Eagles to three NCAA Tournament appearances, winning six OVC championships in the past 10 years while winning 40 or more games in four of the past six seasons.
This past year, he helped Tennessee Tech to its best season in school history, amassing a school and OVC-record 53 wins, the most in the country, while leading the team to the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title and its first-ever trip to the NCAA Super Regionals.
His high-powered offense led the nation in batting average, runs, runs per game, hits, home runs, home runs per game, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, while setting single-season school records for runs, hits, extra-base hits, total bases, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, walks, saves, wins and consecutive wins. In fact, 20 players rank in the top 10 in the country in 13 different categories, including NCAA leaders in RBI (Chase Chambers, 84) and total bases (Kevin Strohschein, 184). More
Rice head baseball coach Matt Bragga announced Cory Barton as a new Rice assistant coach on July 3, 2018.
Barton joins Rice from Louisiana Tech, where he served as the Bulldogs’ pitching coach and was named the 2018 Conference USA Assistant Baseball Coach of the Year. Bragga had enthusiastic praise for his new staff (including assistant coach Paul Janish).
Last year at Louisiana Tech, Barton guided one of the top pitching staffs in the nation to earn the Assistant Coach of the Year award. Not only did La Tech lead the league and finish 25th in the nation with a 3.48 ERA, the pitching staff posted C-USA’s second-best strikeouts-to-walks ratio (2.77-to-1) that was 15th among all Division I programs. The Bulldogs were 31st in the nation in WHIP (1.29), tied for second in the conference with four shutouts and maintained a steady .253 opponents’ batting average. Prior to La Tech Barton served three years as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at McNeese State where he helped lead the Cowboys to the 2017 Southland Conference regular season title. The Trussville, Ala., native is a 2007 graduate of Memphis who also spent five seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana Monroe.
Rice baseball great Paul Janish, a 2003 national champion and nine-year major league player, has accepted a position on the Owls’ baseball staff as an assistant coach, head coach Wayne Graham announced on Friday (Aug. 11).
Janish is scheduled to return to Rice in September after playing professionally the last 13 years, including nine seasons in the major leagues — most recently in 2017 with the Baltimore Orioles. “I am of course very happy to have Paul come back home to Rice and join the coaching staff,” said coach Graham, who in 2017 completed his 26th season at the helm of the Owl program. “Paul has always had high character and I think he will be a great teacher and coach.
“He was a team captain for us in (the national championship season of) 2003,” Graham explained. “For all the talented players we had on that team, I am not certain we still could have won the national championship without Paul Janish at shortstop. He was a great player and great leader. His leadership qualities are among the reasons we first recruited him, well before 2003.
Former major leaguer and 2003 Rice National Champion Paul Janish joined the Owls’ baseball staff as an assistant coach in August of 2017.
Janish returned to South Main after playing professionally the last 13 years, including nine seasons in the major leagues — most recently in 2017 with the Baltimore Orioles. After maintaining a .313 collegiate batting average in more than 185 career games at Rice, Janish earned all-league honors playing in the Western Athletic Conference.
Janish was a fifth-round major league draft pick by the Cincinnati Reds in 2004. The native of Cypress, Texas, made his MLB debut with the Reds in 2008 and went on to play in the majors for the Braves and Orioles.
Janish is married to Rice graduate and former Owl soccer record-holder Maria Fadool. The couple live near the Rice campus with their three children: Luke (6), Cole (4) and Riley (1);
Anthony Scalise is the newest member of Matt Bragga’s Rice baseball staff, joining the program in the late summer of 2018. Scalise had worked the previous ten years at Pearland High School, including the last eight years as the baseball program’s head coach. Under Scalise the Pearland Oilers made two state appearances and held a record of 210-76-1.
The Houston native attended and played baseball at Dobie High School, Alvin Community College and the University of Houston where he graduated with a BS degree in Sports Administration with a minor in Health. He served as a student assistant baseball coach at UH and was also an assistant at Pasadena Memorial HS. Scalise has been coaching for a total of thirteen years. He taught Special Education and Physical Education at Pearland HS. He is currently working to complete his last six hours of his master’s degree at Stephen F. Austin State University in Education Administration.
Scalise and his wife, Lanae, have been parried for 12 years. The couple have two daughters, Lynlee Grace (5) & Ansley Jo (4).