BEAUMONT, Texas – Sean Snedeker has been named pitching coach announced Lamar University head baseball coach Will Davis Tuesday afternoon. Snedeker comes to the Golden Triangle after spending the previous five seasons at Oral Roberts.
Snedeker was the architect of one of the nation’s top pitching staffs during his time at ORU. The Golden Eagles finished the 2017 season ranked sixth in nation with a 3.06 earned run average. The Golden Eagles’ staff surrendered fewer than nine hits per nine innings last season while ranking among the nation’s top 10 in shutouts (8).
“I couldn’t be more excited to add Sean and his wife Mary Jane to the Lamar baseball family,” said Davis. “Sean has the perfect combination of professional and collegiate baseball experience. Anyone who has coached for 14 years at the pro level knows how to develop pitchers which I think is extremely important, but equally as important is the success that he has had at the college level including leading an ORU staff that was sixth nationally in pitching last year.”
Snedeker’s staff averaged nearly nine strikeouts per nine 9 innings last season while helping guide the Golden Eagles to a 43-win season and a trip to the NCAA championships. ORU’s staff set the table for a team that won the Summit League with a near perfect 25-4 (.862) record. The Golden Eagles won the regular-season title by 6.5 games.
“Pitching is what wins in college baseball,” said Davis. “We have recruited accordingly and I think Sean is the guy to come in and develop our staff to a championship level.”
During his time with the Golden Eagles, Snedeker has helped ORU lay the foundation for one of the strongest runs in Summit League history. ORU has won three consecutive league titles and made three NCAA Championship appearance during his time on staff. The Golden Eagles recorded a 122-53 (.697) record during their current title run, including a 72-17 (.809) mark in conference games.
The Golden Eagles advanced to the 2016 NCAA Regional Championships behind a pitching staff that led the Summit League with a 3.91 ERA and nearly eight strikeouts per contest. That season, Snedeker produced a closer – Brady Womacks – who set the ORU single-season record for saves (14), while Bryce Howe led the league with 84 strikeouts and Nick Wood led the Summit in ERA. That season ORU landed four pitchers on the All-Summit League squad.
During his time with the Golden Eagles, Snedeker coached 11 players on to professional careers, including 2013 Texas Rangers first-round selection Alex Gonzalez. He also produced 14 players who earned postseason recognition while on staff with ORU, including 2017 Summit League Pitcher of the Year Miguel Ausua.
“I’m excited to join Will and his staff here at Lamar,” said Snedeker. “I’m honored that he has entrusted me with the LU pitching staff. Will is a talented coach who is very passionate about Lamar University baseball and is one of the bright young minds in college baseball. The future of this program is in capable hands. I cannot wait to get to work.
“Several factors played into my decision to join Lamar. The Cardinals have a long, storied tradition of winning which is a huge selling point. I’m also very excited to get back in the Southland Conference which is a very competitive league. Both my wife and I are from Texas and have family here so moving back closer to family and friends is a nice bonus,” added Snedeker.
Before his time at ORU, Snedeker spent six years as the pitching coach at Duke leading the Blue Devils’ staff that finished eighth nationally in ERA (2008). With the Blue Devils, his staff improved in strikeouts each year. During the 2012 season, Duke ranked ninth nationally averaging 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
Prior to his time at Duke, Snedeker spent 12 seasons as a pitching coach in the Chicago White Sox organization and another year in the Los Angeles Dodgers system. In the pro ranks, Snedeker coached more than 50 current or former major league pitchers, including 2012 All-Star and National League Cy Young runner-up Gio Gonzalez.
“Once word started to leak out that we hired Coach Snedeker, the outpouring of respect that we have received from the baseball industry has been overwhelming. I am just excited for our pitchers to be able to work with such a well-established, well-respected guy.”