An initial list of six highly qualified coaches will interview for the Bearkats’ head baseball coaching post, Sam Houston Director of Athletics Bobby Williams announced Monday.
The six candidates bring a wide variety of collegiate and professional baseball experience, while several candidates have made it to the pinnacle of College Baseball, either playing or coaching in the College World Series.
Will Bolt, Matt Deggs, Jeremy Fikac, Scott Malone, Mike Steele and Mike Taylor will all speak with Williams on the phone in the coming days. Additional candidates could be added to the list.
“We have received more quality interest in our baseball coaching position than ever before,” Williams said. “We’ve been to six NCAA Regionals in the last eight seasons and we want to continue to have that level of success. These candidates are highly qualified and have a wealth of NCAA postseason experience. I have talked to a number of candidates and people with interest in our program who have recommended some very good names for the position."
A former Nebraska standout, Will Bolt was named Nebraska’s associate head coach in 2011. A four-year starter and team captain on Nebraska’s 2001 and 2002 College World Series teams, Bolt spent four seasons as the head coach at Texarkana College before returning to Nebraska. The Conroe, Texas, native oversees NU’s infield unit and helps direct the Husker offense.
Matt Deggs serves as the Louisiana-Lafayette hitting coach and third base coach, while also overseeing team personnel and recruiting. The Cajuns were a game away from the College World Series in 2014. Deggs is credited with running an offense that has been one of the best in the nation over the last two seasons. Deggs previously coached at Texas A&M, Arkansas, Texarkana College and Northwestern State.
Jeremy Fikac has been an assistant at Texas State for eight seasons. In 2013 Fikac was promoted to recruiting coordinator and pitching coach. In his first five years, Fikac worked with the team’s hitters along with handling scheduling duties. Prior to joining Texas State Fikac spent seven years in the professional circuit as a pitcher for the San Diego Padres, the Oakland A’s and the Montreal Expos.
Scott Malone has taken Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to new heights in his eight seasons leading the Islanders. He led his team to four consecutive appearances in the Southland Tournament, a first in program history, and is the only coach in school history to lead the team to postseason play. He was an assistant at UTA during the 2003 and 2004 seasons after spending the two previous seasons at UTSA.
Mike Steele is an area scout in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He has previously served as pitching coach at Michigan State University as well as with Bradenton and Jamestown in the Pirates organization. Steele, a 29th-round draft choice by the Detroit Tigers in the 2000 amateur draft, was a three-time minor league all-star, but had his career sidetracked by Tommy John surgery
A 12-year assistant at Rice, Mike Taylor joined the Houston Baseball staff as an assistant coach in February 2014. Taylor coaches the hitters and catchers as well as serves as the third base coach for the Cougar team that played in the Super Regionals this year. At Rice, Taylor helped the Owls to 12 straight Conference Championships and played an integral role on the 2003 National Championship staff.
A list of finalists that will visit the campus will be released at a later date.