Sam Houston State head baseball coach Matt Deggs has finalized his staff with the additions of two full-time assistants, a volunteer assistant and a volunteer operations coordinator.
Jay Sirianni will serve as Deggs’ pitching coach, Lance Harvell will coordinate the team’s recruiting efforts, Shane Wedd is the volunteer assistant and Gary Miller will handle operations.
“We’ve put together a great staff,” Deggs said. “This is a very complete coaching staff. When you look at what you want in a coaching staff you want well-rounded guys that are very diverse. This is a staff that works hard and compliments each other very well and it’s a staff that I’m proud to have put together.”
Sirianni served as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at UT Arlington for 10 seasons. He mentored more than 21 pitchers that were drafted or signed free agent contracts with MLB organizations.
During Sirianni’s tenure, the UT Arlington pitching staff was consistently one of the best in its conference. He helped lead the Mavericks to three conference titles and two NCAA Regional appearances.
Before his arrival at UT Arlington, Sirianni spent three seasons as the pitching coach at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan. While at Barton County, Sirianni helped lead the Cougars to a 113-56 record and qualified for three consecutive NJCAA Region VI Tournaments.
He began his collegiate playing career at Texas A&M before transferring to Nebraska to play for head coach Dave Van Horn. After a stint in professional baseball, Sirianni returned to Nebraska where he was a volunteer assistant on the 2001 team that went to Omaha.
“We are very fortunate to get Jay (Sirianni) from UTA. I’ve admired his work for a long time and he’s got 15-plus years of experience. He’s recruited, coached and played at the highest levels. I’ve watched him develop some really good arms over the years so we’re very fortunate to get him here,” said Deggs.
Harvell joins the Sam Houston staff after two years as the volunteer assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette. Harvell helped guide the Ragin’ Cajuns to national prominence and the best offense in the country two straight years.
Before joining the Cajuns, Harvell spent three years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texarkana Junior College. Under his tutelage Texarkana never finished lower than second in team batting and over 25 position players moved on to play division I baseball.
Harvell was an All-Conference and All-Region catcher at Richland Community College in Dallas. In 2003 and 2004 he led his team to back-to-back NJCAA National Championships. He later walked on as a catcher at Texas A&M and served as a graduate assistant coach for the Aggies after his playing days.
“Lance (Harvell) has been with me for several years. He came up through the ranks with us at Texas A&M and went with me to Lafayette. He is an up and coming star in the coaching ranks and I’m just proud that he wanted to come with us over here,” Deggs said.
Wedd was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeast Texas Community College from 2012-14. He will coach the infielders, assist with the hitters, and run the Bearkat Baseball Camps.
He served as the recruiting coordinator and ran the Eagles’ offense. Wedd helped develop 12 NTCC hitters into all-conference players during his three years at Northeast.
Prior to Northeast Texas, Wedd served as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach at Pratt (KS) Community College from 2008-2011. From 2007-2011 he also spent his summers as an assistant coach for the Falmouth Commodores in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League.
“We were fortunate to land Shane (Wedd). He is a very well-rounded coach with very diverse experience. Shane has great junior college ties. He is a tireless worker and recruiter and he’ll do a great job for us,” Deggs said.
Miller will bring a strong background in business into his baseball operations role. Miller has spent the last 15 years as the COO of a privately held company where he was responsible for the overall company strategy, business segment management, eBusiness development, IT, marketing, communications, sales and marketing operations, customer relations, and product distribution and renewals.
Gary's passion for baseball reaches back more than 30 years. He has coached many teams over the years and recently was the head coach of the HCYA Eagles varsity baseball team.
“Gary (Miller) is what I call a baseball lifer. He has been in the business world for the past 35 years and doing baseball in his spare time. That’s the type of diversity we’re looking for. He’ll have his fingerprint on everything we do,” said Deggs.