HUNTSVILLE – Former Sam Houston State infielder and most recently on staff as a volunteer assistant coach, Lance Miles has accepted a position with the Texas Rangers organization and will report for duty at the beginning of July.
With the Rangers’ organization, Miles will take over managerial duties for one of the teams in the Rangers’ Latin America operation which will be playing in the Dominican Summer League with his team based out of Boca Chica, D.R.
“This is a great opportunity for me and I could not think of a better time in my life to begin down this path in my career,” Miles said. “The values I’ve learned from Coach Deggs, the rest of the staff, my teammates and everyone else at Sam Houston have been key to my development to this point and I am excited to take those values with me moving forward.”
Miles played three years for the Bearkats from 2015-17, starting 114 games while helping lead the team to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2017 Tallahassee Super Regional. He posted a .293 career batting average, but also was active off the field, earning CoSIDA Academic All-Region honors and serving as the team’s representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
“Lance has been instrumental in taking our program to where it is today," head coach Matt Deggs said. "In five years as a player and coach he has helped Bearkat Baseball reach new heights and will be missed, but we are so happy that he is getting the opportunity to chase a lifelong dream.”
After his playing career concluded, the native of The Woodlands stayed on with the Bearkats with two year’s on staff with Deggs. He spent the 2018 season as the team’s Director of Baseball Operations where he handled team travel, academic performance and oversaw the program’s baseball camps. One year later he transitioned to the team’s volunteer assistant coaching role, allowing more of a hands-on role in coaching.
Miles will first report to the Rangers’ facility in Surprise, Ariz., before traveling to the Dominican Republic where he will be in charge of a team likely made up of players between 15-18 years old in a season approximately two months long.
For more than a decade the Rangers have been leasing a facility in Boca Chica, but are set to open up a new facility adjacent to the current one that features new dorms, a new clubhouse, four batting cages, three full fields and a half field for developmental purposes.
“It’s great to get in on the ground floor with the organization,” Miles said. “They wanted someone who will get there, work hard, and hold the kids accountable. They want to be turning out pros and it will be my job to help make sure that happens.”
Miles will be immediately replaced by Trevor Rainey in the Bearkats’ volunteer coaching role. Rainey comes to Huntsville after a successful stint at Panola College under one of the most respected coaches in the junior college ranks, Todd Shelton.
There he served as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach. An East Texas native, Rainey played at Houston Baptist, earning his bachelors degree in 2011 before going on to coach at Woodville HS. He then returned to the college ranks as a graduate assistant at Southern Arkansas before joining Shelton at Panola in the summer of 2016.