HUNTSVILLE – Just weeks following his hiring, Sam Houston State head baseball coach Jay Sirianni has finalized his coaching staff for the upcoming 2020 season.
Sirianni, who will be entering his first season as head coach, will continue to oversee the Bearkat pitchers while Shane Wedd will take over the offense after spending the last two seasons on staff, most recently as the Director of Baseball Operations in 2019.
Additionally, the Kats will add former UT Arlington assistant Fuller Smith as the program’s recruiting coordinator while former College Park High School head coach Jason Washburn has been hired as the team’s new Director of Baseball Operations.
Trevor Rainey, a former player at HBU and assistant coach at Panola College, will take over as the team’s volunteer assistant coach.
“We are excited to have these guys on board as a staff,” Sirianni said. “They are all great men, fathers and teachers who will help us develop these players and as men to be successful in life.
Shane Wedd – Assistant Coach (Hitting Coach and Offense)
Shane Wedd will serve as the hitting coach for the 2020 season after having spent the last two seasons on staff as the team's Director of Baseball Operations and as a volunteer assistant.
“Shane has been with us for parts of five years and has been the guy behind the scenes that has helped it go,” Sirianni said. “He is a very good teacher and has successfully developed players at all levels, all across the country. He is very well connected and will make us better not only with his knowledge on the field, but as a recruiter as well.”
It is his second stint with the Kats, making his return to Sam Houston State for the 2018 season after spending a year as head coach with Northeast Texas Community College. While in charge of the program at Northeast Texas CC, Wedd helped the Eagles double their win total from the previous season while hitting 40 more home runs and lowering the pitching staff ERA by two points.
He returned to Sam Houston in for the 2018 season as the volunteer assistant to coach hitters and infielders, helping four Bearkat hitters earn all-Southland Conference honors on their way to the first of back-to-back league titles.
Wedd transitioned into a role as Director of Baseball Operations in 2019, taking over all aspects of team travel and internal operations in helping the Kats to another league title.
In 2015 and 2016 he served as volunteer assistant for the Sam Houston baseball program and was an assistant coach at Northeast Texas Community College from 2012-2014. There he served as the recruiting coordinator and ran the Eagles’ offense, helping develop 12 NTCC hitters into all-conference players during his three years at Northeast. The 2012 offense featured the team’s speed, as the Eagles led Region 14 with 128 stolen bases.
Prior to his start at Northeast Texas, Wedd served as the recruiting coordinator/hitting coach at Pratt (KS) Community College from 2008-2011. While at Pratt, Wedd mentored four All-Jayhawk Conference hitters. In 2009, first baseman Ryan Laing broke the school’s home run record and was named All-Region VI and Honorable Mention All-American. In 2011 Wedd helped the Beavers reach their highest season win total and first playoff victory since 2004.
Wedd played collegiately at the University of Kansas, lettering for the Jayhawks from 1997-2000. He primarily played catcher and first base for the Jayhawks while being voted team captain his junior and senior seasons by his teammates. He finished his career in the top- 10 for career home runs at KU. He was a three-time honorable mention Academic All-Big 12 performer, and was named first-team Academic All-Big 12 in 2000. He was named the recipient of the 2000 Ron MacDonald Coaches Award, given by the coaching staff at KU, for his leadership contributions on and off the field.
Fuller Smith – Assistant Coach (Recruiting Coordinator)
Smith spent six seasons at UT Arlington, his second stint at UTA, overseeing development of the Maverick hitters and outfielders in addition to significant recruiting duties. Since rejoining the program in 2014, UTA produced eight all-Sun Belt Conference hitters with six more being selected in the MLB Draft.
“Fuller has been doing this for nearly a decade at UTA and Ole Miss,” Sirianni said. “He played in the SEC and has a lot of experience at high-level baseball. We are really excited to have him and his family here and on board. He is a blue-collar dude who is going to help us take the next step.”
He returned to Ole Miss for the 2011 season and spent the next two years serving as Director of Baseball Operations, overseeing day-to-day operations and all Nike and Easton contracts with Rebels. He transitioned into a volunteer role coaching the Rebel outfielders in 2013, also assisting with hitting duties. There he helped oversee the development of MLB draftee Austin Busfield and Houston Astros' free agent signee Tanner Mathis.
During his first stint at UT Arlington, Smith served primarily as the team's first-base coach, hitting instructor and outfield coach. He joined the staff in 2010 after completing his collegiate playing career at Ole Miss.
There he was a model of consistency at the plate during his senior season (2008) batting .332 (69-for-208) with 39 runs scored, 14 doubles, seven home runs and 32 RBI. He was second on the Rebels in batting and ranked among team leaders with a .500 slugging percentage, .414 on-base percentage and was solid in the outfield committing only one error on the season.
Jason Washburn – Director of Baseball Operations
Washburn will serve as the Bearkats' Director of Baseball Operations after a tenured and successful high school coaching career.
“Jason has been very successful for a very long time on the high school level in this area and to have him on board with us is an incredible addition,” Sirianni said. “He has always wanted to be in the college game, we had a position available and so far it has been a great fit. He’s been a great sounding board for me so far, and he knows how to stay organized and keep us pointed in the right direction. His position deals with more than people realize, so we will be relying on him, for sure.”
He completed his 14th year as head baseball coach of the at College Park High School in 2019, becoming the first ever head coach in the program's history. Under Washburn, the Cavaliers qualified for the playoffs 11 of 14 years, winning the district title in 2009 and 2010. The 2009 team was also regional finalist, falling just short of the Texas state tournament.
The College Park job was his third head coaching gig in the area, also serving as the head coach at Spring High School from 2003-2005 and nearby Willis High School from 2000-2002. While at Spring he led the Lions to a regional championship and the Texas state tournament, losing in semifinal game to Flower Mound High School. Washburn also led Willis to the regional semifinals and regional quarterfinals in 2001 and 2002. Prior to his head coaching jobs, he also served two years as the varsity assistant for the Kingwood Mustangs baseball program and was an assistant coach at The Woodlands High School in 1997.
Washburn has served with USA Baseball since 2010 as either a trials coach or a coach on the National Team staff. After serving as the pitching coach in for the 15U silver medal team in the 2014 World Games, Washburn was selected to manage the 2015 team. That team traveled to Aguascalientes, Mexico for Pan Am Games and came home with the gold medal after defeating Colombia in the championship game.
He was selected by fellow Houston area coaches in 2001 to coach in the Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game and spent the summer in 2002 coaching for Team Florida USA.
A graduate of Conroe HS in 1990, Washburn went on to play baseball at Lee Junior College in Baytown before moving on to play at Texas A&M, helping the Aggies win the Southwest Conference title in 1993. Following his playing career, he spent the 1994 and 1995 seasons as a student coach under longtime Aggie and Bearkat skipper, Mark Johnson, before earning a degree in kinesiology.
Trevor Rainey – Volunteer Assistant Coach
Rainey spent three seasons at Panola College where he was the recruiting coordinator and assisted with the Pony offense. Rainey helped lead the Ponies to a 44-13 record and a league title in 2017, a year which saw them ranked as high as No. 8 in the NJCAA national poll. While at Panola his teams averaged 40 wins per year and saw 26 players move on to Division I schools.
“Trevor is a young, up-and-coming coach who did a great job at Panola, recruiting and developing players,” Sirianni said. “He was very much a grinder during his playing days and fits our staff perfectly. Right now, he is really getting his foot in the door and has been impressive so far in his work ethic and communication. We can’t wait to get him on the field and see him really get going.”
His teams also led the league in offense in both 2017 and 2018, averaging 75 home runs and 114 doubles in each of those years while hitting .325 as a team. In his tenure there he helped tutor three all-Americans, three members of the NJCAA USA National Baseball Team and 25 all-league selections.
He graduated from Woodville High School in 2006 where he lettered in football and baseball. There Rainey earned all-state honors in both sports for the Eagles, while helping WHS to a Class 2A state championship in baseball in 2005.
After high school he went on to play baseball at Texarkana College from 2007-2008 and then to Houston Baptist University in 2009-2010.
He stayed on at HBU as a student assistant in 2011 while finishing up his degree, and then returned to his hometown where he coached at Woodville High School from 2013 to 2015.
Rainey left Woodville following the 2015 season to take a position at Southern Arkansas where he was the recruiting coordinator and coached offense for the Muleriders in 2016, helping SAU finish with 30 wins for the 16th straight year and helping tutor four all-league choice and one all-region players.