HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State baseball team retained another piece from its historic 2017 run. The former second baseman’s role is different but equally as important.

Lance Miles has been named director of operations for the program, head coach Matt Deggs announced Monday. The Woodlands native enters his new role following the completion of his general business degree. Miles posted a 3.98 GPA while also receiving a minor in management.

“First and foremost, our administration has great leadership and vision,” Deggs said. “It’s gigantic for us to be able to add that position … and not only to be able to add that position but to add a man of Lance Miles’ caliber is gigantic for us in some many ways from a leadership standpoint. He understands everything we do as well as our culture. That was so important for us in filling that position. We are very excited to keep Lance here and hopefully for the long time.”

Miles played a total of 118 games for the Bearkats, including 114 starts, while helping lead the program to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The three-year mainstay with the program posted a .293 career batting average while making an equally impressive mark off the field.

"I want to say thank you to the Sam Houston State baseball coaching staff, former teammates, my parents and the athletic department as a whole for the experience I was able to gain from them during my time as a student-athlete here,” Miles said. “The culture at Sam Houston is so incredibly unique and hard-working that it really is a blessing to be able to come back and work towards more championships as the director of operations.”

Miles served as the team’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Representative and was a member of the group’s executive council. In May, he was recognized as one of 11 athletes named to the Academic All-District Baseball Team District 7, which is open for nomination to Division I players from Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.

“He’s the best leader I’ve ever had in 22 years on and off the field,” Deggs said. “He wasn’t the most gifted player but he made up for it with a knack of how to play the game. He was always in the right place at the right time.

“There were several guys responsible for the run we’ve made over the last couple years. If you had to put them in order, he’s right near the top. He had a big-time managerial job with a huge corporation coming out of here and decided he wanted to stay in the game. It’s gigantic in so many ways for us to be able to keep him in the family.”

In his new position, Miles will handle an assortment of responsibilities including team travel, academic performance and the program’s baseball camps. The establishment of the position follows a season in which the then-senior helped the Bearkats to the team’s first NCAA Super Regional.