SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State baseball head coach Reggie Christiansen has announced some new additions to his coaching staff as well as a promotion for assistant coach Steve Holm to the role of Associate Head Coach.
In his new role Holm will coach the pitchers and catchers while he will also continue to work with the hitters and infielders. Under Holm's guidance in 2013 the Hornet pitching staff had all-time lows in ERA, hits allowed, runs allowed, and walks allowed since moving to Division-1 in 1990.
"I believe moving Steve to the pitching side last year was very beneficial and a big reason for our success," Christiansen said. "Steve is very valuable because he can coach any area on the field. He is one of the brightest minds I have had an opportunity to work alongside."
After losing assistant coach Jake Mckinley, who was hired as the head baseball coach at Menlo College earlier this fall, Christiansen has filled the vacancy with Jake Angier. Formerly an assistant at North Dakota State, Angier will serve as the Hornets recruiting coordinator and assist in several areas on the field. Angier played for Christiansen for two years at South Dakota State and served as an assistant coach for one season. He has six years of Div. I coaching experience.
"Jake is a hard worker, very organized and extremely loyal. Those were the three things that were a must for me when selecting an assistant." Christiansen said. "Our players will enjoy working with Jake and what he will bring to our program. I am also looking forward to having him head up our recruiting efforts."
The Hornets also added Kevin Higgins in the role of volunteer coach, serving as the outfield coach and assisting with the hitters. Higgins is an alumnus of the university, having earned a bachelor's degree in recreation administration before getting a master's degree in physical education from South Dakota State. He served as the head coach at American River College for 18 years and coached or managed at the minor league level for 15 years.
"Kevin's knowledge of the game and experience has been instrumental this fall," Christiansen said. "Our players enjoy his approach to the game and he has already made our staff more well rounded."
Kelly McGhee also joined the staff this fall and will serve as the assistant director of baseball operations. He served as an interim assistant coach, filling in for Jake Mckinley during the search for his replacement.
"Kelly is extremely hard working and brings a tremendous amount of energy to the field every day," Christiansen said. "Kelly will assist in a variety of ways with the overarching goal of helping our player's experience be the best it can be whether it be academic, physical therapy or conditioning related. Kelly will also help us to reach out, volunteer, and become more involved as a program in our local community."
Trevor Paine returns to the team as the director of baseball operations while former Hornet infielder Jason Hampton serves as a student assistant as he finishes up his degree.
"Trevor and Jason do so much behind the scenes to make things run more smoothly," Christiansen said. "I am extremely grateful to have them on board, as they make my job much easier and our players experience much better."
The Hornets completed a successful fall season last Friday, and with 13 new players alongside the coaching additions the squad is looking forward to the 2014 season.
"I was pleased with how the fall finished up; we are an experienced team and our strength is our pitching and defense," Christiansen said. "It is no secret that pitching and defense win championships and allows you to move into the postseason. If we stay healthy I believe this group has positioned itself for a run at a WAC title and an NCAA tournament berth."
Sacramento State's season opens with a home series against Utah starting Feb. 14.