NORMAN, Okla. — Jack Giese (pronounced GEESE-ee), who spent the last two years as a pitching coach in the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization, was named to the Sooners’ baseball staff by head coach Sunny Golloway on Sunday.
Giese worked the past two seasons with the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Rays’ Class A affiliate, and also previously held scouting positions with the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds.Giese will work with the pitching staff at Oklahoma, a position he also held with Howard College (Big Spring, Texas) from 2007-2010. In his two seasons at Howard, Giese was also the associate head coach and the program compiled a 111-10 record and won the 2009 NJCAA National Championship. The 2009 team finished with a 63-1 mark, set a collegiate record with 57 straight wins, and held the No. 1 ranking throughout the entire season. In 2008, the team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation and finished 48-9.
“We are very excited about the hiring of Jack Giese as our pitching coach,” said Golloway. “He is an outstanding coach that possesses a wealth of knowledge of the game and an exceptional ability to relate to collegiate pitchers.”
The hiring fills the void left by Tim Tadlock, who returned to his alma mater to serve as Texas Tech’s associate head coach last week. The addition is the second full-time hire prior to the 2012 season as Aric Thomas returned to OU in June to lead the Sooners’ hitters after helping lead OU to the 1994 National Championship as a player.
“We knew when the job became open that he was our initial choice,” added Golloway. “We heard from several of our current and former pitchers that all spoke very highly of Coach Giese during their time at Howard.”
In addition to working with Zach Neal, Burch Smith and Damien Magnifico, all of which have been drafted highly in the last three years, Giese has worked with nearly 100 players that have gone on to be drafted or signed at the professional level. Giese also has experience with Team USA after working with the U-18 squad in Joplin, Mo., in 2007.
“First of all, it’s a great honor for Coach Golloway and the University of Oklahoma to even include me on their list of candidates, so that was flattering enough,” said Giese, a native of Fort Worth, Texas. “But to make it through the whole process and be selected as the pitching coach is an amazing opportunity. I am thrilled that Coach Golloway has the confidence in me to keep the program moving forward and to helping build upon its great tradition. It doesn’t get much bigger than Oklahoma.”
Last year, Giese and Hudson Valley’s staff recorded the 14-team leagues’ fourth-best earned run average at 3.25 while leading the way with the fewest hits allowed. The staff also ranked second in shutouts (8), third in WHIP (1.27) and homers allowed (30), and fourth with 231 earned runs.
In 2010, the Renegades’ hurlers posted a 3.44 ERA (fourth best in the league) while leading the teams with fewest walks allowed (204). Hudson Valley was also second in the league in WHIP (1.24), and third in earned runs (254) and runs allowed (231).
At Howard College, Giese’s 2009 staff led the conference and region in every major pitching category, including a 3.06 ERA, 542 strikeouts and 159 walks. In addition, opponents managed to hit just .230 off Howard pitchers. Two future Sooners, Neal and Anthony Collazo, contributed to Howard’s success in 2009 with 13 wins and 10 wins, respectively.
In 2008, the staff tossed six no-hitters, 15 shutouts, 418 strikeouts and produced two 10-game winners, including Collazo.
Most recently, Giese has recruited six Sooners that played at Howard Collage including Neal, Collazo, Smith, Magnifico and Clint Cooper.
“There is definitely an advantage with already being familiar with some of the arms, whether it be from coaching, recruiting or scouting perspective,” said Giese. “There is a lot of talent on the mound at OU every year, especially this season, and I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to sit down with them in a group setting. I am also looking forward to sitting down with them individually and getting to know them on a personal level, I feel that’s important.”
Before joining the collegiate and professional ranks, Giese was the manager and pitching coach for the Coppell Copperheads of the Texas Collegiate League and led the team to three straight playoff appearances. Coppell owned the league’s best record (31-15) in 2005 and posted a 3.15 team ERA. The pitching staff finished first in the league in both strikeouts (398) and walks allowed (187). He was honored for the second straight season by coaching in the TCL All-Star Game.
In 2004, the Copperheads won the TCL Championship while leading the league in ERA (3.04), strikeouts (421) and walks (158).
Prior to his stint in the TCL, Giese spent five years coaching the Dallas Mustangs, one of the most successful amateur baseball programs in the nation. During his tenure, the Mustangs made three appearances in the AABC World Series.
“This is an exciting moment for myself and my family. It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Giese. “I am excited to get started and to work with Coach Golloway, Coach Thomas and the rest of the staff.
Giese and his wife, September, of 17 years have two daughters, Shea (14) and Ellis (4).
“Professionally, his impressive resume speaks volumes about the type of coach that we are adding to our staff,” said Golloway. “On a personal note, I really believe we are gaining an outstanding friend that will be a great addition to our staff’s chemistry.”
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