LU adds Kyle Green as pitching coach
BEAUMONT – Keep it all in the family. That is what Lamar University baseball head coach Will Davis wanted to do when he was searching through candidates to fill his staff, and he did so with two Cardinals who played at some of the most successful in the times program’s history.
On Tuesday in his first press conference as head coach, Davis announced that he was going to keep longtime LU hitting coach Scott Hatten on staff and added recruiting coordinator to his title. Thursday, Davis announced that he added former Cardinal and Jim Gilligan disciple Kyle Green as his new pitching coach.
“Coming to Lamar, and having it be such a tight-knit family, I knew that I wanted to keep it in the family if we had someone capable,” said Davis. “Knowing that Jim Gilligan’s expertise is pitching and that he was successful in developing pitchers over the last 40 years, it was a perfect match to get one of his disciples in Kyle Green.”
Green, a pitching standout with Big Red, has worked in baseball since he graduated in 1994 – most recently as the head coach at Vidor High School since 2003. He was an assistant at Lamar under Gilligan in 1995-96, and was a member of the 1995 Sun Belt Champion staff.
He’s been a high school coach for 18 seasons, college coach for two and a Major League Baseball scout for five. As a high school coach, the Nederland native is a two-time coach of the year and has two district championships with 10 playoff berths.
“We get the best of both worlds with Kyle. He is a young energetic guy that knows the area from a recruiting standpoint and had success here as a pitcher,” said Davis. “He is still considered one of the most successful pitchers in program history. He knows what it takes to succeed here.
“He is so well-versed in baseball. He’s been a scout, high school and college coach, has done private lessons, and been a travel ball coach. He’s done it all, and it all goes back to pitching. I think it is such an important aspect of a program, and we wanted someone that is primarily a teacher of pitching,” he said. “You can tell that it is his bread and butter, and has been for the last 15 or 20 years. We’re getting an experienced guy with that.”
At Vidor, he took a team that had never been to postseason play and brought them to five-straight playoff appearances and made seven trips overall, including a second-place district finish in 2008 on a 20-6 record. He hit the 100-win plateau as a head coach in 2009 and won his second coach of the year honor in 2011.
Prior to Vidor, he was the head coach at Port Arthur Memorial in 2003 and was an assistant at Little Cypress-Mauriceville (LCM) for a season before that.
Green was the head coach at Kelly High School, and led it to three-straight championship games, two were TAPPS games (1999, 2000). He led his program to a 22-6-1 record in 1998 and 26-10 mark in 1999. He was also a football coach at Kelly, and led the Bulldogs to a district championship and state runner-up finish.
Before his time at Kelly, he was a coach at Hampshire-Fannett. “Kyle will also be a great recruiter for us,” said Davis. “He has such great connections in the area and really has great connections throughout the state.”
He’s worked as a private pitching instructor since 1990 and worked every Jim Gilligan Lamar Baseball Camp since 1991. He worked as a Kansas City Royals scout from 1999-2006 and coached in the Elite Select Baseball – where he assisted high school players into college baseball – in 2008 and 2009. For his career, he’s sent more than two dozen players to the next level of their careers.
During his time as a player, Green finished his career with 15 wins and left as the school’s all-time strikeout leader at 256. He currently ranks fourth in the strikeout record books, and led the Cardinals with 103 punchouts in 1994 – which ranks seventh all-time for strikeouts in a season. He also logged the team’s most innings that year at 95.2.
Green won the Harold Kincaid Award, annually given to Lamar’s top pitcher, in the 1994 season. He was a member of LU’s nation’s-leading 14-game turnaround from 18 to 32 in 1992, and aided the Cardinals to a 1993 Sun Belt Championship.