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Greg Maddux Slated To Join UNLV As Pitching Coach



Hitters such as Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant have helped built Las Vegas' status as one of baseball's best hotbeds, but the best player in Vegas history remains Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux.

Maddux will stay true to his Vegas roots by becoming a volunteer assistant coach at Nevada-Las Vegas, where his son Chase is on the roster. “I really look forward to helping the Rebel program in the upcoming season,” the elder Maddux said in a statement.

Head coach Stan Stolte says Maddux, currently a special assistant to Dodgers team president Andrew Friedman, always has been willing to help and would put his expertise to use coaching the team’s pitchers.

“He’s got the pitchers,” Stolte said. “Hopefully he does a better job with them than the last guy, which was me.”

Stolte said he and Maddux have similar philosophies in terms of letting the pitchers and catchers work together to call their own games, rather than having every pitch called from the bench. The vast majority of college coaches call pitches, usually with the pitching coach making the calls but often with the head coach involved as well.

“He’s pretty old school, and he likes to keep it simple,” said Stolte, a 14-year assistant at Nevada and assistant for six seasons at UNLV before becoming head coach in December 2015. “He’s worked with high school kids at (Vegas’) Bishop Gorman, and I think he’ll emphasize similar fundamentals here. I’m confident he’ll be able to adjust to the college game.”

Maddux was inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014 after a 23-year career that included 355 wins, 18 Gold Glove Awards and four Cy Young Awards from 1992-95. He was a second-round pick in 1984 out of Las Vegas’ Valley High.

Only the late Tony Gwynn, another Hall of Famer who was the head coach at San Diego State, had a playing career among college coaches to approach that of Maddux. Other prominent ex-big leaguers who have become college coaches include head coaches Darin Erstad of Nebraska and Troy Percival of UC Riverside. One of college baseball's best pitching coaches, Kent State's Mike Birkbeck, spent parts of six seasons in the majors, and Lee Smith, who once held MLB's saves record, has pitched in as a volunteer assistant over the years with Southern's program.

But Maddux brings a one-of-a-kind resume to UNLV, one Stolte is excited to have on his side.

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"To add arguably the smartest player to ever step foot on a baseball field to our staff is so exciting for our student-athletes and the program," Stolte said in a prepared statement. "After meeting with Greg, you are so impressed with him not only with his knowledge of the game, but how grounded he has remained and his genuine desire to share his knowledge with up-and-coming players. He may be the most respected teammate in the game past or present, which is the ultimate compliment as a player. We look forward to his immediate impact once we begin our fall season."

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