Cougars welcome in 11 Texas High School student-athletes
Cougars honored among Top 35 Recruiting Classes in nation
Cougars ranked No. 33 on Collegiate Baseball's Top 40 Recruiting Classes
Senior pitching duo of Chase Wellbrock and Tyler Ford excelled as leaders for the Cougars
Cougars meet Longhorns in best-of-three series, beginning Friday at 3 p.m. CT
Frank Anderson, former Oklahoma State head coach, joined the Houston Baseball program on July 20, 2012.
"Coach Anderson is well regarded in Division I baseball as one of the premier pitching coaches in the nation," said head coach Todd Whitting. "This is a tremendous hire for our program and I am very excited for our players to have the opportunity to work with him. His track record with not only the individuals he has coached but also the pitching staffs and teams he has built is impeccable.
"Coach Anderson's decision to be a part of our team speaks volumes for the respect our program has on a national level and as one of the premier college baseball programs in the country. I am very excited to welcome Frank, Sandra, Brett and Katelyn to the UH family."
Anderson will serve primarily as Houston's pitching coach and brings nine years of head coaching experience to the program. The former OSU head coach enjoyed an impressive stint as the leader of the Cowboys since 2003.
2014 marked a banner year for Houston's pitching staff, led by pitching coach Anderson as he led the way for one of the nation's top pitching staffs - helping Houston pitchers to the nation's leading ERA (2.04) and WHIP (1.00) at the end of the regular season.
Not only did he lead the pitchers to incredible status and national presence and to a 48-win season, tying the program record in wins (2002, 2000), while also leading Houston to its first NCAA postseason appearance since 2008. Houston earned the automatic berth to the NCAA postseason after claiming the American Baseball Championship tournament title (a first for Houston since 2008) with a win over Louisville, the Cougars were awarded the No. 2 seed in the Baton Rouge Regional where they went on to defeat LSU twice at Alex Box Stadium in back-to-back games to capture the NCAA Regional Championship, earning a spot as one of the last 16 teams remaining in Super Regional play. Houston met Texas in the Austin Super Regional where they were defeated twice, falling two wins shy of Omaha.
Led by his pitching staff, Houston was ranked among the nation's Top 10 in ERA, WHIP, strikeout-to-walk ratio and walks per nine innings. Those numbers all led the American Athletic Conference. He coached seniors Chase Wellbrock and Tyler Ford to All-Region stats as the reliever duo combined for a 14-0 record and 16 saves. He helped Wellbrock become the Cougars' all-time saves leader at Houston, tallying 24 in his career and 23 coming during Anderson's tenure. The pitching staff finished 2014 with an ERA of 2.35 and nine shutouts - the most since 1991.
The Cougars walked just 119 hitters in 589.0 innings with 426 strikeouts - holding opposing hitters to a .234 average. Three of Anderson's 2014 starters in Aaron Garza (9), Jake Lemoine (6), and Andrew Lantrip (6) all won at least six games for Houston.
With a record of 48-18 on the year, the Cougars were ranked nationally for 13 straight weeks during the season, polling in as high as No. 5 in the nation the week prior to the NCAA Super Regional.
As the pitching coach, Anderson saw nine Cougars earn All-American Athletic Conference honors, led by his freshman pitcher Andrew Lantrip, who was tabbed the league's Rookie of the Year and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Sophomore Justin Montemayor and senior Caleb Barker were honored as First Team honorees, while sophomores Kyle Survance, Jake Lemoine, junior Aaron Garza, seniors Casey Grayson, Chase Wellbrock were honored as Second Team honorees, joining freshman Connor Hollis as a Third Team selection.
Houston garnered numerous postseason All-Tournament team honors as sophomores Josh Vidales and Kyle Survance led the charge with American Baseball Championship and Baton Rouge Regional Most Outstanding Player recognition, respectively. Aside from on-the-field success, the Cougars continued to showcase strong Academics, achieving the second highest team overall GPA in program history during the spring 2014.
18 student-athletes carried a 3.0 GPA or higher during the spring semester, which also marked the eighth straight semester Houston Baseball has achieved a 3.0 or better. Nine players were named to Dean's List in the Fall of 2013 and seven players in the Spring. Sophomore Justin Montemayor was tabbed a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, marking the second time in three years a Cougar has received national recognition for their efforts in the classroom.
Following Super Regional play, Anderson saw five of his players, including four pitchers drafted in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft as senior Casey Grayson (20th/St. Louis), senior Tyler Ford (27th/Detroit), junior Aaron Garza (29th/Milwaukee), sophomore Jared West (32nd/Cleveland) and senior Chase Wellbrock (33rd/Toronto) were taken.
In his first year as pitching coach at Houston, Anderson was instrumental in guiding the Cougars to their first 30-win season since 2008 at 36-22. He enhanced the staff's numbers with a 3.74 ERA, 385 strikeouts and just 161 walks.
Anderson coached senior ace Austin Pruitt to a 10-5 mark, notching the first 10-win season by any Cougar since National Player of the Year Brad Lincoln had 12 wins back in 2006. Anderson also saw junior reliever Chase Wellbrock record 11 saves, a career-best, and first Cougar to tally double-digit saves since Donnie Joseph had 11 in 2009.
Anderson helped Pruitt and junior Daniel Poncedeleon to C-USA Pitcher of the Week honors, while Pruitt garnered C-USA Second Team All-Conference accolades and was named a Seminfinalist for the Gregg Olson Award - honoring the nation's "Breakout Player of the Year."
Following the 2013 season, Anderson saw three of his pitchers taken in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft as Pruitt was a ninth-round selection by the Tampa Bay Rays, Poncedeleon, 14th round selection by the Chicago Cubs and senior Matt Hernandez, a 23rd round pick by the Los Angeles Angels.
"I am excited to be joining Coach Whitting and his staff at the University of Houston, Anderson said. "With its rich history and the deep recruiting base in this area, this program is poised for great things in the future. I look forward to working with all our student-athletes and can't wait for the start of the 2013 season."
AT OKLAHOMA STATE
Year three for Anderson was also impressive as he led the Cowboys to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament after a 41-20 record. The 2006 season opened the doors for national recognition as Oklahoma State went on to finish in the Top 25 in three straight years (2006-08). Anderson's squad was ranked as high as No. 5 in 2008 and went on to finish the season ranked No. 17 by Baseball America following a 44-18 mark and the opportunity to host an NCAA Regional in Stillwater. The Cowboys also posted solid numbers, leading the Big 12 in batting average (.326) and earned run average (3.98).
2011 marked another solid season for Anderson as Oklahoma State secured a return trip to the NCAA Tournament and appeared in national rankings for seven consecutive weeks after compiling 10 wins against ranked teams. Adding to the 2011 season, the OSU pitching staff turned in a 3.79 ERA, its lowest since 1974, and tossed seven shutouts, the most by any Cowboy staff since 1986.
Anderson was instrumental in the development of First Team All-American pitcher Andrew Heaney in 2012, who was also tabbed Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-Big 12 this past season. The southpaw was 8-2 and held a 1.60 ERA with a nation-leading 140 strikeouts. He was the ninth overall pick in this year's MLB First Year Player Draft, selected by Miami.
The pitching staffs at Texas led the Big 12 conference in team ERA in each of his four seasons and finished in the top five in the nation three times. The Texas staff recorded sparkling team ERAs of 2.82 in 2002, 3.17 in 2001 and 3.30 in 2000 and also posted the program's best team ERA since 1983 (2.72) and the second-lowest ERA nationally in the 2002 campaign. They went on to compile a 3.50 ERA, which was in the top 15 in NCAA in 2003.