Junior right-hander named to 50-player preseason watch list
Junior right-hander earns fourth preseason honor and second in consecutive days
Junior right-hander named to Preseason Second Team by Baseball America
Junior right-hander named to Perfect Game's Preseason All-American Second Team
Houston junior set to begin third season with the Cougars
Trip Couch begins his fifth season at the University of Houston after being named an assistant coach on July 8, 2010.
Couch rejoined the Houston Baseball program after a stint as assistant coach from 1995 to 2000. He and Whitting served as assistant coaches at UH together from 1996 to 2000. As a member of Whitting's staff, Couch serves as Houston Baseball's recruiting coordinator. He is also responsible for coaching the outfielders and catchers and implementing the short game offensively. In addition, he coordinates the offense with Coach Whitting.
2014 marked a banner year for Couch and the Cougars as he helped coach Houston 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 and first for him as the leader of the program. Not only did Houston earn 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.
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 recruiting coordinator, Couch saw nine Cougars earn All-American Athletic Conference honors, led by freshman 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, Couch was apart of a staff that saw five of their players 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 2013, Couch was part of a Houston program that notched to its first 30-win season since 2008, posting a 36-22 overall mark and a 13-11 record in C-USA play. He helped coach junior Frankie Ratcliff to C-USA Newcomer of the Year honors, while freshman Justin Montemayor was tabbed as the league's Freshman of the Year. He saw Montemayor and fellow freshman Kyle Survance honored as Freshman All-Americans and watched senior pitcher Austin Pruitt drafted in the ninth round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Also drafted were junior Daniel Poncedeleon (Rd. 14/Chicago Cubs), senior Matt Hernandez (Rd. 23/Los Angeles Angels) and junior Frankie Ratcliff (Rd. 40/Arizona Diamondbacks).
In 2012, Couch helped guide freshman Michael Pyeatt to Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors, while sophomore Landon Appling earned a spot on the C-USA All-Tournament Team. Seniors Mo Wiley (28th/862-Reds), John Cannon (29th/896-Dodgers), and Jared Ray (34th/1053-D-Backs) were later taken on their respective teams in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
In his first season at Houston, Couch helped the 2011 team to an appearance in the Conference USA Tournament Championship for the first time since 2008. Freshman Landon Appling went on to earn All-Freshman Team honors and senior Caleb Ramsey was named to the All-C-USA Second Team. Ramsey went on to be drafted in the 11th round of the Major League Baseball draft.
In preparation for his third season on staff, Couch was instrumental in the addition of 15 student-athletes to the 2013 roster.
While on staff at Houston, Couch served as the team's hitting and offensive coach, recruiting coordinator and he also performed administrative duties, including travel and scheduling. He also served as both a first base and third base coach during his time at UH. Couch's teams still rank among the single-season leaders at the plate and the 2000 squad set a school record with 48 wins.
Under Couch's guidance, the 1997 Cougar baseball team set school records in batting average (.327), runs scored (508) and hits (769), while the 2000 squad still holds the record with 157 doubles. The 2000 team saw 12 players drafted in the Major League Baseball draft, the most that season by any school in the nation.
As a member of the staff, Couch's teams qualified for three NCAA Regionals, an NCAA Super Regional and won two Conference USA regular-season titles and two C-USA Tournament championships.
Following his time at Houston, Couch served as an assistant at Texas in 2001, coordinating team travel, NCAA practice logs, and team scheduling, while performing duties as the first-base coach before joining the Arizona Diamondbacks as a scout in 2002. The Texas Longhorns also participated in 2001 NCAA Stanford Regional. He scouted in the state of Texas and Louisiana and oversaw all try-out camps in the territory. While with Arizona, Couch signed four players that have reached the Major Leagues.
Before joining the UH staff in 1995, Couch served as the marketing and promotions coordinator for the Cougar baseball and football programs in 1994. He was also assistant coach at Louisiana-Lafayette from 1991-92 and served as a student assistant and bullpen catcher for the Cougars from 1987-1990. While at Louisiana-Lafayette, the Ragin' Cajun participated in two NCAA Regionals.
Couch was a member of the Team USA coaching staff in 1999. He also served as coach at the Area Code Games as well as serving on the staff of the Pony Team at the Tournament of Stars where the 18U USA National Team is selected.
Couch is married to the former Tiffany Williams. The couple has three daughters, Chandler Gray, Kendall Blair and Katelyn Richardson. The family lives in Sugar Land.