Cougars sign a crop of talented high school athletes for 2017 season
Evans brings 20 years of college baseball experience to Houston staff
Junior RHP Jake Lemoine (4th/108) becomes highest drafted Cougar since 2009
Freshman Romero will join USA Baseball for training camp, starting June 18
From Cougar Tracks the Magazine
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.
AT HOUSTON (2015)
Couch helped the Cougars to a regular-season conference title and to its 20th NCAA Regional appearance. Houston was awarded as an NCAA Regional host for the first time since 2000 and just the third time in program history as Cougar Field represented one of 16 host sites around the country.
Houston played in what was considered the third toughest league in the country and won the most conference games (16) since 2006 (18). The Cougars also advanced to the American Championship game for the second consecutive season.
As the recruiting coordinator, Couch saw the 2014-15 class ranked among the nation's Top 35, which featured three five freshmen who played significant roles during the season. Leading the way among those freshmen was LHP Seth Romero, who was named a Freshman All-American and American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year as he led the league with a 1.94 ERA. For his on-field success, Romero was invited to join USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team -- the second Cougar in as many summers to represent Team USA.
Seven Cougars earned American Athletic Conference honors -- the most by any team in the league as junior OF Kyle Survance paced the group as a First Team selection.
Off the field, Houston Baseball had 24 student-athletes carry a 3.0 GPA. The team notched a program-record 3.09 overall GPA for the 2014-15 academic year, while posting its fourth-highest spring GPA of 2.97. The Cougars had 100% in good academic standing and the student-athletes went on to pass an average of 13.9 hours during the season.
Couch saw eight Cougars selected in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft as RHP Jake Lemoine and RHP Patrick Weigel were drafted in the 4th and 7th Rounds, respectively. Lemoine became the highest drafted Cougar since 2009 and the duo joined OF Kyle Survance as the three became the first Cougar trio drafted among the Top 10 Rounds since 2003.
Also selected were 1B Chris Iriart (12th), RHP Kyle Dowdy, RHP Taylor Cobb (26th), OF Ashford Fulmer (28th) and C Ian Rice (29th).
AT HOUSTON (2014)
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.
AT HOUSTON (2013)
AT HOUSTON (2012)
AT HOUSTON (2011)
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.