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Tadlock makes staff title changes, keeps inaugural crew intact

Posted: June 26, 2017 - 7:17pm
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The Texas Tech baseball coaching staff underwent minute changes Monday.

But, the core of the staff which has guided the Red Raiders to the College World Series and several NCAA Regional berths in recent years, remains intact.

Ray Hayward, formerly the pitching coach, remains on staff as a special assistant while Matt Gardner — Tech’s volunteer assistant coach since 2013, has been named an assistant coach and will serve as the team’s pitching coach.

“Ray and Matt have been a great team working with our pitchers and will continue to do so with our program,” Tadlock said in a press release sent late Monday. “Over the last three years, Matt has had numerous opportunities to be a pitching coach at other programs and has shown great loyalty and desire to stay in Lubbock. Our reshuffling is a direct result of wanting to keep our staff together and moving forward to make our program the best it can be.”

After spending two seasons (2012-2013) as the pitching coach at Lubbock Christian University, Gardner joined the Texas Tech baseball staff in 2013. Prior to his stint with the Chaps, Gardner spent three seasons as a graduate assistant coach (2009) and volunteer assistant coach (2010-11) at his alma mater, Oklahoma State.

Before he began his coaching journey, Gardner was a standout pitcher with the Cowboys and also played under Tadlock as a pitcher and catcher at Grayson County College back in 2005.

“Matt is one of the rising names in college coaching and we’re excited about him continuing to work with our pitchers and catchers,” Tadlock said. “He has been invaluable in game preparation and his due diligence in day-to-day tasks both on and off the field garners well-deserved respect. We feel like it would be a mistake to not recognize the contributions he has brought to our team and we are beyond excited he will remain on staff.”

Back in 2012, Hayward was selected as part of Tadlock’s inaugural staff at Texas Tech back. Five years later, Tech has had 19 pitchers selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft or that have signed a free agent contract.

Left-handed hurlers Parker Mushinski (seventh round) and Jacob Patterson (13th round) were taken in this year’s MLB Draft.

“Ray will be our special assistant, which is an evolving role in college baseball and will be a great asset to our staff and team,” Tadlock said. “Ray’s experience and wisdom in all areas of baseball is something that is immeasurable and this role will allow our program great opportunities for growth. He will continue to be a fundamental piece in developing our student-athletes into championship individuals both on and off the field.”

The Texas Tech pitching staff ended last season ranked second in the Big 12 Conference with a 3.73 ERA — the 10th lowest mark in school history.

Steven Gingery, a sophomore left-handed pitcher, led the Red Raiders with a 1.58 ERA. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native amassed a 10-1 record and struck out 107 batters. Thanks to his work on the mound, Gingery was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and became the program’s first unanimous First Team All-American after earning the distinction from six different publications.

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