EDWARDSVILLE – After a national search, SIUE athletics and its baseball search committee has identified a pair of finalists for the baseball head coach position. Missouri State assistant and pitching coach Paul Evans and Bradley associate head coach Sean Lyons will visit campus beginning this week.
Evans will make his visit Friday, while Lyons will be on campus Monday.
A alumni meet-and-greet will be held both days from 4:45-6:15 p.m. in the Cougar Pavilion, on the second floor of the Lukas Athletics Annex. SIUE baseball alumni are strongly encouraged to attend to meet and talk with each candidate.
A short capsule on each finalist follows:
Paul Evans, a native of Granite City, recently completed his 29th season on staff at Missouri State. Bears' pitchers have enjoyed great success under his guidance. Missouri State set a program record for wins (49) and strikeouts (553) in 2015. The team won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. Evans was tabbed as D1Baseball.com's National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Fifty-eight pitchers have signed pro contracts after playing for Evans, including 10 pitchers who have gone on to pitch in Major League Baseball.
Prior to his time at Missouri State, Evans was the head coach at Rend Lake College. He guided the Warriors to a pair of Illinois JUCO sectional championships.
Evans pitched collegiately for SIU Carbondale, amassing an 18-7 career record. His nine career saves remains sixth most in school history. Evans earned his bachelor's degree from SIU Carbondale in 1981.
Sean Lyons is a native of Byron and just completed his seventh season on the Bradley baseball staff where he is the recruiting coordinator and hitting instructor. This past season was his first as the program's associate head coach. In 2016, the Braves ranked No. 9 nationally, averaging 2.32 doubles per game. Bradley earned an at-large berth to the NCAA championship in 2015, and the Braves' .311 batting average was the best team mark for the tournament.
Lyons has coached five Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans, and Bradley players have compiled 21 All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in Lyons' time at Bradley.
No stranger to the Ohio Valley Conference, Lyons spent six seasons on the Eastern Illinois staff before moving to Bradley. In 2009, the Panthers ranked second in the nation in hitting with a .362 batting average.
Lyons played for Eastern Illinois from 1996-1999, leading the Panthers in hits for three straight seasons. He was selected as one of Eastern Illinois' 20 greatest OVC athletes during the Panthers celebration of their first 20 years in the OVC. Lyons earned his bachelor's degree from EIU in 1999.