Lamar hires Vidor’s Green as pitching coach

Published 11:21 am Thursday, June 9, 2016

BEAUMONT — While Lamar expects to have an incoming class loaded with local baseball talent, a local coach and former Cardinal is joining the program right with them.

Nederland native Kyle Green, who had been Vidor’s head coach for 13 seasons, became Davis’ first new hire Thursday as the Cardinals’ pitching coach, taking up a responsibility retiring head coach Jim Gilligan held down. Green was standout pitcher for the Cardinals in the early 1990s, winning a Sun Belt Conference championship.

“Without a doubt, it’s a great opportunity,” Green said. “It’s one of those deals when you’re very excited and looking forward to everything. I appreciate the opportunity coach Davis has given me. It’s just one of those things you look forward to my entire life. It’s been a dream of mine. It’s home to me.”

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Green was Port Arthur Memorial’s first head coach in 2003.

Davis achieved his goal of finding a coach that had played at Lamar. The new head coach said in a release Green is a “perfect match” for the job, given Gilligan’s expertise in pitching.

“He is so well-versed in baseball,” Davis said. “He’s been a scout, high school and college coach, has done private lessons, and been a travel ball coach. He’s done it all, and it all goes back to pitching. I think it is such an important aspect of a program, and we wanted someone that is primarily a teacher of pitching. You can tell that it is his bread and butter, and has been for the last 15 or 20 years. We’re getting an experienced guy with that.”

Green’s experience as an instructor goes back 26 years, when he was a private pitching coach. He’s worked every Jim Gilligan Lamar Baseball Camp since 1991, was an assistant at Lamar from 1995-96 (the 1995 team also won the Sun Belt) and was a scout for the Kansas City Royals from 1999-2006 and in Elite Select Baseball in 2008 and 2009. More than two dozen players under his tutelage have advanced to the next level of their careers, according to the release.

At Vidor, he led the Pirates to their first seven playoff appearances in school history (including five straight), finishing second in the district in 2008 and winning a share with Nederland in 2011. A two-time coach of the year on the district level, Green has won more than 200 games in his career.

Vidor earned a berth in the 5A playoffs this season after beating Nederland in a one-game faceoff to get in.

Green said Vidor athletic director Jeff Mathews has been very supportive of his decision to leave for Lamar.

“He gave me an opportunity to build that program and have some success,” Green said. “Very fortunate to coach some good ball players. It was easy for me to stay there. As a high school baseball coach, you see a lot of guys move around. I was given the opportunity to do the things I needed to do to turn the program around. It was a comfortable situation. I think it prepared me for coming into this situation. I feel like I did everything I could there.”

Green may be best remembered among LU fans as a standout on Lamar’s staff. He was the university’s all-time strikeout leader at 256 when he left (currently fourth), with 103 of those coming in 95 2/3 innings of work in 1994, when he was awarded the Harold Kincaid Award for being the team’s top pitcher.

Much like the 2016 Cards, Green was part of a 14-win turnaround to 32 victories in 1992, the year before they won the Sun Belt.

On Tuesday, Davis announced longtime hitting coach and former Cardinal Scott Hatten would become Lamar’s recruiting coordinator.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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