WACO, Texas – Baylor head baseball coach Steve Rodriguez completed his full-time coaching staff with the additions of Jon Strauss and Mike Taylor, the program announced Monday. Strauss comes to BU after six seasons under Rodriguez at Pepperdine, while Taylor joins the Bears following two seasons as an assistant at Houston.
“I'm very glad to bring Coach Strauss with me from Pepperdine,” said Rodriguez. “He'll be a valuable asset in developing our pitchers, which is what he did a great job of at Pepperdine. He's full of energy, loves being on the field and has a passion for developing players.
“Adding Coach Taylor brings a huge familiarity with the state of Texas for our staff. He's going to be our recruiting coordinator and work with our hitters and outfielders. He's another high-energy coach on this staff. His Texas connections and player development ability will be very valuable to our program.”
Strauss brings more than 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, spending the previous six seasons alongside Rodriguez at Pepperdine as the team's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. During his time with the Waves, the Southern California native helped Rodriguez win two West Coast Conference regular season titles, two WCC Tournament titles, make three NCAA Regional and one Super Regional appearances. He helped develop All-American and 2014 WCC Pitcher of the Year Aaron Brown along with 15 All-WCC pitchers, four WCC All-Freshman Team pitchers and had 12 pitchers taken in the MLB Draft. From 2010-15 Pepperdine pitchers compiled a 3.78 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with 34 complete games, 24 shutouts, 71 saves, 3,002 hits allowed, 1,264 walks and 2,194 strikeouts in 342 games and 3,053.1 innings.
Prior to his time at Pepperdine, Strauss had three separate stays with Long Beach State as an assistant coach (1995-2000, 2006, 2008-09). At LBSU, he helped the program win three Big West championships, appear in six Regionals and finish third at the 1998 College World Series. In 2008, five of his pitchers were taken in the first five rounds of the MLB Draft, including Big West Pitcher of the Year Andrew Liebel. Overall, 65 players signed pro contracts while Strauss was at Long Beach State.
Among his other coaching stops, Strauss spent the 2007 season as an assistant coach at San Jose State, serving as pitching coach, third base coach and recruiting coordinator. From 2003-05 he was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for Loyola Marymount, where he had 11 pitchers sign pro deals and won two West Coast Conference Divisional Championship titles. From 2001-02 he was head coach at Glendale Community College, compiling a 66-25 record as he guided GCC to league titles each year and was twice named Western State Conference Coach of the Year.
As a player, Strauss spent two seasons at College of the Canyons before being a catcher at Long Beach State for College World Series runs in 1993 and 1994. He spent a year in the New York Yankees' minor league system before graduating from LBSU in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He and his wife Nikki have two sons, Casey and Braden, and a yellow lab named Cutter.
Taylor also brings over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, serving the last two as hitting, catching and third base coach for Houston under Todd Whitting. While with the Cougars he helped UH to a pair of 40-win seasons, 2015 American Athletic Conference regular season title, 2014 AAC Championship title, two Regionals and one Super Regional. He had five hitters picked in the MLB Draft, three ABCA All-Region hitters and eight All-AAC hitters. From 2014-15 the UH offense averaged 5.4 runs per game, hit .272 and blasted 61 home runs with 574 walks in 129 games.
Before joining Houston, Taylor was an assistant coach at Rice for 12 seasons under legendary head coach Wayne Graham. He helped the Owls to 12 straight conference titles and a 2003 College World Series title. While at Rice over 85 players under his tutelage were chosen in the MLB Draft, including third baseman Anthony Rendon as the sixth overall pick in 2011.
Prior to his tenure at Rice, the Houston native spent eight seasons at the junior college level. He was an assistant coach at Galveston College for two seasons, winning a conference title in 2000 and finishing ranked fourth nationally. He served as an assistant at Blinn College for six years, helping Blinn to a pair of conference titles and a No. 3 national ranking to end the 1993 season.
As a player, Taylor was a shortstop for Graham at San Jacinto College. He helped the team to a national title as a freshman in 1987 and a national runner-up finish in 1988 before spending five seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Graham has called him “the best shortstop I've ever coached.”
While coaching at Blinn, Taylor completed his undergraduate degree in human performance at Prairie View A&M in 1997. He and his wife Amy have four daughters: Macy Marie, Madisyn, Molly Kate and McKinley.
Additionally, Rodriguez retained director of operations Seth Dorsey, who has spent the last six seasons with Baylor. In the last two seasons, Dorsey was director of operations after spending four years as a student-manager.