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Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Baseball Moves Rob Childress to Pitching Coach, Hires Mike Sirianni as Assistant

June 13, 2023

Nebraska baseball made two staff moves official on Tuesday, reassigning one staff member and hiring a brand new assistant. 

Last week, the Huskers parted ways with pitching coach Jeff Christy. The team is now moving director of player development Rob Childress into that spot. Along with that, Mike Sirianni joins the staff as an assistant, working with hitters and infielders. 

Childress, who spent the last two seasons as Nebraska’s director of player development, has plenty of history with the Huskers. He has over 30 years of coaching experience, eight of those as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 1998 to 2005. During that span, the program made the College World Series three times, with the help of a strong pitching staff. The 2005 team’s earned run average of 2.69 stands as the second-lowest mark in school history.

“I feel very fortunate to have Rob and his family remain in the Husker baseball family,” head coach Will Bolt said in the press release. “The amount of baseball knowledge and experience he will contribute to our coaching staff and program will be an incredible asset for us. This is a grand slam hire for our program, and I couldn’t be prouder to have him represent Husker baseball.”

Childress will be tasked with improving a pitching staff that has major questions. Nebraska finished third or better in the Big Ten the past three seasons, posting a mark of 4.64 this season. Still, the Huskers didn’t get much consistency on the mound, and midweek pitching struggles in particular played into why the team fell short of making an NCAA regional. Top relievers Corbin Hawkins and Shay Schanaman left the team, the former having eligibility remaining. Starter Emmett Olson will get MLB consideration. There have been additions to the group as well, including Omaha reliever Rans Sanders.

Sirianni is more of a newcomer to the program, although his brother played at Nebraska for four years. He has over a decade of coaching experience, the last four seasons coming as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Wichita State.

“My family and I are so excited for the opportunity to join such a storied program,” Sirianni said. “I’ve seen firsthand the excitement surrounding Husker baseball and understand the tremendous responsibility that comes with being a part of this staff. We are extremely honored and ready to get to work.”

The Shockers brought in top-35 recruiting classes in 2021 and 2022, the latter being ranked 26th by Perfect Game. Sirianni’s recruiting abilities have already been on display recently. Two 2024 pitchers decommitted from Wichita State weeks ago following a coaching change, and both have since announced their commitments to Nebraska.

“I am excited for Mike and his family to join us in Lincoln,” Bolt said. “Mike brings a wealth of experience and excellence both on the coaching and recruiting side of the game and will be a tremendous asset to our staff. He has coached and recruited some of the best players in the country, and I look forward to him joining the Husker baseball family.”

The two new assistant will look to lift Nebraska back into the NCAA regionals next season, building off this year’s improvements. Childress will not officially serve in his new position until July 1, when the NCAA allows teams to have a third full-time assistant coach.

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Tags: Baseball