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Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
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mrbig Offline
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Post: #1
Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Moving the discussion of Bragga to a new thread. Kendall Rogers reported it first.

Bragga turns 46 next month. He has been the head coach at Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley Conference) for 15 years. His team has finished 1st in the OVC 3 times and 2nd twice (all in the last 9 years). Here are the records of his teams at Tennessee Tech:
2004: 15-31
2005: 13-42
2006: 18-36
2007: 26-28
2008: 35-23-1
2009: 31-24-1
2010; 31-25
2011: 25-29
2012: 21-32
2013: 40-17
2014: 40-19
2015: 26-29
2016: 31-24
2017: 41-21
2018: 52-10

Obviously, like Coach Graham, he built a program with no history of success into a very good program. However, for him it was a slow, steady build. Just looking at his records, I am concerned about the steps backward his team took in 2011, 2012, and 2015. Obviously his teams were able to rebound and keep improving. But it isn't like he built a sustained winner in 5 years and then kept winning every year. His team finished 4th in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2016 and 2017.

My general reaction is that it could be worse (Bo Porter), but I am generally not excited by the news. If we end up with 1-2 alumni on staff, I will be more excited. Mostly, I don't see any reason for him to be tied to Rice for more than 3 years if he is successful. Perhaps he has always wanted to coach at a place like Rice. But there is nothing in his resume to reflect that. Hopefully he can win here for 3 years before going to A&M or Tennessee or wherever.
(This post was last modified: 06-15-2018 04:08 PM by mrbig.)
06-15-2018 03:58 PM
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Baconator Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Congrats to Coach Bragga, and welcome to Rice University!

Hopefully Bragga can bring all the warring factions together and achieve some unity amongst the alumni. And I hope that he will reach out to Wayne as well, and if not bring him back into the fold, at least start to heal that relationship so that Coach can be properly honored at some point.
06-15-2018 04:02 PM
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grol Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
(06-15-2018 04:02 PM)Baconator Wrote:  Congrats to Coach Bragga, and welcome to Rice University!

Hopefully Bragga can bring all the warring factions together and achieve some unity amongst the alumni. And I hope that he will reach out to Wayne as well, and if not bring him back into the fold, at least start to heal that relationship so that Coach can be properly honored at some point.

Ditto
06-15-2018 04:06 PM
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texd Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
I like it.
06-15-2018 04:15 PM
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uconnbaseball Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Much happier with this than some of the other proposed candidates. Welcome!
06-15-2018 04:17 PM
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Owl-88 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Great to have a decision made, and I hope Bragga brings Rice back to Omaha ASAP and for along time to come.
06-15-2018 04:18 PM
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loki_the_bubba Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
I am cautiously optimistic. I hope this is a home run.
06-15-2018 04:19 PM
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Owl1998 Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Welcome Coach Bragga! Now go win! Lol.
06-15-2018 04:19 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
(06-15-2018 04:02 PM)Baconator Wrote:  Congrats to Coach Bragga, and welcome to Rice University!

Hopefully Bragga can bring all the warring factions together and achieve some unity amongst the alumni. And I hope that he will reach out to Wayne as well, and if not bring him back into the fold, at least start to heal that relationship so that Coach can be properly honored at some point.

There are going to be some who are so disenfranchised by the mishandling of the Wayne situation that they may not immediately come back into the fold, but many of us are both mentally and financially invested in the Rice Baseball program, and we're going to continue to passionately support the program going forward.
06-15-2018 04:21 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Quote:Rice Thresher Sports
‏@ThresherSports
8m8 minutes ago

Bragga on Rice job: "I am humbled to lead the Rice Baseball program and honored to carry on the rich tradition established under Wayne Graham,” said Bragga. “My goal is to compete in the College World Series and win championships."
06-15-2018 04:23 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Quoting JK.....

Quote:Glynn Hill
‏@RiceChron
9m9 minutes ago
More
“Everyone we spoke with said that the reason Tennessee Tech has been so successful in recent years is Matt’s ability to identify & develop talent, inspire young men & teach the game of baseball. His commitment...will enrich the lives of both current & future Rice baseball plyrs.”
06-15-2018 04:25 PM
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illiniowl Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Well, I said this earlier today

(06-15-2018 11:22 AM)illiniowl Wrote:  My concern with Bragga is that he would be a fish out of water. While he is certainly one of the most successful small-conference coaches in the country, he played at UK, has only coached in KY, AL & TN, and none of that at schools with any semblance of academic admissions requirements. No significant pro experience either. Reminds me of us looking at James Madison's football coach - no indication that the success would likely be replicable here.

but I'm sure some doubted whether a juco coach's success would translate here and like them I will be only too happy to be proven completely off base.
06-15-2018 04:29 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Here's Kendall's very quick writeup-- it appears the finalists were Bragga, Riser and Mosiello...

https://d1baseball.com/news/tenn-techs-b...d-to-rice/
06-15-2018 04:29 PM
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Intellectual_Brutality Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Question: if he's so solid/great, why was he not poached away from Tenn Tech for 15 years?
06-15-2018 04:31 PM
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Tiki Owl Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
I like the hire as well. The fire had gone out of the program. All through the Omaha runs and up through Rendon’s years the Owls were always a scrappy, gritty team. That seemed to change during the years we lost our own home Regionals. Myself and others commented how our opponents always were on the top step of the dugout while we sat in the shadows. The Cal team’s attitude really exemplified the difference. What I see with this hire is a coach that can restore that gritty attitude in the team. I sense that our fundamentals will improve with this attitude change as well.

At this point recruiting concerns me less until his choices for assistants are known. If he can produce results like his recent teams by recruiting an area that clearly doesn’t have the quality and depth that the Houston and surrounding area has then clearly he should do even better here.

Welcome to South Main Coach.
(This post was last modified: 06-15-2018 04:40 PM by Tiki Owl.)
06-15-2018 04:38 PM
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WeatherfordOwl Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
(06-15-2018 04:21 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-15-2018 04:02 PM)Baconator Wrote:  Congrats to Coach Bragga, and welcome to Rice University!

Hopefully Bragga can bring all the warring factions together and achieve some unity amongst the alumni. And I hope that he will reach out to Wayne as well, and if not bring him back into the fold, at least start to heal that relationship so that Coach can be properly honored at some point.

There are going to be some who are so disenfranchised by the mishandling of the Wayne situation that they may not immediately come back into the fold, but many of us are both mentally and financially invested in the Rice Baseball program, and we're going to continue to passionately support the program going forward.

Admittedly I haven’t been keeping real close track of the Graham non renewal, but I personally have not observed anything objectionable in Rice’s handling of it. JK made the decision and shared it privately with Coach Graham, as I understand it, then it was Wayne who went public with it as if he was being mistreated. JK could not comment on it until it was completed. Pretty simple if you ask me. Wayne may be showing a little of his age, unfortunately. Yes, he is and deserves to be a legend at Rice. But when your program has been sliding into oblivion for almost a decade it seems like a change is timely. As to the former players “angling for his job”, what’s JK supposed to do about that? I find myself wishing Rice had replaced Wayne with Pierce long ago.
06-15-2018 04:39 PM
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greyowl72 Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
(06-15-2018 04:38 PM)Tiki Owl Wrote:  I like the hire as well. The fire had gone out of the program. All through the Omaha runs and up through Rendon’s years the Owls were always a scrappy, gritty team. That seemed to change during the years we lost our own home Regionals. Myself and others commented how our opponents always were on the top step of the dugout while we sat in the shadows. The Cal team’s attitude really exemplified the difference. What I see with this hire is a coach can restore that gritty attitude in the team. I sense that our fundamentals will improve with this attitude change as well.

At this point recruiting concerns me less until his choices for assistants are known. If he can produce results like his recent teams by recruiting an area that clearly doesn’t have the quality and depth that the Houston and surrounding area has then clearly he should do even better here.

Welcome to South Main Coach.

+100
My thoughts exactly.
06-15-2018 04:41 PM
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gmath Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
(06-15-2018 04:31 PM)Intellectual_Brutality Wrote:  Question: if he's so solid/great, why was he not poached away from Tenn Tech for 15 years?

Agreed! Fire Coach Bragga.
06-15-2018 04:43 PM
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Tiki Owl Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Perhaps JK also saw in Bragga’s attitude some of the same things he saw in Bloomgren’s.
06-15-2018 04:45 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Rice hires Matt Bragga (Tennessee Tech) to replace Wayne Graham
Quote:Mark Berman


@MarkBermanFox26
1m1 minute ago
More
According to college baseball sources new @RiceBaseball Coach Matt Bragga gets a five-year contract.
06-15-2018 04:46 PM
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