LINCOLN –(NU Athletics June 13)–Nebraska Baseball Head Coach Will Bolt announced the hiring of assistant coaches Rob Childress and Mike Sirianni to his coaching staff on Tuesday. Childress will serve as the pitching coach for the Huskers, and Sirianni will work with hitters and infielders. Both hires are pending the completion of the University of Nebraska hiring process.
Sirianni will join the Huskers as an assistant coach immediately. Childress, who has served as Nebraska’s director of player development since summer of 2021, will remain in his current role until July 1, when the NCAA permits schools to add a third full-time assistant coach.
A veteran of college baseball with 32 years of experience, Childress is no stranger to Lincoln, as he served as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 1998 to 2002 and as associate head coach from 2003 to 2005 prior to his director of player development role in the last two seasons.
“I feel very fortunate to have Rob and his family remain in the Husker baseball family,” said Bolt. “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.”
Prior to his return to Lincoln, Childress spent 16 seasons as the head coach at Texas A&M. He led the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament a school-record 13 consecutive times (2007-19), including six regional titles and a pair of trips to the College World Series in 2011 and 2017. Childress, who posted a 622-336-3 record with the Aggies, won two regular-season conference titles and four conference tournament championships during his stint at Texas A&M.
Texas A&M’s pitching staff set a school record with 673 strikeouts in 2019. They led the NCAA in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.33), ranked second in strikeouts per nine innings (10.9), third in ERA (3.21) and eighth in WHIP (1.21).
During his eight seasons on staff in his first stint at Nebraska, the Huskers produced five of the top six single-season strikeout totals in school history, including a school-record 538 strikeouts in 2005, while issuing fewer than three walks per game in his final five seasons in Lincoln. The Huskers went to the NCAA Tournament six times in a seven-year span, including three CWS appearances. The Big Red won three regular-season Big 12 titles (2001, 2003 and 2005) and four Big 12 Tournaments (1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005).
Under his tutelage, 79 pitchers were drafted or signed as free agents during his time at Nebraska and Texas A&M. Childress’ pitching staffs have finished in the top 15 in the country in ERA eight times since 2000, including top three finishes on three occasions. Five of his pitching staffs have finished in the top 25 nationally in strikeouts per nine innings since 2010, including four times in the top 10.
Before his first stint at Nebraska, Childress served as an assistant coach at Northwestern State from 1995 to 1997 after stops at Texarkana College and Northwood. He coached former major leaguer Brian Lawrence, who became the first Demon baseball player to reach the Major Leagues since 1954.
Childress graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood in 1990, earned a master’s degree of science from East Texas State (now TAMU-Commerce) in 1994. He and his wife Amanda have a daughter, Hannah, and a son, Maxwell.
“Nebraska is a special place, and my family and I couldn’t be happier to stay in Lincoln,” said Childress. “I can’t thank Coach Bolt enough for this opportunity. I’m excited to hit the ground running and ready to get to work with our players.”
Sirianni joins the Huskers with 13 years of experience coaching college baseball after spending the previous four seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Wichita State.
“I am excited for Mike and his family to join us in Lincoln,” said Bolt. “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.”
Sirianni comes to Lincoln after spearheading two of the best recruiting classes in Wichita State baseball history with a 32nd-ranked class in 2021 and 26th-ranked class in 2022 by Perfect Game.
During his four seasons at Wichita State, Sirianni coached a third-team All-American, a freshman All-American, a John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Finalist and 17 all-conference selections. In his inaugural campaign as the Shockers’ assistant coach, he helped Wichita State to a 13-2 record before the season ended due to COVID-19, which included the program’s longest winning streak since 2008 of 12 games.
Sirianni was a head coach for three seasons at Regis from 2017 to 2019. He made an immediate impact with the Rangers, as Regis recorded their first winning season in five years in the second season under Sirianni. Sirianni coached the 2018 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and had 20 all-conference selections in his three seasons with the Rangers.
Before his time at Regis, Sirianni spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach for the Shockers in his first stop at Wichita State. He assisted the offense and coached three Freshman All-Americans, two all-region selections, one Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year, eight all-conference performers and nine MLB Draft picks.
From 2011 to 2014, Sirianni was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Newman (Kan.). He helped the Jets to two conference tournament appearances and the highest conference finish in school history. Under his lead, the Newman offense set several school records, and the Jets had six Gold Glove winners, 14 all-conference position players and the Freshman of the Year.
Prior to coaching at Newman, he had stints with Valley View High School in Arkansas, Iowa Western Community College, Arkansas State and the Cleveland Guardians.
Sirianni was a two-year starter at Arkansas State in 2004-05 and set the single-season record for runs scored in 2004. Before his time at Arkansas State, Sirianni played two seasons at Creighton from 2002 to 2003.
Sirianni’s father, John, was the Athletic Director at Division III Simpson College (Iowa) for 28 years, spending 20 seasons as the school’s head baseball coach. His brother, Jay, played at Nebraska in 1996-99 and has been the head coach at Sam Houston since 2020.
Sirianni graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Arkansas State in 2006, and earned a master’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from Emporia State in 2017. He and his wife Mandy have two daughters, Ava, Allie and Adalyn.
“My family and I are so excited for the opportunity to join such a storied program,” said Sirianni. “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.”