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Sean Allen, Philip Miller named SHSU baseball assistant coaches

Philip Miller and Sean Allen have been named as Sam Houston head baseball coach David Pierce’s top two assistant coaches.

“Philip Miller and Sean Allen are two outstanding young coaches. Both will be great assets to the program,” Pierce said. “We’re very excited to bring them to Huntsville.”

Allen comes to Sam Houston from Florida International University in Miami, Fla., where he an assistant for a program that has rolled up a 130-103-1 record during the past four years and earned NCAA Division I regional berths the past two seasons. From 2002 to 2007 he was an assistant coach at the University of Houston.

“Sean is one of the most respected young coaches in college baseball,” Pierce said. “He brings a level of expertise to Sam Houston that we were looking for in an assistant coach. He has proven he can recruit and develop talent. His resume extends in many directions. He has coached hitters, infielders and pitchers with two strong programs and knows what it takes to create a winner.”

Miller, who has served as an assistant at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La., the past two years, is returning to Sam Houston. He was volunteer assistant for former Bearkat skipper Mark Johnson for SHSU squads that won three Southland Conference post season tournament championship to advance to the NCAA Division I regionals.

“Philip is a tireless worker with expertise in all facets of running a Division I program,” Pierce said. “He spent three years as Sam Houston as a volunteer assistant and, after two seasons at Northwestern State, returns as a full time assistant. I believe Phil is a hidden gem in the coaching field. He has great organizational skills on and off the field and will be a great contributor in many ways.”

Allen served as recruiting coordinator, pitching coach and infield coach at FIU, helping build a program that went from a 20-36 record his first year as an assistant in 2008 to a 40-20-1 mark last spring.

Florida International won the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship in 2010 and participated in the NCAA Division I regional in Coral Gables, Fla. Last year FIU earned an at-large NCAA berth and appeared in the Chapel Hill, NC, regional.

Florida International has been ranked as high as 20th in the national rankings. Allen coached the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year (Pablo Bermudez) and four All-Conference players. The team led the conference in earned run average.

While at the University of Houston, Allen served in a similar capacity working with the Cougar infielders and as the hitting coach. His teams were exemplary at the plate and on the diamond, helping the Cougars earn NCAA Tournament berths in 2002, 2003 and 2006, and advance to the NCAA Super Regionals in 2002 and 2003.

Under Allen’s direction, the Cougars never posted a fielding percentage less than .962 and were ranked nationally in 2003, 2004 and 2006. He also played a major role in the offensive development of consensus All-American and later Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher, Brad Lincoln, who was named the National Player of the Year by four different entities in 2006.

In 2006, Allen’s lineup hit 71 home runs — the fifth-highest total in UH single-season history — with All-Conference USA First-Team performer Matt Weston leading the way with 16 homers. The Cougars batted .314 and had a slugging percentage of .544 that season. Allen also mentored outfielder Travis Tully, who hit .430 in C-USA games.

Allen began his coaching career as a student assistant in 2002, working with the UH infield and serving as the team’s first base coach.

A four-year letterman with the Cougars from 1998 to 2001, Allen ended his playing career as UH all-time leader with 542 assists in the field. In addition, his 192 assists in 2000 was the second-highest total in UH single-season history. During his playing days, the Cougars competed in an NCAA Super Regional and advanced to NCAA postseason play in three consecutive seasons. He earned All-C-USA Tournament honors as a junior.

A 1998 graduate of Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, N.M., Allen was a three-time All-District 4-4A honoree and helped the team to four-straight state semifinal and a state championship in 1996. He was honored as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior.

Allen earned his bachelor’s degree in sports administration from the University of Houston in 2001.

At Northwestern State, Miller served as the Demons’ infield and defensive coach as well as first base coach. He assisted with the Demon hitters, recruiting responsibilities, and field maintenance. In 2009, he helped guide the team to a second place finish in the Southland Conference and advance to the Southland Conference Tournament.

The 2010 Demons finished second in the SLC in batting average (.322) and tied for fourth in fielding percentage (.963). The Demons placed a league-best seven student-athletes on the All-Southland Conference honor squad. Two Northwestern State position players were drafted in the 2010 MLB Amateur Baseball Draft.

During his stint with the Bearkats, Miller was outfield and first base coach and assisted with hitters, infielders and catchers. He coached three All-Americans, six All-Southland Conference outfielders and four Southland All-Tournament selections

The Kats made NCAA regional appearances at the University of Mississippi (2007) and Rice University (2008, 2009).

Miller played Northwestern State from 2002 to 2005. In those four years he was a member of two conference championship teams (2002, 2005). During his senior year, the 2005 Demon squad won the Southland Conference with 22 conference wins. That was also the season NSU earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge.

A native of Clinton, Louisiana, Miller (28) graduated from University High School where he lettered in baseball, cross country and basketball. Miller earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Northwestern State in 2005 and his Master’s in Education from Sam Houston State in 2010.

Miller is married to former NSU softball standout, Lyndsey (Gorski) Miller.

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