Volunteer Assistant Coach
St. Francis '93
Sean McCann, in his eighth season at Kansas State as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, has transformed the Wildcat pitching staff into one of the best in the Big 12 Conference and school history during his time in Manhattan. Heading into his 17th season as a collegiate coach, McCann brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Kansas State pitching staff and has sent numerous players to the professional ranks, as 28 former pitchers have gone on to sign pro contracts.
In just seven seasons at K-State, 10 Wildcat pitchers have been taken in the Major League Amateur Draft, including two starters off the 2009 squad and current Wildcat Kyle Hunter, who opted to stay at K-State. Seven pitchers have earned conference pitcher of the week honors, including one national award, five have earned All-Big 12 accolades, and three others have earned All-America status, most recently A.J. Morris, who was a Consensus First Team All-American in 2009.
The Kansas State pitching corps has flourished under the tutelage of McCann, and one has to look no further than the numbers the K-State hurlers have put up the past six seasons. The squad has posted the school's top five team ERAs in five of the last six seasons, including a 4.52 team ERA in 2009, which ranked third in school history.
Many individual records have been set by McCann's pitchers, including career and season records for wins, saves, innings pitched, relief appearances, pitching decisions and game appearances, as well as the season records for strikeouts and games started.
McCann has put an emphasis on not allowing any free passes to opponents as five of his last six staffs have ranked in the top five in school history in walker allowed per nine innings, including the 2010 squad that tied for third at 3.0. Last year's staff also ranked fourth in strikeouts at 403, including 109 combined strikeouts from Evan Marshall and Kyle Hunter who earned Second Team and Honorable Mention All-Big 12 accolades, respectively.
In 2009, K-State's team ERA of 4.52 under McCann was fourth in the Big 12, which marked the best placing since the inception of the Big 12. The 2006 squad finished the season fifth, but since 1997, only two squads finished higher than seventh in ERA. K-State also ranked first in the conference in fewest number of walks, tied for first in complete games, third in runs allowed and fourth in earned runs allowed. And in the national statistics, McCann's hurlers were 14th in the country in walks allowed per nine innings.
In addition to ranking third in school history in ERA, the 2009 staff also broke a 12-year school record for strikeouts with 453, 25 more than the previous school record of 428 in 1997. McCann also led the K-State hurlers to top-10 marks in fewest walks per nine innings (second; 2.8), lowest opponent batting average (tied for fifth; .282) and fewest hits allowed per nine innings (tied for sixth; 9.9).
Much of the pitching staff's success fell on A.J. Morris who, under McCann's tutelage, went from a 4-4 record and a 6.04 ERA in 2008 to the best single-season output by any Wildcat in school history. Morris, who was a Consensus All-American and the first Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in school history, set the single-season school record in four categories, including victories (14), innings pitched (116.1), strikeouts (100) and pitching decisions (15). His 14 victories were tied for the third most in Big 12 history, while he also recorded the lowest ERA by a Wildcat in 33 years at 2.09.
Morris was also a finalist for the College Baseball Foundation Pitcher of the Year and Golden Spikes Awards under McCann's watch. He also tied for first in the Big 12 in complete games, finished second in innings pitched, third in games started, and fifth in strikeouts and opponent batting average. And, on a national level, McCann directed Morris to the second-most victories and the sixth-lowest ERA in the NCAA.
Morris wasn't the only McCann protégé making headlines in 2009 as Thomas Rooke was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list, while James Allen earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors.
With departing seniors Brad Hutt and Daniel Edwards leading the staff, the 2008 Wildcats held a team ERA of 5.12, which was fourth in school history at the time. The 2008 squad also recorded the third-lowest walks per nine innings (3.1) and tied for the 10th fewest hits per nine innings (10.3). He coached Hutt (second team) and Edwards (honorable mention) to All-Big 12 honors, while each left K-State holding numerous school records. Hutt is tops on the school's career list for innings pitched (326.1), pitching decisions (38) and tied for first in wins (25). Edwards holds the school's career record for saves (26), appearances (86) and relief appearances (86), as well as the single-season saves record with 12 in 2008.
In 2007, K-State pitchers registered a 4.68 team ERA - good for third in school history - while they also recorded its second-lowest opponent batting average of .270, and also gave up the second fewest hits per nine innings (9.3) in school history. Edwards had an outstanding junior season, tying the school record for saves with 11 and was named a third-team All-American and also earned ABCA All-Region honors. Hutt tied the school record for wins in a season with nine, including an eight-inning outing in K-State's win over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship. For his efforts, Hutt was named to the all-tournament team, as well as being named honorable mention All-Big 12.
McCann helped bring along freshman Ben Hornbeck in 2006, who became K-State's second-ever Freshman All-American after Collegiate Baseball honored the lefthander after a solid rookie campaign.
In 2005, McCann spearheaded a Wildcat staff that garnered the then-lowest team ERA (4.22) since the move to aluminum bats in college baseball back in 1976. Also, the Wildcats boasted two seven-game winners in Chase Mitchell and Adam Cowart for the first time since 1985.
In his first season in Manhattan, McCann led a pitching staff that compiled a team ERA just above 5.00, the lowest ERA for a Wildcat team in over 15 years. K-State also had two pitchers drafted in the June MLB Amateur Draft in Carlos Torres and Jared Brite. In all, McCann has coached 28 pitchers who have gone on to play in the professional ranks, including current Chicago White Sox in Torres, Brian Lawrence of the Florida Marlins, and Justin James, who made his Major League debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2010.
McCann spent the 2003 season as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Big 12 Conference rival Missouri. The Tigers posted a 36-22 overall record in 2003, including a 15-11 mark in league play, and advanced to NCAA Regional play for the first time in seven years. McCann's pitchers were a major reason for Missouri's rise to the top of the Big 12 in 2003, as the staff ranked second in walks per nine innings (2.81) and third in strikeouts per nine innings (7.58), while registering four shutouts. Overall, the pitching staff ranked among the conference's top teams in a number of categories, including first in walks (158), second in shutouts, third in hits allowed (565), fifth in strikeouts (426) and opponent batting average (.280) and sixth in earned run average (5.07). In his brief stint, McCann helped shave over two earned runs per game off the team's total from 2002 from 7.09 to 5.07 and lowered the opponent batting average from .324 to .280, as the Tigers posted a 12-game improvement, including a six-game jump in Big 12 games.
Three Tiger pitchers earned All-Big 12 honors under McCann's guidance, including second team all-conference selection Justin James. James, along with fellow starter Derek Roper, were both selected in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft, in which James became Missouri's highest draft pick since 1988 when he was selected with 140th overall pick in the fifth round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Tiger hurler Andy Shipman also signed with the Boston Red Sox last summer.
McCann came to Missouri following a one-year stint as the head coach at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, La. Prior to Bossier Parish, he spent three years as the top assistant to head coach John Cohen at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. From 1998-2000, McCann guided a Demon pitching staff that recorded the nation's fifth-best team ERA in 1998 and a Southland Conference Championship. McCann coached Brandon Emanuel, who as a second-round selection in 1998 became NSU's highest draft pick ever. After finishing his playing career, Emanuel was named the pitching coach for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Single A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angles, prior to the 2008 season. Another of McCann's protégés is San Diego's Lawrence, who was the 1998 Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year. As NSU's recruiting coordinator, he was responsible for signing 10 eventual All-Southland performers, including two SLC Newcomers of the Year. He also lured a 21-player class in 2000 that resulted in the Demons winning back-to-back Southland Conference titles in 2001 and 2002.
A member of Brad Hill's original staff at Central Missouri State (now University of Central Missouri) from 1995-97, McCann coached numerous Mule pitchers who signed professional contracts, including Josh Reynolds, who was UCM's highest-ever draft selection when he went in the third round of the 2000 draft. He also mentored three first team All-Americans and seven all-conference pitchers. As recruiting coordinator, he signed five All-Americans and 13 eventual all-conference performers, leading to three straight MIAA Conference titles and two trips to the College World Series. In the first and last seasons of that stretch, the Mules finished the season among the nation's top-five Division II programs.
McCann earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1993. The Indiana native also earned a master's degree in education from Central Missouri State in 1996.