EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball Head Coach Sean Lyons announced the appointment of P.J. Finigan as the Cougars' newest assistant coach.
Finigan joins the Cougars after spending nine seasons as the pitching coach at SIU Carbondale, where he was instrumental in developing 18 All-Missouri Valley Conference pitchers, two freshmen All-Americans and seven Major League Baseball draft picks.
"I am very excited to add P.J. to the coaching staff," said Lyons. "P.J. brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program and has a track record of recruiting high-quality student-athletes. PJ has great connections and is well respected among the recruiting community."
Lyons said that Finigan will provide another set of eyes to assist with the Cougars' offense.
"PJ brings a different perspective to the offense serving as a pitching coach for several years," noted Lyons. "I am excited to hear those perspectives and use them to aid in the development of our hitters."
As an SIU Carbondale pitching coach, three of Finigan's staffs finished among the lowest five earned run averages in school history, including the 2013 and 2014 when Sam Coonrod was drafted in the fifth round of the MLB Draft and would later make his major league debut with the San Francisco Giants.
Finigan pupil Ryan Netemeyer emerged as one of the nation's top pitchers in 2017. Netemeyer was a finalist for National Pitcher of the Year and a semifinalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year after setting a Salukis record with 15 saves.
The 2017 season included another standout under Finigan. Chad Whitmer, a 10th round pick by the New York Yankees, earned All-MVC honors after recording 11 quality starts and 95 strikeouts, the second most Ks by a Saluki in nearly two decades.
Most recently in 2018, Finigan protégé Michael Baird was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 23rd round.
As a player, Finigan was a double threat. As a hitter, he won the 2005 MVC batting crown with a .386 batting average, including four triples, six home runs and 48 RBIs. On the mound, Finigan was a force, posting a 3.24 ERA and a 9-3 record. He remains the only MVC player in history to earn All-Conference honors as both a hitter and a pitcher.
At SIU Carbondale, he ranks sixth career at-bats (837), eighth in doubles (47), seventh in triples (13), 10th in hits (251) and 10th in RBIs (135). He was inducted into the SIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
"PJ has had tremendous success both as a player and coach during his time in Carbondale," Lyons continued. "I've seen firsthand the development of players he worked with and I look forward to seeing that here at SIUE."
Finigan also has playing experience in the minor leagues. A seventh-round MLB draft pick by the Detroit Tigers, Finigan played in the Tigers' system from 2005 to 2008.
A Springfield, Illinos, native, he and his wife, Courtney, have two children, Turner and C.C.