Noble catches another honor
By Christian Schmidt
The Daily Cougar
Cougar baseball coach Rayner Noble just got another reason to be pleased
about his team's year. Noble was named the 2002
American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings South Central Region
Coach of the Year.
Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar
Eight-year head baseball coach Rayner Noble was honored
as the 2002 ABCA/Rawlings South Central Region Head Coach of the
Year. The Cougars were 48-17 in 2002.
The award is a prestigious one, and also has one of the longest names
in sports (thirteen words in the official title). With the honor,
Noble is now in the running to be named the ABCA National Coach of
the Year, to be presented at the association's convention next
This season, the Cougars amassed an impressive 48-17 record. The team
won the Conference USA regular season title for the third
time in the last four years, tying a record for most wins in a season
set by the 2000 Cougar squad, also coached by Noble. The record
was the third-highest winning percentage in school history.
The 2002 team advanced to the Super Regionals this year before falling
to eventual national champion Texas. UH was also the last
school to beat Texas, taking the opener of the Super Regional from
the Longhorns before dropping the next two games.
Houston finished the season ranked No. 10 in the Baseball America poll,
joining schools like Rice and Texas at the top of the
Noble has served as UH head coach for eight years, with six winning
campaigns and five postseason appearances. Under Noble,
the team has twice advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals, falling just
short of the College World Series.
The UH head coach is now third all-time in wins at the school, having
passed his mentor Dr. Bragg Stockton, current UH volunteer
assistant coach, this year.
Noble has twice been named the Conference USA Coach of the year, in
1999 and '00. He has also overseen a steady rise in team
GPA since his arrival.
Roger Cador, head coach at Southern University, finished
second in the voting.
Noble also had a distinguished career as an athlete, including earning
first team All-American, honors as a pitcher at UH in '83.
The award was voted on by coaches in the South Central Region. Seven
Sun Belt Conference schools, 10 Southwestern Athletic
Conference schools, 10 Southland Conference schools and seven programs
from other leagues make up the region.