CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Head Baseball Coach Loren Hibbs has announced the former Niner and Major Leaguer John Maine has joined the 2014 coaching staff as a volunteer assistant. The former Conference USA Pitcher of the Year spent parts of eight years in the big leagues between the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets and Miami Marlins.
“We are thrilled to add John to our staff as this addition is another big step forward for our program,” remarked Hibbs. “His decision to re-join our program as an assistant coach is tremendous on multiple levels. He will be a great compliment to Brandon while working with our pitching staff and will also help with catchers, on campus recruiting and with alumni/community relations.”
Maine was named as the league’s best pitcher in 2001 after compiling a 12-6 record with a 3.82 ERA in 20 starts. The right-hander fanned 144 hitters in his 134.1 innings pitched. His 12 wins in 2001 is second-most in school-history while his 20 career wins ranks him tied for seventh. Maine’s 297 career strikeouts at Charlotte is fifth-best in program history.
After donning a Niners uniform, Maine was a sixth round pick of the Orioles in 2002 eventually making his Major League debut almost exactly two years later in Baltimore. In 2006, Maine joined the Mets where he spent the bulk of his big league career for five of his eight years. Maine would help lead the Mets to the 2006 National League Championship Series (NLCS) winning a do-or-die game six to force a game seven against the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Maine picked up 41 victories over his eight-year career at the game’s highest level that included back-to-back double-digit win seasons with 15 in 2007 and 10 in 2008.
"I'm honored to be given this opportunity to work with the baseball team,” commented Maine. “Coach Hibbs and the entire Charlotte 49ers athletic department have been great to me and supported me while I played. Now that my playing career is over, I can hopefully pass along the outstanding baseball information from some of the greats that passed it along to me. Coach Hall is a terrific pitching coach and I can't wait to learn things from him and hopefully we can make every player better."
The Charlotte 49ers baseball team has already begun the individual portion of fall practice before team activities and the 2015 season-opener. Charlotte will open up the new season February 13-15 in Athens, Georgia facing the Georgia Bulldogs in a three-game weekend set.