Stan Stolte promised to turn UNLV into an NCAA tournament team when the school introduced him as the sixth full-time baseball coach in program history last month.
And with his first staff addition, the Lowden, Iowa, native made the kind of move that will certainly attract high-end talent to the Mountain West Conference school. Stolte landed Hall of Fame pitcher and Las Vegas native Greg Maddux as a volunteer assistant coach last week.
“To add arguably the smartest player to ever step foot on a baseball field to our staff is so exciting for our student-athletes and the program,” Stolte said in a statement released by the school. “After meeting with Greg, you are so impressed with him not only with his knowledge of the game, but how grounded he has remained and his genuine desire to share his knowledge with up-and-coming players. He may be the most respected teammate in the game past or present, which is the ultimate compliment as a player. We look forward to his immediate impact once we begin our fall season.”
Maddux won 355 games and struck out 3,371 hitters during a 23-year big league career that included stops with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. He won 18 Gold Glove awards, made eight all-star appearances and became the first pitcher to win four consecutive Cy Young awards.
Maddux is the only pitcher in big league history to record more than 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts with less than 1,000 walks. He retired in 2008 and gained induction in Cooperstown in 2014.
Stolte spent the past six seasons as either the associate head coach or acting head coach at UNLV. In his interim post this spring, he guided the Runnin’ Rebels to 24 victories, including eight wins over five teams that made the NCAA tournament, and his team placed one spot ahead of its predicted fifth-place finish in the Mountain West.
“Stan has a vision for UNLV baseball and a plan on how to get it back to being one of the top programs in the Mountain West and in contention for NCAA berths on an annual basis,” UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said. “I am very supportive of his plan and share in his vision. Stan is very well-respected in the local baseball community, has coached in the state of Nevada for two decades and has accumulated great experience recruiting our rich local talent base, as well as regionally and nationally. We are excited to be able to keep Stan and look forward to the future of UNLV baseball.”
Stolte began his coaching career at Clarence-Lowden High School and posted a 110-45 record that included four Iowa district championships in his six seasons. He spent two seasons at Northwest Missouri State and seven at Pacific before becoming an assistant at Nevada-Reno for 14 seasons. He moved to UNLV in 2010.
Stolte has coached 18 all-Americans and 15 players who went on to Major League Baseball careers. UNLV promoted him to full-time head coach on June 1.
“I’m really looking forward to getting UNLV baseball back to where it needs to be,” Stolte said. “We’ve already hit the ground running and are in the process of adding some welcome additions to our 2017 team. No staff in the country will outwork us as we continue to bring in quality student-athletes and develop them both on and off the field. I’d like to thank UNLV President Len Jessup, Athletics Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and our sport administrator Lisa Kelleher for their support over this past year, and their confidence in me to move this great program forward.”