New UA baseball coach Chip Hale has reportedly hired a new assistant.
Trip Couch, a longtime coach at Houston and South Carolina and the Diamondbacks scout who discovered Paul Goldschmidt, will join Hale’s Wildcats staff, according to John Whittle of 247Sports.com.
Couch will join pitching coach Dave Lawn, a holdover from Jay Johnson’s staff. The UA has been searching for both an assistant coach and an operations director.
Couch, 54, has been at South Carolina since 2017, spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Before that, he was the Gamecocks’ director of player development. Couch came to South Carolina following his second stint at the University of Houston. He spent the 1995-2000 seasons at UH before joining the Texas program as an assistant.
Couch returned to Houston in 2010 as an assistant coach.
In Arizona, however, Couch may be best known as the Diamondbacks scout who identified Goldschmidt as a future star. A Sports Illustrated story from 2015 said Couch was one of just two pro scouts to show up to Goldschmidt’s final conference tournament game while he was playing at Texas State.
Couch gave the future big-league star a third-round grade, and the Diamondbacks ended up drafting Goldschmidt in the eighth round.
During his time as a Diamondbacks scout, Couch signed four future big-leaguers: Goldschmidt, Garrett Mock, Chris Snyder and Wade Miley.
A North Carolina native, Couch is a graduate of Louisiana-Lafayette. He spent the 1991 and 1992 seasons as an assistant coach with the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Arizona hired Hale, the Detroit Tigers’ third-base coach and a former manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks as its new coach on July 5. He replaces Johnson, who left the UA for LSU.
Hale’s first recruit is Salpointe standout
Hale landed his first recruit since becoming the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats baseball team, and he didn’t have to look far for this one.
Salpointe Catholic star shortstop Mason White committed to the UA on Wednesday, he announced on social media. White, the son of former Arizona pitcher Ben White, who played at the UA from 1993-96, is the 11th commit in Arizona’s 2022 recruiting class.
Mason just finished his junior season at Salpointe Catholic, where he held a .354 batting average with 23 hits, 31 RBI and 21 runs in 65 at-bats.
White is the second Tucson product committed to the Wildcats for ‘22, joining Ironwood Ridge catcher Nick Warren.
White’s evaluation on PerfectGame.org reads: “Left-handed hitter, hits from a balanced open stance with a hanging leg lift trigger, hits under control, has good hand quickness and strength, very accurate barrel, works line drive from the pull side to mid field. Polished player who performed. Good student.”