Steve Rodriguez begins his tenure as Baylor's head coach. Rodriguez spent the past 12 seasons as head coach at Pepperdine University, where he amassed a 401-300 record and led the Waves to eight NCAA Regional appearances.
Baylor's new coaching staff also includes Jon Strauss, who spent the previous six seasons on Rodriguez's Pepperdine staff, Mike Taylor, who previously was an assistant at the University of Houston and Rice University, and Ruben Noriega, whose previous coaching stints include Western Oregon University and the University of California.
Baylor will meet stellar competition in 2016, facing six programs that appeared in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The Bears' 22 opponents this season combined for a .546 winning percentage in 2015. The non-conference schedule includes a three-game series against the University of Washington, as well as games against Dallas Baptist, the University of Houston and the University of San Diego.
Junior left-handed pitcher Daniel Castano generally is considered Baylor's best prospect for the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Castano was 4-6 with a 3.61 ERA and one save in 13 starts and three relief appearances for the Bears last season en route to honorable mention All-Big 12 honors.
Junior right-handed pitcher Drew Tolson also returns for the 2016 season after earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors last season when he was 3-8 with a 3.56 ERA and three complete games in 15 starts. Tolson is the great-nephew of Edwin Schroeder, who played basketball and ran track at Baylor in the early 1950s.
Sophomore outfielder Kameron Esthay led Baylor in all three Triple Crown categories last season, hitting .323 with five home runs and 25 RBI. Esthay was a 2015 Big 12 All-Freshman honoree.