SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Head baseball coach Matt Fincher announced the addition of former player Jim Kais to the Spartan baseball staff as an assistant coach. Kais is a 2005 graduate of USC Upstate and received a degree in business marketing.
Prior to his new role, Kais served as an assistant coach this summer with the Wilmington (N.C.) Sharks of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer wooden-bat league.
Last season, Kais was an assistant coach at Waldorf College where he primarily worked with hitters and catchers. During his time in Forest City, Iowa, Kais helped the team improve its batting average by 28 points compared to the 2009 squad. The team also saw improvements in hits, doubles, homeruns and slugging percentage.
Kais, a native of Waukesha, Wis., spent three years with the Perfect Game Wisconsin Fall Scout League (2006, 2008-09). During his tenure with the league he helped one player get drafted in the third-round of the MLB Draft. In 2007, Kais worked with the Midwest Blazers Scout team. Ten players went on to join Division I baseball programs and three players were selected in the MLB Draft.
Kais was a four-year letterwinner as a catcher for Coach Fincher from 2002-05. As a freshman, Kais appeared in 36 games and made 26 starts. In the game against USC Aiken on March 23, 2002, Kais delivered the game winning hit as the team claimed a thrilling 14-13 victory. During his sophomore season, Kais owned a batting average of .294 and scored the game winning run on a wild pitch against No. 1 Kennesaw State on March 28, 2003. It was the program's first victory over a nationally No. 1-ranked team.
In 2004, Kais' junior season, he appeared in 42 games while making 35 starts. He was part of the first team to ever play at Cleveland S. Harley Park. In his final season in Spartanburg, Kais made 49 appearances with 46 starts. He owned a career best .327 batting average in 2005 as well as posting season-highs in hits (55), runs (35), RBI (31) and doubles (12).