Coming off its winningest season in more than a decade and loaded with talent due back in 2020, the Canyon baseball program entered the offseason looking like a powder keg of potential.

But an unforeseen question arose — who would guide the Cougars following the departure of Reagan Moczygemba?

That answer came recently when it was announced that Canyon had hired former UTSA associate head coach Jim Blair to take over the program. Blair just wrapped up his 11th full season with the Roadrunners and has spent the past two years as UTSA’s pitching coach and recruiting director.

In 2018, Blair’s pitching staff with the Roadrunners ranked at the top of Conference USA in earned runs allowed (193), opposing batting average (.236), runners picked off (16), extra-base hits (114), doubles (73) and home runs allowed (31). Those numbers were even more impressive when taken into consideration that the Roadrunners’ home park is known to be hitter-friendly.

Blair coached UTSA’s offense from 2013 to 2017. During the 2015 campaign, the Roadrunners led the conference in home runs (52) and stolen bases (68) while also finishing second in total runs scored (362) and doubles (118).

Blair began his coaching career with UTSA in 2002 and worked there until 2006. He returned to the Roadrunners in 2012 to join John Marshall’s staff.

Blair has also spent time at Dallas Baptist University and Sam Houston State University.

During his playing days, Blair was an outfielder for Baylor under head coach Steve Smith. He still holds the program record with a 31-game hitting streak and was an All-Big 12 performer prior to being signed to a free agent contract by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Blair graduated from Sam Houston in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in education and later received his master’s degree in sport management in 2013 from SHSU.

Blair inherits a Canyon program that is fresh off a 25-11 season in which the Cougars qualified for the Class 6A playoffs but fell 2-1 in an opening round best-of-three series against Hays.

Canyon is set to welcome back three all-district selections next season — shortstop Austin Stracener, catcher Chance Reisdorph and pitcher Ethan Garcia.

CHS is hosting a meet and greet for Blair and his family from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. tonight in the Cougar Den.

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