Sam Peraza enters his second season as the Aztecs' pitching coach after being named to the position in July 2015. Peraza, who came to the Aztecs from Florida International where he served as the pitching coach the past two seasons.
The 37-year-old Peraza brings 12 years of pitching coaching experience to SDSU along with producing a total of four conference Pitchers of the Year and nine All-Americans as a pitching coach. The native of Los Angles is not unfamiliar with San Diego State as he concluded his college career as a member of the Aztec pitching staff during the 2002 campaign.
"We're fortunate to have Sam Peraza join his on his return to the west coast" commented Martinez. "He brings a wealth of experience in the recruiting and development of pitchers. As a former Aztec he's familiar with the university and the local area. His energy and enthusiasm will make him a great addition to the helping us carry out the mission of the SDSU baseball program."
During the 2015 season, he guided the pitching staff to a 3.89 team ERA, helping lead the Panthers to a Conference USA Tournament Championship and its first regional win since 2001 (Coral Cables Regional).
Peraza also made his mark on the recruiting trail. In 2014 he helped put together a class that was nationally ranked eighth-best in the country by Perfect Game. That class featured seven incoming recruits taken in the MLB draft that June.
Peraza's first season as Florida International's pitching coach (2014) was a record-setting season for the Panther pitching staff. FIU posted a Conference USA single season record for most shutouts (14) and lowest team ERA (2.29). The Panthers set three school records in 2014 as well, posting the lowest team ERA, fewest walks (175) and fewest triples allowed (3). In total, Peraza's pitching staff cracked the top five in 11 different school record statistical categories and individuals cracked the top 10 in eight different statistical categories.
The Panthers pitching staff was dominant from a national perspective as well. Their team ERA ranked fifth nationally, while the record-setting 14 shutouts ranked third nationally. Peraza's work in his first season with FIU earned him a finalist spot for the inaugural C-USA Assistant Coach of the Year award.
Peraza spent the 2013 season leading the pitchers at Cal State Northridge, where the Matador pitching staff had one of its best seasons in program history. His pitching staff produced the best team earned run average in the program's last 21 years. Additionally, the Matadors had the lowest walk-to-strikeout ratio since 2002 and also led the conference in batters struck out looking with 117. Cal State Northridge's team had the program's most overall wins and conference (Big West) wins since 2002.
Prior to joining the Matadors, Peraza spent the summer of 2012 as the pitching coach for the Santa Barbara Foresters, a summer-collegiate team. During his stint with the Foresters, Santa Barbara defeated the Seattle Studs to capture the 2012 National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series title. Peraza's pitching staff produced an ERA of 2.41 with 570 strikeouts and only 173 walks.
Peraza's previous five seasons came at Cal State Los Angeles where he served as the Head Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Peraza's stint with the Golden Eagle baseball program began in October 2007. While there he handled the Golden Eagle pitching staff, assisted with all game planning, scouting, film, administration and travel. In total, Cal State L.A. produced two conference Pitcher of the Year winners during Peraza's time with program.
In the middle of his tenure with Cal State L.A., Peraza served as the head coach of the So Cal Fire, a summer collegiate baseball team, in the summer of 2008. Peraza's team, which consisted of 20 Division I athletes and seven players that were selected in the top 20 rounds of MLB Draft, earned an impressive sixth place finish (out of 64 teams) in the NBC World Series.
Prior to his time at Cal State L.A., Peraza was the head assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Eastern Oklahoma State College for the 2007 season. During his time with the Mountaineers, Peraza handled all aspects of recruiting and scholarships awarded. He additionally oversaw the pitching staff, which produced the 2007 conference Pitcher of the Year. Peraza was also in charge of the strength and conditioning programs for the Mountaineer baseball team.
Peraza's collegiate pitching career began at El Camino Community College from 1998-2000, where he sits in the record books for the program's most saves. He then attended San Francisco State University in 2001, where he was a Second Team All-Conference Selection. As the Saturday starter, he led the team in wins, ERA, strikeouts and complete games. Peraza then transferred over to San Diego State University in 2002, pitching out of the bullpen for head coach Jim Dietz and Mountain West champion Aztecs.
Peraza graduated for San Diego State in 2002. He is married (Nevada) and has two sons: Cy Marshall, 3, and Ace Samuel, 1.