Graham Sikes
Michigan State University
Graham Sikes
Assistant Coach
Michigan State
Division 1

Sikes primarily works with the Spartan outfielders and hitters while also coordinating the base running program. In his first two seasons on the Spartan staff, Sikes has played an integral role in helping the Spartans win the Big Ten Championship in 2011 and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2012. During his tenure at MSU, the Spartans have had 23 MLB Draft selections, including a program-record eight in 2015. Sikes helped tutor a Spartan offense that posted the Big Ten's third-best batting average (.283) in 2016. For the second straight year, MSU also produced a league batting champion as Jordan Zimmerman's .376 average in Big Ten play led all players. Ryan Krill was the 2015 Big Ten batting champ, hitting .451 in league games. In 2015, the Spartans posted a .290 team batting average, which ranked third in the Big Ten, while MSU's .422 slugging percentage was second best in the league. The Spartans also combined for 45 home runs, which ranked third in the conference. Sikes helped the Spartan offense rank in the top half of the conference in several key categories in 2014, including ranking first in stolen bases with 88 - the second-highest total in program history. Individually, Anthony Cheky led the Big Ten in steals with 29, while Bliase Salter ranked third in RBIs with 50. The Spartans ranked in the top four in the Big Ten in in 2013 in several key offensive categories, including: batting average (.281), slugging percentage (.377) and on-base percentage (.357). Spartan hitters also struck out fewer times than any other team in the league. In 2012, Michigan State ranked in the top three in the Big Ten Conference in batting average (.297), on-base percentage (.378), runs (345), hits (645), RBIs (319), walks (228) and total bases (858). In addition, MSU finished 16th in the nation in hits and 35th in batting average. The 645 hits were the second most in a single-season in MSU history, while the 356 runs were eighth most, the 97 doubles tied for ninth most, and the 319 RBIs were 10th most in the school record books. During Sikes' first season in 2011, Michigan State led the Big Ten and ranked seventh in the nation with a .318 batting average. The Spartans also ranked among the conference's leaders in hits (first with 639), slugging (second at .427), on-base percentage (second at .385), runs scored (second with 348), RBIs (second with 317) and doubles (second with 115). In addition, the Spartans were fourth in the Big Ten with 77 stolen bases, which also ranked seventh most in an MSU season. Spartan center fielder Brandon Eckerle, a first-team All-Big Ten selection, not only won the Big Ten batting title with his .379 average, but was also one of the top defensive players in the nation. The Spartan outfield helped MSU turn in an overall fielding percentage of .976, which was tops in the Big Ten and 24th in the nation. Prior to arriving in East Lansing, Sikes spent three seasons (2008-10) as the volunteer assistant coach at Notre Dame and has also coached at James Madison, Young Harris (Ga.) College, Nicholls State and Independence Community College (KS). Throughout his career, Sikes has coached 71 players who have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including seven who have reached the Major Leagues. While at Notre Dame, Sikes primarily coached the catchers and outfielders and coached 14 players who were drafted during his three seasons at Notre Dame. In working with the Irish catchers, Sikes tutored Cameron McConnell, who threw out 26 base stealers in 2009 - the seventh most in the nation. In addition, Sikes coached Will Harford, who was selected in the 45th round by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2010 MLB Draft. An assistant at James Madison for the 2007 season, Sikes helped instruct the Dukes hitters while working directly with the catchers, the position he played at Liberty University. While at JMU, Sikes coached Kellen Kulbacki who was named First-Team All-American in 2006 & 2007, CAA Player of the Year in 2006 & 2007 and Co-National Player of the Year (NCAA).  Sikes previously was the recruiting coordinator, hitting coach and catcher's coach at Young Harris (Ga.) College in 2006, helping direct a Mountain Lions team that racked up 48 wins while being ranked eighth among the nation's junior college teams.  Sikes' first coaching position came in the fall of 2004, when he was named the assistant coach for Independence (Kan.) Community College and worked primarily with the team's hitters, catchers and outfielders. After the fall season at Independence, Sikes earned an assistant coaching position at Nicholls State (La.) University and went on to work with the team's catchers while assisting with the hitters during the 2005 season. From 2005-07, Sikes worked for the Pittsburgh Pirates as an associate MLB scout. Sikes was a four-year letterman at Liberty in Lynchburg, Va., helping lead the Flames to a pair of Big South Conference championships and two NCAA Regional appearances. During his career as the Flames' catcher, Sikes threw out better than 50 percent of attempted base-stealers. He started behind the plate for the team's win over Seton Hall in the South Atlantic Regional. Sikes earned his undergraduate degree from Liberty in 2002 and went on to earn a master's degree in health and physical education from Emporia (Kan.) State University in 2006. 45