BSB: Louisiana Tech 3, UTA 1 - Postgame Notes
Mavericks Host Horned Frogs at 6:30 pm at Gould Ballpark
Mavericks Face SEMO, S.F. Austin on Opening Weekend
Senior Boasts Dynamite Face Furniture
Simmons led Sun Belt Conference in wins in 2016
Darin Thomas has taken the UT Arlington baseball program to new heights since taking over as head coach in 2008 after serving seven years as an assistant. The program has continued to grow under Thomas' watch with back-to-back conference championships from 2012-13.
The Mavericks are 266-255 during Thomas' tenure, including 100-78 from the 2012 to 2014 seasons. UT Arlington reached its fifth 30-win season in nine years, all under Thomas, and the 23rd in program history with a 30-28 mark in 2016. UTA earned a trip to the 2012 NCAA Regionals as the Southland Conference Tournament champions. The Mavericks followed that up by sharing the 2013 Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship in the school's only year in the league. UTA also played for the Sun Belt Championship in 2014, its first season in the conference.
UT Arlington has traditionally played a daunting schedule littered with regional powers such as Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, in addition to ranked teams from around the country. The Mavericks own 12 wins over top-10 teams since Thomas joined the program in 2001, including a pair in 2016. UTA upset No. 7 Oklahoma State on Opening Day at Clay Gould Ballpark Feb. 19 and survived a comeback bid by No. 5 TCU 4-3 at Lupton Stadium on April 6.
Thomas' guidance plus UT Arlington's challenging schedule has helped prepare players for the next level. Since Thomas' arrival at UT Arlington, 32 players have been either drafted or signed with Major League teams. The summer of 2014 featured a record-breaking six players taken in MLB Draft with three being chosen in the top 10 rounds.
In addition, out of the 10 UTA players who have played in the Major Leagues, Thomas has coached seven: Daniel Ortmeier (2000-02), Ryan Roberts (2002-03), Mark Lowe (2002 & 2004), Hunter Pence (2003-04), Adam Moore (2006), Dillon Gee (2005-07) and Michael Choice (2008-10).
Thomas has coached 56 all-conference performers (21 first-team selections), 27 Conference All-Tournament team selections, three SLC Tournament Most Valuable Players, three SLC Players of the Year, three SLC Hitters of the Year, two SLC Newcomers of the Year, four SLC Batting Champions, one SLC Freshman of the Year and one SLC ERA champion since taking over the program in 2008.
The Mavs earned five all-conference selections under Thomas in 2016, the most among all schools in the league that season. It was the most all-conference selections for the Mavs since the team had five All-Southland Conference selections in 2009, and the first time UTA has had five selections to land on the first or second team since 2003.
Thomas' squads have also had unparalleled success in the classroom. Baseball student-athletes have finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.04 in 10 semesters since Thomas became head coach during the 2007-08 academic year.
Thomas came to UT Arlington in 2001 following nine years as an assistant coach at Seward County Community College, where he assisted National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame Coach Galen McSpadden.
While at SCCC, Thomas helped lead the Saints to a 346-144 (.706) record while being ranked in the Top 20 nationally during seven seasons. Seward County captured four Jayhawk West Conference crowns, four runner-up finishes and one Sub-Region VI Tournament title.
Before coming to Arlington, Thomas spent his previous four summers as the head coach with the semi-pro Liberal Bee Jays of the Jayhawk League, where he worked with late UT Arlington coach Clay Gould for three summers.
Thomas began his collegiate playing career at Seward County where he earned All-Conference and All-Region VI honors as a right-handed pitcher in 1986. He helped lead his team to a Jayhawk West Conference title and to the program's first-ever Sub-Region VI Tournament championship by going 11-1 on the mound.
Thomas earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and physical education from Oklahoma Christian University in 1989 and a master's degree in sports administration from Fort Hays State University in 1996. He began his coaching career in 1990 at Oklahoma Christian High School before moving to Seward County CC in 1991.
Thomas and his wife, Jean, have three children, Megan, Ryan and Reed.
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