UT Arlington athletic director Jim Baker shares his thoughts on the 2013-14 year.
Matt Shortall was recently drafted in the 10th round of the MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ryan Bottger, Derek Miller and Jess Amedee were selected on Day 3 of the MLB Draft.
Three Mavericks were selected in the top 10 rounds for the first time in program history.
UT Arlington finished 33-26 after winning 17 of their final 20 games and reached the SBC championship.
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, culminating back-to-back conference championships from 2012-13.
The Mavericks are 179-169 during Thomas' tenure, including 67-52 over the 2012 and 2013 seasons. UT Arlington 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.
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 wins over 12 ranked teams under Thomas.
Thomas' guidance plus UT Arlington's challenging schedule has helped prepare players for the next level. Since Thomas' arrival at UT Arlington, over 40 players have been either drafted or signed with Major League teams.
He has coached 36 all-conference performers (16 first-team selections), 17 Southland Conference All-Tournament team selections, two SLC Tournament Most Valuable Players, two 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.
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' 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 2007-2008 academic year.
Thomas came to UT Arlington 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.