BSB: SLC Announces 1980's All-Decade Team
June 11, 2013
Southland Conference 1980's All-Decade Team
FRISCO, Texas – UT Arlington had ten former Mavericks named to the 1980's All-Decade team. Todd Cox, Steve Foster, Todd Hale, Lawrence Hanlon, Trey Hillman, Doug Myers, Roger Piacenti, Matt Skinner, Randy Thorpe and Fred Wilburn were honored with a selection.
The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, has announced its All-Decade Baseball Team from the 1980s. The team includes stars from its member institutions from the 1980 season through 1989.
A total of 40 student-athletes makeup the 1980s all-decade team, including honorees from seven of the 12 institutions that were part of the league during the decade. Louisiana Tech and Texas-Arlington paced the squad with 10 student-athletes each on the team. Lamar had eight while McNeese State contributed five. Louisiana-Monroe added four selections while Arkansas State had two and Sam Houston State had one.
“Southland Conference baseball in the 1980s continued to be played at a very high level with Lamar and Louisiana Tech competing on the national level,” Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “As the membership transitioned later in the decade, you can see developing programs planting seeds for more success in the 1990s.”
Lamar head coach Jim Gilligan and former Louisiana Tech coach Pat Patterson, the two coaches honored as the coaches of the decade in the 1970s, also are the co-coaches of the 1980s all-decade team.
Gilligan’s success coaching his alma mater continued in the 1980s, when the Cardinals won three Southland championships in the decade (1981, 84, 85). He led the program to an NCAA Regional in all three years while 1985 squad fell one game short of advancing to the College World Series. During the 1980s, Gilligan coached a Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, three Southland Pitchers of the Year and 19 all-conference players. In the decade, his teams were 262-201 (.566) overall and 74-39 (.654) in league play.
Patterson also successfully led his alma mater’s program in the 1980s, leading the Bulldogs to three Southland championships during the decade (1980, 86, 87), as well as the North Zone divisional crown in 1982. He earned four Southland Coach of the Year Honors in 1980, 1985, 1986 and 1987. His Bulldogs advanced to three NCAA Regionals in 1980, 1986 and 1987. During the decade, he coached five Southland Hitters of the Year, four Pitchers of the Year, and 26 first-team all-conference selections. His teams were 287-173 (.624) and 74-45 (.622) in Southland during the decade.
Among Gilligan’s all-conference players, seven found their way to the all-decade team, led by Tony Mack, who won consecutive pitcher of the year awards in 1981 and 1982. Outfielder Jerald Clark was a two-time all-conference player from 1984-85 and was tabbed hitter of the year in 1984. Clark enjoyed a seven-year stint in the majors with the Padres, Rockies and Twins. Infielders Alan Marr (1980-81) and Kim Christensen (1980 and 1982) were selected to multiple all-conference teams while pitcher David Poss (1984 and 1987) collected multiple honors as well. Cardinal Keith Silver earned the 1984 Pitcher of the Year award while outfielder Beau Allred received all-conference recognition in 1987 and proceeded to play for the Cleveland Indians from 1989-91.
Eleven of Patterson’s players during the 1980s find a home on the all-decade team, including two-time first-team all-conference selections Richie LeBlanc, the conference pitcher of the year in 1986 and 1987, and second baseman Charlie Montoyo, who was the hitter of the year in 1986 and 1987, earning all-conference honors those seasons. Additional two-time all-conference picks include first baseman Jay Adcock (1979-80), the 1980 Hitter of the Year; shortstop Jeff Richardson (1985 and 1986); outfielder Frank Colston (1985 and 1986); outfielder Doug Ortman (1984 and 86). First baseman David Segui, the 1987 newcomer of the year, earned all-conference honors in 1987. Segui played 15 years in Major League Baseball with eight different teams.
Another pair of Bulldogs to make the all-decade squad is Keith Thibodeaux, the 1980 Pitcher of the Year, and Jim Boehne, the 1985 Pitcher of the Year. The Bulldogs claimed the hitter of the year award five times in the decade, including the first three years. Following Thibodeaux’s win in 1980, outfielder Dan Banas earned the award in 1981 and firstbaseman Tom Krupa earned the award in 1982.
Three other players on the all-decade team were three-time, first-team all-conference honorees, including Texas Arlington infielder Trey Hillman, who previously was manager of the Kansas City Royals and is currently the bench coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hillman earned all-conference honors from 1983-85 and is a member of the Southland Conference Hall of Honor. The other three-time all-conference selections are Arkansas State outfielder Tim Maloney (1981-83) and McNeese State shortstop Charlie Phillips (1987-89). Maloney was the 1983 Southland Hitter of the Year, while Hillman earned that honor in 1985.
Four other players on the all-decade team were named either the conference hitter, pitcher or player of the year, including Texas-Arlington pitchers Fred Wilburn and Steve Foster, who were pitchers of the year and all-conference selections in 1983 and 1988, respectively. Sam Houston State pitcher Kenneth Garza was the 1989 Pitcher of the Year, while McNeese State outfielder Jeff Gremillion was tabbed the 1989 Hitter and Player of the Year.
Additionally, Louisiana-Monroe pitcher Chuck Finley went on to play 16 years in the majors and is a 200-game winner with 2,600 strikeouts. Texas-Arlington outfielder Randy Thorpe, a two-time all-conference member, is the conference’s career stolen base leader with 151.
The Southland Conference will continue to recognize all-decade teams in the coming days.
Southland Conference 1980s All-Decade Team (1980-89; 40 players)
Co-Coaches of the Decade: Jim Gilligan, Lamar, and Pat Patterson, Louisiana Tech