ADAM THOMAS # 7 – HEAD COACH
The 2012 season will usher in the thirteenth year of theAdam Thomasera as the Pirate Head Baseball Coach. Thomas took control of the CVCC Baseball program in June of 1999, and at that time was the youngest headbaseballcoach in the history of the ACCC. Known for his ability to relate well with his players, Thomas serves not only as the Pirates’ on the field leader, but also an academic, social, and athletic mentor to his players on and off the field.
Thomas is a big proponent of education as well asbaseball. This is evident as thebaseballteam’s overall GPA has surpassed the 3.10 mark for the eleventh consecutive year, and the 2007 team earned the highest overall GPA (3.36) in the program’s history, while the Pirate baseball team has earned among the highest team GPA’s in the entire country over the past decade, with the 2010 edition of the Pirates posting a 3.35 overall team GPA. Additionally, the Pirate baseball team once again, earned the prestigious status of being named the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year in baseball following the 2010 season, making them a three time recipient of this esteemed honor (2007, 2008, and 2010). Furthermore, seven of his student-athletes have earned Academic All-American status, with countless others being named to the Academic All-Region team.
Thomas’ players have not only thrived in the classroom, but have been extremely successful in moving on to the next level of baseball through signing scholarships to four year institutions and/or the Major League Baseball draft. Over the past thirteen, Thomas has had well over 150 of his student-athletes have received scholarship offers to play at four-year institutions, with 106 of those signing scholarships, as well as fourteen of his players having been selected by Major League Baseball teams. Additionally, Thomas has produced three NJCAA All-Americans, three ACCC Players of the Year, and 53 of his players have been named to the All Region, All Division, or All Tournament Teams during his post as the Pirate skipper.
Born July 7, 1975, Thomas, a local product, was born and raised in Phenix City, Alabama. He graduated from Smiths Station High School in 1993 and earned abaseballscholarship right here at Chattahoochee Valley Community College to play for legendary Alabama JUCO coach, B.R. Johnson. After redshirting during the 1994 season, Thomas blossomed into one of the finest defensive catchers to wear a Pirate uniform. Thomas was a two-year starter and, as a sophomore in 1996, was chosen to participate in the AJCCC All-Star Game. That very season, Thomas handled the pitching staff that was tops in the conference, as the Pirates won their seventh AJCCC conference championship.
Upon graduating with honors from CVCC in June of 1996, Thomas signed a baseball scholarship to play for the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama. Thomas highlighted his career at UM in 1997, as a junior, by knocking in the game tying and go-ahead runs to beat Anderson College in the NAIA Southeast Independent Sectional Playoffs. The win helped propel the Falcons to the Sectional title and a berth in the Southeast Regional Championship in Homestead, Florida. Unfortunately, Thomas’ senior campaign was injury riddled with both knee and elbow injuries that plagued his final year. However, his work ethic and tireless efforts earned him the prestigious University of Montevallo Baseball “Mike Morgan Hustle Award.” Hall of Fame Coach Bob Reisner called Thomas, “one of the smartest, hardest working players I’ve ever coached.”
Graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology in 1998, Thomas returned to his “heart and soul” as the assistantbaseballcoach at Chattahoochee Valley. Upon B.R. Johnson’s retirement, Thomas was named the headbaseballcoach of the Pirates in June of 1999. After inheriting a CVCC team that won only 8 games during the 1999 season, Thomas has turned the Piratebaseballteam into a conference powerhouse, with the 2011 and 2010 units claiming the ACCC Southern Division Title while breaking the school record for wins in a season, with 42 in 2010. The 42 wins eclipsed the 2003, 2007, and 2008 CVCC Baseball Teams that broke and set the previous school record with 41 wins.
Thomas’ Pirates have had continued strong performances in the ACCC Tournament, finishing runners-up in the ACCC in 2003, and finishing third during the 2005, 2007, and 2008 seasons, along with another Final Four appearance during the 2009 campaign. During Thomas’ tenure, the Pirates have averaged nearly 35 wins a year and have been perennial playoff and final four participants in the ACCC tourney since the 2002 season.
Being a former catcher, Coach Thomas’s teams are perpetually known for their strong pitching, year-in and year-out. Under the guidance of Thomas, the Pirate pitching staffs has led the ACCC in most major pitching categories, including earned run average, strikeouts, wins, saves, fewest walks, and strikeout to walk ratio. Look for the trend to continue in 2012 under Thomas’ tutelage.
Thomas earned his MBA from Troy State University in January of 2005 and has been serving as the school’s athletic director since June of 2004. Thomas is married to the former Heather Taylor of Columbus, Georgia and they have one son, Owen, who is eleven years old. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys CrossFitting, working on Howard Lake Field and spending time with his family. The Thomas’s make their home in Columbus, Georgia.
COACH THOMAS’S CAREER RECORD
2000 – 14-40-1, .259
2001 – 23-28, .451
2002 – 28-28, .500
2003 – 41-19, .683, AJCCC Tournament Runner-Up
2004 – 35-22, .614, AJCCC Tournament Berth
2005 – 39-17, .696, ACCC Tournament, Final Four
2006 – 32-23, .582, ACCC Tournament Berth
2007 – 41-17, .707, ACCC Tournament Final Four
2008 – 41-18, .695, ACCC Tournament Final Four
2009 – 39-19, .672, ACCC Tournament Final Four
2010 – 42-8, .840, ACCC Southern Division Champions
2011 – 38-19, .667, ACCC Southern Division Champions
OVERALL – 413-257-1, .616
COACH THOMAS’S MILESTONE VICTORIES
1 – February 5, 2000 vs. Pensacola Junior College
50 – March 24, 2002 vs. Wallace State – Dothan Community College
100 – April 24, 2003 vs. Andrew College
150 – February 22, 2005 vs. Andrew College
200 – April 8, 2006 vs. Central Alabama Community College
250 – May 5, 2007 vs. Jefferson Davis Community College
300 – February 14, 2009 vs. Gadsden State Community College
350 – March 16, 2010 vs. Darton College
400 – April 5, 2011 vs. Wallace State – Selma Community College
413 – May 9, 2011 vs. Jefferson State Community College
DASH O’NEILL # 40 – ASSISTANT COACH
Dash O’Neill begins his seventh season as an assistant coach for the Chattahoochee Valley Baseball Team. A native of Brooklyn, New York, O’Neill is currently fulfilling his requirements for his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services at Troy University.
O’Neill is a 1997 graduate of Sequoyah High School in Canton, Georgia. While prepping at SHS, Coach O’Neill was the recipient of several post season accolades and set numerous school records. During his career at Sequoyah, he was a three time All-County selection (1995-96-97), was named the defensive player of the year and received the hustle award three years in a row (1995-96-97), as well. Additionally, he was named Team Captain during the 1995 and 1996 seasons. Furthermore, O’Neill set school records for hit by pitches (24), single season walks (22), career walks (58), single season assists (71), and career assists (234).
After a stellar career at Sequoyah High School, O’Neill then moved on to Andrew College in Cuthbert, Georgia where he became a two-year starter at catcher for the Tigers. The ever-hustling O’Neill enjoyed a successful career at Andrew College, while being named to the GJCAA All-Star team in 2001 as well as being named the Tigers team captain during the 2001 campaign. O’Neill left Andrew College with solid career numbers, as he hit .318 for his career while knocking in 57 runs. His efforts were rewarded, as he furthered his career at Columbus State University and was a member of two College World Series teams (2002, 2004), with the 2002 team winning the NCAA Division II National Championship.
O’Neill is a tireless worker and complete team player for the Pirates as he works with all aspects of the game for Coach Thomas, however, more specifically, Coach O’Neill serves as the Pirates offensive and infield coach. Under O’Neill’s tutelage, the Pirate offense has consistently been one of, if not the, best in the ACCC, as the Pirates are perennially among the league leaders in batting average, on base percentage, runs scored, hits, walks, hit by pitches and stolen bases. During the 2010 and 2011 campaigns, O’Neill’s offense led the ACCC in literally every meaningful offensive category, while the Pirate offensive juggernaut averaged over 10 runs per game. Additionally, the 2010 edition of the Pirates scored a school record 513 runs, which led the entire country at every level of collegiate baseball. A true player’s coach, O’Neill is a team favorite of the Pirates with his ability to relate the game from a player’s perspective, while keeping the atmosphere light.
Born May 9, 1979, Coach O’Neill makes his home in Phenix City, Alabama. In his spare time, Coach O’Neill enjoys playing hockey, watching movies, and spending time with his friends and family.
MATT WARD # 27 – ASSISTANT COACH
Matt Ward begins his first year as an assistant coach with the Chattahoochee Valley Baseball Team. Matt Ward recently completed his fifth year as assistant coach/pitching coach for Carson Newman College. As pitching coach in his last year at CNC, the Eagles staff finished fifth in the conference in ERA and third in opponent batting average, .280.
In his first year as the Eagle pitching coach, the staff finished second in the conference in ERA and led the league in shutouts. In 2007, Ward’s staff finished 26th in the nation in ERA with a 3.61 and led the conference in saves with 13. Opponents’ batting average that year was .264. Ward’s staff finished third in the conference with an ERA of 4.29, and led the conference in saves with 15 in 2008.
Coach Ward has had three pitchers go on to professional baseball including two in the 2007 draft, Steve Cishek (5th Round, Florida Marlins) and Matt Teague (8th Round, San Diego Padres). In 2008, Brett Hontz was named First Team All-American and selected Pitcher of the Year in the South Region and South Atlantic Conference.
Ward, a 2001 Carson Newman College graduate, was a starting pitcher for the Eagles in 1997 and 1998. Arm surgery sidelined him for two years, but he came back to led the staff in ERA in 2001. After his senior year, he received the Frosty Holt Most Dedicated Award.
Before, returning to Carson Newman, Ward spent two years at Bainbridge High School in Georgia. Ward also coached at Mars Hill College for two years. The last year at Mars Hill, he helped them to set a school record for wins.
Coach Ward has been an invaluable addition to the Pirate coaching staff. He has become a team favorite amongst the pitchers. His forward thinking in the pitching game have the pitching staff primed to continue to be among the ACCC’s and NJCAA’s best.
A graduate of Union County High School in Lake Butler, Florida, Matt and his wife Julie have two sons, Carson and Cullen , and a daughter, Effie. The Ward’s make their home in Columbus, Georgia.