July 29, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Tom Myers, who is entering his 10th season as a coach with the UCSB baseball team, has been promoted to Associate Head Coach, it was announced on Wednesday by Director of Athletics, Mark Massari.
Myers has been the Gauchos' assistant coach, pitching coach and recruiting coordinator during his time at UCSB under head coach Bob Brontsema, while his other duties have included academic affairs and Gaucho Baseball Camp. The new title comes with the added responsibility of alumni development.
"I'm excited about where we want to go - and must go - in baseball," Massari said. "Bob, Tom, alumni who played their hearts out for UCSB and current student-athletes want what's best for the program. We need to recruit the best players, which we already do, and give them a chance to win championships. Tom's new role, alongside Bob and myself, is to direct our baseball fundraising and engage our alumni. This is their program, their school. Santa Barbara, the university and area, deserve us to be top tier in everything, every sport. But we must invest to do this. I'm proud Tom is taking this role with such enthusiasm."
Myers, who is currently the manager of the Brewster Whitecaps in the prestigious Cape Cod League which features the nation's best college players each summer, is a graduate of UCSB and was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1991 and spent five years in the minor leagues. He first joined UCSB's coaching staff from 1998-2001 before returning to the program in 2004 after a three-year stint at Santa Clara.
"I'm grateful and excited about my new job duties and title," Myers said. "With the excitement around the program and UCSB's athletic department, the future of Gaucho baseball is very bright. My goal is to continue recruiting and developing student-athletes that will excel both on and off the baseball diamond. Reconnecting and creating enthusiasm with our former Gaucho greats and current professional baseball players will continue our push in becoming a national power."
Seventeen Gauchos have been offered major league contracts over the past two years and this past June, nine UCSB players were drafted in Major League Baseball's amateur draft, setting a school record. The Gauchos had the highest player drafted out of the Big West in pitcher Joe Gardner, who was recruited by Myers, when the Cleveland Indians took him with the 94th overall pick.
UCSB led the Big West, a conference that had two nationally ranked teams in the NCAA postseason and has featured at least one team in the College World Series in eight of the past 11 seasons, with nine players drafted in 2009. The Big West finished sixth out of 31 conferences nationally in the final RPI ratings. Five Big West schools finished with RPI's in the top-100 in the nation, including UCSB.
In the past three years the baseball program built a new locker room and state-of-the-art batting cage. More facilities upgrades for baseball are listed in the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, which was launched this past spring. Click here for more information on the Dare to Be Great campaign.
Current MLB players include St. Louis' Skip Schumaker, Colorado's Ryan Spilborghs, Pittsburgh's Virgil Vasquez and Michael Young, a member of the Texas Rangers, who was named to his sixth All-Star team this summer and was the American League's starting third baseman this year in St. Louis. He was the only former Big West player in the starting lineup at the Midsummer Classic. Young is also the AL's reigning Gold Glove winner at shortstop and he was named 2008 MLB Man of the Year.