If you were to write a fantasy novel on Texas Tech baseball, you could not draw up a better head coach for the story than Tim Tadlock. Former Tech baseball player, led us to the College World Series in just his second year at the helm, and was named National Coach of the Year. Heck, his initials are even Double T (*insert Tommy Tuberville joke here*).
In the early 1990’s Tadlock transferred from Hill College to complete his final two seasons as Texas Tech’s starting shortstop before graduating in 1992.
After spending a few years as an assistant, Tadlock became the head coach at Grayson College in 1997. While there, he led the team to five NJCAA World Series appearances including two championships. The worst record his team ever had at Grayson was 40-20, which is still pretty dang good.
Like any good story, this one includes an element of redemption. Tadlock left Grayson to become an assistant at Oklahoma from 2006 to 2011. Fortunately, he came home to Texas Tech in 2012 as an assistant for one season before being named head coach in advance of the 2013 baseball season.
Another cool part about Tadlock’s hiring was it came around the same time as Kingsbury’s hiring and Tubby Smith’s hiring. Before the 2013 football, basketball, and baseball seasons, there was immense excitement on campus to have these three gentlemen in charge. A former quarterback, a former shortstop, and one of the best in the business for basketball.
In his first season, Texas Tech managed to win 26 games. Things really got going in 2014, though. That year the Red Raiders won 45 games. The 19 game swing was the second largest in Big 12 history. The Big 12 was stacked in 2014, as three teams from the conference made it to the College World Series. Even as one of the best teams in the country, Tech finished just 4th in the Big 12 in 2014.
2015 was a bit of a letdown after the College World Series run, but a solid season nonetheless. The Red Raiders finished tied for 3rd in conference play, and Tadlock eclipsed the 100 wins mark during his third season.
Texas Tech baseball is clearly on the rise, thanks in no small part to Tim Tadlock. There is nothing better in college sports than an alumnus returning to his alma mater to coach and finding success like Tadlock has. He has rejuvenated the fan base and elevated the product on the field. He has already cemented his legacy as a legend in Lubbock, but hopefully he leads us to a few more postseason runs before we’re talking about him in the past tense.
Texas Tech baseball is off to a hot start this season, taking three out of four in the season opening series last weekend against Milwaukee. The Red Raiders face off against Sam Houston State tonight before heading to the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic in Houston this weekend.