At the beginning of this year’s baseball season, many of the Red Raider faithful had an “Omaha or bust” mentality. That mentality was quickly shaken after All-American Pitcher Steven Gingery left his first outing of the year with a torn UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) which is commonly known as the Tommy John injury. This injury ultimately caused Gingery to miss the entire season.
This was a difficult storm to weather as Gingery was thought by many to be the best pitcher in college baseball. Throughout the season his presence was missed, but Tadlock still got this program to host a Regional, as well as a Super Regional, and now he is taking them to the College World Series for the 3rd time in 5 years.
Tadlock has done a fantastic job increasing Texas Tech’s RPI (Rating Percentage Index, which is essentially a rating for a team’s strength of schedule) over the years. He has shown that he isn’t afraid to travel anywhere and play top teams on their home field. For instance, this year our Red Raiders traveled to face Kentucky which was a top 15 team at the time, this was followed by a trip to Louisville to play the Cardinals, the same team that met Tech in Lubbock for the Regional final, as well as trips to New Mexico State and Dallas Baptist (both of which were postseason teams), and lastly a road game in Fayetteville to play the Razorbacks who are now in the CWS alongside the Red Raiders.
Some may argue that because Texas Tech was a preseason top 5 team, Tadlock should not be the coach of the year. I beg to differ. Tim Tadlock has turned Texas Tech into a powerhouse baseball program. He has now produced back-to-back Big 12 Freshman of the year players (Josh Jung in 2017 and Gabe Holt in 2018), as well as 5 all-conference first team members this year, the batting champion of the conference in Josh Jung, and 11 draft picks in this year’s MLB draft which was the most of any college program through the first 30 rounds of the draft.
While there are numerous coaches in baseball that have an argument to be this year’s coach of the year, there is not another coach I’d rather have in the dugout than Tim Tadlock. Tadlock has proven to be one of the nation’s top coaches and he deserves to be recognized as such.