• Longtime BU baseball assistant Mitch Thompson returns as Bears’ new head coach

    Mitch Thompson poses with Mack Rhoades

    As an assistant coach at Baylor for 18 years, Mitch Thompson was a part of some of the greatest moments in Baylor baseball history, thanks in part to his recruiting of some of the top players in program history.

    Now, Thompson is beginning a new chapter as the 20th head coach in Baylor Baseball history, an opportunity he calls his “dream job.”

    Thompson was (re-)introduced Thursday at the Baylor Club, buoyed by a large gathering of former and current players, Baylor fans, and Athletics staff. From 1995 to 2012, Thompson served as an assistant coach and highly regarded recruiter, helping to build Baylor teams that won three Big 12 championships, went to three NCAA Super Regionals, and made a memorable trip to the College World Series in 2005. He then spent nine years across town as head coach at McLennan Community College, leading the Highlanders to back-to-back JUCO World Series appearances and a 2021 national championship.

    While at MCC, he stayed close to Baylor; his two daughters both graduated from Baylor, and his wife, Amber, serves as associate director for student success initiatives in Baylor’s Center for Academic Success and Engagement. In keeping with the family theme, Thompson made “together” the cornerstone of his remarks — a word that, he said, “deflects the attention off the individual and puts the attention on the team. We’re going to build this thing back into a national power. And we’re going to do it together.”

    That message was amplified by the presence of dozens of former players, including former major leaguers such as Jason Jennings, David Murphy and Kelly Shoppach, who attended the press conference and luncheon to support him. They also demonstrate Thompson’s ability to recruit top talent to Baylor. Two years ago, we highlighted the nine best Baylor alumni in Major League Baseball history; of those nine, six — Shawn Tolleson, Kip Wells, Shoppach, Max Muncy, Jennings and Murphy — were recruited by and/or played for Thompson.

    His resume and relationships made Thompson a favorite for the job, but athletic director Mack Rhoades made clear that he earned the opportunity in the interview process, highlighting Thompson’s “commitment to getting better at his craft, … his desire to pour into our student athletes, to value them as people first and as baseball players second, … his desire and willingness to take on a challenge, and … his track record of success, as well. I love these things about Coach Thompson.”

    Sic ’em, Coach Thompson!

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