Spencer's last season with the Red Raiders was in 2012
Dan Spencer completed his fourth season at Texas Tech in 2012 leading the Red Raiders to a 29-26 overall record (7-17 Big 12). Spencer finished his tenure at Texas Tech with a 115-112 overall record and 44-61 record in Big 12 play.
Among the many accomplishments Spencer achieved in his time with the Red Raiders included defeating 32 nationally-ranked opponents - the most ever by a Tech coach during their first four seasons. In addition, the Red Raiders captured only 31 wins over ranked opponents in the previous six seasons to Spencer's arrival as head coach.
Spencer's 113 wins verses NCAA Division I opponents marked the most ever by a Red Raider coach during their first four seasons at the helm.
His final season in Lubbock he guided the Red Raider pitching staff to a 4.04 ERA, which marked the program's best ERA since 1994.
Spencer's never-say-die attitude carried over to his team as the Red Raiders won 55 games in come-from-behind fashion in four years. And at the same time, Spencer's clubs held leads late in the game with a 106-3 record when leading after eight innings.
In back-to-back seasons (2011-12) Tech recorded a .971 fielding percentage, while ranked tied for second all-time at Texas Tech. The offense also surged under Spencer's leadership while leading the Big 12 in doubles in two of the last three seasons (2010, 2012) and ranking either first or second in eight offensive statistical categories in 2012.
Spencer guided Tech to four straight 25-plus win seasons, marking the first time in school history that a head coach had accomplished the feat during their first four seasons as head coach.
Tech won 14 Big 12 Conference series under Spencer from 2009-2012. The Red Raiders won just nine league series under previous head coach Larry Hays during his initial four seasons as the skipper.
Tech's accomplishments under Spencer also went into the classroom as 11 baseball student-athletes were named to the Academic All-Big 12 team in 2012, which led the league and marked the most ever by the baseball program in school history. Tech's seven Academic All-Big 12 first team selections in 2012 also set a new school record.
Overall, the Red Raiders had 31 Academic All-Big 12 selections under Spencer, compared to 34 Academic All-Big 12 selections the previous 12 years combined at Tech. In addition, Spencer mentored 18 Academic All-Big 12 first team selections in four seasons while the previous 12 years Texas Tech had just 17 Academic All-Big 12 first team selections.
Spencer was named the eighth head coach in Texas Tech history during the summer of 2008, after he spent one season as the team's associate head coach.
Spencer's first three seasons saw an increase in wins each year, winning 25 games in 2009, 28 victories in 2010 and capturing 33 wins in 2011, which marked the most wins by Tech in a season since 2005.
The following season, in 2012, Spencer led Tech to its first national ranking since the 2005 season while earning a national ranking in three consecutive weeks.
Spencer's work with the Red Raider pitching staff was nothing short of remarkable. After inheriting a pitching staff that tallied a 6.31 ERA during his first season as head coach in 2009, Spencer two years later worked the staff's ERA down to a 4.92 ERA and in 2012 had a team ERA just above four (4.04). To compare, Tech's opponents ERA in 2012 was 5.27.
Spencer coached 19 Red Raiders that had been drafted or signed free agent in the Major League Baseball Draft since joining the program in 2008 as the associate head coach.
In fact, five of Spencer's 19 draft picks have been taken in the top-10 rounds. Overall, 12 of the Red Raiders drafted were pitchers while nine of them improved their draft status and seven of the pitchers had never been drafted before.
The Red Raider faithful also took notice of Spencer's guidance to the program as Tech ranked 21st in the nation in 2012 averaging 2,853 fans per game. The Red Raiders average attendance marked the program's fifth highest all-time mark and the highest since 2002. In fact, the Red Raiders marked a season total of 94,173 fans, which is Tech's highest total number of fans in a season since 2004.
Spencer was instrumental in raising $5 million for Texas Tech's baseball stadium renovation. The stadium was completed in February of 2012, making the home of Red Raider baseball one of the finest on-campus facilities in the nation.
Spencer's first three seasons as head coach resulted in three consecutive trips to the Big 12 Championship, a feat that hadn't been accomplished at Tech since 2004-06.
Spencer recorded his 50th career home win in 74 tries, which made him the fastest Texas Tech head coach ever to win 50 career home games (previous mark set by Kal Segrist - 76 games).
During his final two seasons at Tech, the Red Raiders had numerous individuals receive national attention, All-America awards, Freshman All-America selections and with numerous players selected to national watch lists, including National Pitcher of the Year, Brooks Wallace Award, Johnny Bench Award, John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award and ABCA Gold Glove Award.
In 2012 alone, Tech had four players named to national award watch list as right-handed pitcher Duke von Schamann (National Pitcher of the Year Watch List), catcher Bo Altobelli (Johnny Bench Award Watch List), freshman shortstop Tim Proudfoot (Brooks Wallace Award) and right-handed pitcher John Neely (NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List) were all named to prestigious lists. In fact, Proudfoot was one of only four freshmen in the nation named to the Wallace Award Watch List.
The 2011 season saw many highlights for Spencer and the Red Raiders, among them were winning on the road and during the midweek. Tech went 11-3 during midweek competition and won 10 road games, the program's most since 2001. In fact, Texas Tech swept three midweek road/neutral site series which set a new school record.
During 2011 and 2012 the Red Raiders went 22-7 during midweek competition.
Spencer has never avoided playing strong competition. His final three seasons the Red Raiders played 64 games against ranked opponents. In 2012, Texas Tech played 19 games against ranked opponents and in 2011 Tech led the league playing 20 games against ranked programs during the regular season. In 2010 the Red Raiders took the field 25 times against ranked foes.
Accolades came pouring in for the Red Raiders in 2011 while four players were named to five national award watch lists, including National Pitcher of the Year (RHP John Neely), Midseason Stopper of the Year (RHP John Neely), Johnny Bench Award (C Bo Altobelli), John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year (RHP/OF David Paiz) and Brooks Wallace Award (SS Kelby Tomlinson).
Neely went on to earn All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and from CollegeBaseballInsider.com while Tomlinson became the first Big 12 Conference player ever to be awarded the American Baseball Coaches Association Rawlings Division I Gold Glove Award (SS).
Spencer has also had three Freshman All-Americans (2010-2011) as Barrett Barnes and Jamodrick McGruder were honored in 2010 and David Paiz earned the recognition in 2011.
Spencer also had three freshmen make up his starting rotation late into the 2011 season as David Paiz (Friday), Trey Masek (Saturday) and Duke von Schamann (Sunday) made up the youngest rotation in the nation.
Major League Baseball organizations also took notice of the Red Raiders in 2011 while five Tech players were drafted or signed as a free agent, including SS Kelby Tomlinson (12th Round - Giants), INF Nick Popescu (33rd Round - Braves), LHP Zach Fowler (34th Round - Orioles), 3B Reid Redman (37th Round - Dodgers) and LHP Robbie Kilcrease (Pirates - Free Agent).
During Spencer's Division I coaching tenure, including his time as assistant and associate head coach at Oregon State (1997-2007), he has mentored 64 players who have been drafted or signed in the MLB Draft. He coached 45 players at Oregon State that were drafted. Overall, Spencer has coached three first-round picks, 14 top-five round selections and 26 players who have been drafted in the top 10 rounds. In addition, Spencer has coached eight players (7 at Oregon State) that have since made their MLB debut.
The Red Raiders also took care of business in the classroom in 2011 as 16 Red Raiders were named to the Academic Honor Roll with a grade point average of at least 3.0. In fact, six Tech players were named to the Dean's List (3.5-3.99 GPA) while two players posted perfect 4.0 GPAs during the spring semester.
His second season as head coach saw the Red Raiders finish fifth in the Big 12 (best finish since 2004) and defeat seven nationally-ranked opponents, including an upset over No. 1 Texas, 4-2, in the Big 12 Tournament. In fact, Spencer and the Red Raiders were the only Big 12 team to defeat Texas twice during the 2010 season, as they also picked up a 12-5 victory in Lubbock. The Red Raiders were also just one of two teams in the Big 12 to win a series against College World Series-bound Oklahoma, taking two out of three against the Sooners at Dan Law Field in Lubbock. Spencer's squad finished 28-29 overall in 2010.
The Red Raiders led the conference with 162 doubles (most since 2003 - Baylor) to rank seventh in the country and also led all Big 12 teams with a .310 batting average in conference games. Texas Tech led the Big 12 in batting during league play in 2009 with a .311 average. Spencer's squad became the first team to lead the conference in batting during Big 12 play in back-to-back seasons since 2003-04 (Baylor).
In addition, Texas Tech led the league with 83 doubles during Big 12 games, which is the fourth highest total in Big 12 history and the most since Missouri set the record of 129 in 1997 - the first year of the Big 12 Conference.
Prior to his taking over the reins, Texas Tech had missed out on the Big 12 Tournament in consecutive campaigns and posted last place finishes in the conference both of those seasons. Spencer's first squad defied all the preseason prognostications and he led the Red Raiders to a seventh-place finish in 2009 and a return to Oklahoma City for the conference tournament. In their return to Oklahoma City, the Red Raiders posted an upset win over Missouri and found themselves just one win away from the championship game.
When stepping into his current position, he became just the eighth head coach in school history joining E.Y. Freeland (1925-27), R. Higginbotham (1928-29), Bettie Feathers (1954-60), Berl Huffman (1961-67), Kal Segrist (1968-83), Gary Ashby (1984-86) and Larry Hays (1987-2008). He joined Gary Ashby as the only two head coaches in school history that spent their college playing careers at Texas Tech as he lettered in 1985-87.
Spencer, 46, rejoined the Texas Tech Baseball family on July 2, 2007 when he was named associate head coach on the staff of former head coach Larry Hays. He spent the 2008 season in that role where he coached the pitchers and catchers and headed Tech's recruiting front. His 2008 pitching staff produced two top-10 round MLB draft picks in juniors Zach Stewart and James Leverton, both of which had never been drafted prior to that season. Stewart was taken in the third round by the Cincinnati Reds while Leverton was taken in the eighth round by the Chicago Cubs. In 2011, Stewart made his MLB debut as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Prior to his arrival at Texas Tech, he spent 11 seasons at Oregon State, the last three as associate head coach, where he served as pitching/catching coach and recruiting coordinator. His pitching staffs during the last two seasons of his Oregon State tenure were instrumental in helping the Beavers become the first back-to-back College World Series Champions since LSU in the late 1990s. In those two seasons, his staffs compiled 3.41 and 3.48 cumulative ERAs while leading the team to 50-16 and 49-18 respective records. His group led the Pac-10 in ERA in both 2005 and 2006 while his bullpen helped pave the way to consecutive national titles by contributing 20-plus saves in both 2006 and 2007.
Under his leadership, the Beavers had three pitchers and one catcher named All-America. Eddie Kunz, the ace of the 2007 staff, and catcher Mitch Canham, the squad's leading hitter, were both first round draft selections in the 2007 MLB Draft.
His collegiate coaching career began at the junior college level six years before arriving at Oregon State, as he landed his first job as an assistant coach at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Wash., in 1991. After just one season in Tacoma, he picked up his first head coaching position as he took over the program at Green River Community College in 1992. While at Green River, he compiled a record of 131-67 between 1992 and 1996.
Dan and his wife, Susie, have three children: Wade, Logan and Elizabeth.
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