Email J-Bob Thomas
J-Bob Thomas enters his second season as the recruiting coordinator/assistant coach at Texas Tech in 2014. Thomas works primarily with the Red Raider catchers and assists with the team's hitters while serving as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Thomas was named an assistant coach with the Red Raiders on June 20, 2012. Thomas will enter his ninth year in collegiate baseball in 2014 - his second on the Red Raiders coaching staff.
Thomas, who is known as one of the top recruiters in all of college baseball, proved his abilities on the recruiting trail early during his first year on the job at Tech. In only his seventh month on the job, Thomas and the Red Raiders 2013 signing class was ranked 24th nationally by Perfect Game.
Tech's first full signing class with Thomas as the recruiting coordinator saw five signees selected in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft, including four players selected in the top-13 rounds.
During Thomas' first season at Tech, the Red Raiders broke school records for defensive double plays (68) and team fielding percentage (.974). The previous school record for fielding percentage in a season was set in 1992.
The Red Raiders defeated five nationally-ranked opponents in 2013, including defending national champion Arizona on the road in Tucson. In fact, Tech won three consecutive games over ranked opponents - a first by the Red Raiders in 11 years.
Tech fielded the youngest team in the nation during Thomas' first season as an assistant. The Red Raiders had 22 newcomers that saw action, a number that led the nation.
The Red Raiders won their Big 12 Conference series opener in 2013 taking two of three games over Texas in Austin. It marked the first time Tech had won a series over the Longhorns in Austin since 2001 and was Tech's first series win over Texas since 2002.
Two players received Freshmen All-America honors during Thomas' first season while first baseman Eric Gutierrez (Mission, Texas) and catcher/designated hitter Jarrard Poteete (Braggs, Okla.) became just the third set of freshmen teammates in school history to earn Freshmen All-America honors in the same season.
In 2013, Texas Tech had four All-Big 12 selections (one All-Freshman team pick), four Academic All-Big 12 picks and three MLB Draft picks, including fifth-round right-handed pitcher Trey Masek (Chicago Cubs).
Thomas came to Texas Tech after spending seven seasons as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Howard College.
During his time at Howard he helped turn the Hawks into the winningest Division I junior college program in the nation during his last five seasons (247 wins - average of 49 wins per season) while winning the NJCAA D-I World Series in 2009 with an astonishing 63-1 overall record, which included a college baseball record 57-game win streak.
The overwhelming success during Thomas' tenure in Big Spring, Texas, made him one of the nation's top assistant coaches along with being regarded as one of the elite college baseball recruiters in the country. Thomas served as Howard's hitting and catching coach while also working with the team's base runners.
Thomas was instrumental in the Hawks leading the nation in hitting three times (2008 - .430... 2009 - .421... 2011 - .394) while finishing in the top five in the country in hitting during each of his seven seasons.
Three of Thomas' hitters led the nation in hitting while he mentored a total of seven hitters that finished in the top 10 in the country in batting.
In 2009 the Hawks won the national title and broke the all-time record for consecutive victories (previous record was 55 consecutive wins by Seminole State in 1987) on their way to a perfect regular season and to 57 straight wins. Following their only loss of the season, Howard won six straight games, including every game at the JUCO World Series while capturing the national championship.
Thomas helped guide Howard to a school-record four straight conference championships, with title runs in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Overall, Howard went 321-88 during Thomas' seven seasons.
He coached 14 NJCAA All-Americans at Howard, including seven first team selections (2008-2012) - which led the nation during that time frame. In seven seasons at Howard, Thomas coached 52 Western Junior College Athletic Conference All-Conference selections, 23 NJCAA All-Region V picks, six WJCAC Player of the Year selections, five NJCAA Rawlings Big Stick Award winners, four WJCAC Pitcher of the Year selections, three NJCAA batting champions, two NJCAA Players of the Year and one Easton National Defensive Player of the Year.
The Hawks produced several of the top defensive players in the country under Thomas' tutelage as five players were awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award during a four-year span (2009-2012) as players selected as having the best defensive seasons in the country at their respective positions.
Thomas consistently had one of the top catchers in the Region V, which was evident following five of his seven catchers signing with Big 12 or SEC programs.
He mentored 71 players at Howard that signed at NCAA Division I programs, an average of seven players a year. In 2009, Thomas helped send 19 players to the D-I level and he coached 17 players in 2012 that signed letters of intent with D-I programs. In addition, 15-of-17 signees in 2012 went to Big 12, SEC or Pac-12 programs.
Thomas coached 29 players at Howard that were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft, including three top-10 selections.
Thomas' student-athletes at Howard were also successful in the classroom as 71 of his players graduated from 2008-2012. Thomas, along with academic advisor Linda Conway, initiated Howard's academic advising program in the fall of 2007. Howard finished third in the nation in 2007 with a 3.32 team grade-point average.
Prior to beginning his collegiate coaching career at Howard, Thomas spent a summer coaching in the Texas Collegiate League with the Coppell Copperheads. Thomas helped lead the Copperheads to a championship season with a 31-17 record and a Tris Speaker division title.
He spent the 2004 summer as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mustangs - a perennial high school summer baseball powerhouse - under the direction of Sam Carpenter, who is one of the most prominent select baseball coaches in the country.
A graduate of Abilene Christian University in 2005 with a degree in mass communications, Thomas was a four-year all-conference catcher while beginning his career at Howard College before transferring to ACU and finishing his degree in four years.
Thomas' collegiate playing career included throwing out 30 percent of would-be base stealers and tallying a .320 career batting average. He completed his college career being named to the All-Tournament team at the 2004 Lone Star tournament where ACU finished in the top-10 in the country with a 42-17 overall record while claiming its second consecutive league championship.
A native of Duncanville, Texas, Thomas played for legendary coach Bob Rombach at Duncanville High School where he led his team to three straight Texas High School state playoff appearances (1998-2000). Thomas was born in Duncanville, Texas, on October 30, 1982.
HOWARD COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS (2006-2012):
THE THOMAS FILE: