The University of Central Missouri baseball program reached back into its championship past to hire the 13th head coach in school history as former Mules assistant Tommy Myers topped a field of more than 100 applicants, athletic director Jerry Hughes announced today.
Myers spent the last four seasons as an assistant at Kansas State University and three previous seasons as an assistant coach at Central Missouri, including the 2003 Division II National Championship season.
“We are thrilled to have Tommy back at Central Missouri as the head coach of our baseball program,” Hughes said, “Coach Myers knows what it takes to be successful at UCM, he knows the tradition and expectations of our program, and is a class individual.”
During Myers three years at UCM, the Mules went an outstanding 154-30 with a national runner-up and a championship.
“I am honored to return to Central Missouri as head baseball coach,” Myers said. “It was a thrill to be a part of three amazing seasons at Central Missouri as an assistant coach, and now I look forward to continuing the outstanding tradition of Mules baseball as head coach.”
At Kansas State under former Mules head coach Brad Hill, Myers was the hitting and outfielders coach and steadily transformed the Wildcat offense into one of the best units in the Big XII Conference.
In 2007, the Wildcats advanced to the post-season for the second time in school history with an appearance in the Big XII Tournament in Oklahoma City. KSU outfielder Byron Wiley was named Second-Team All-Big 12.
In 2006, K-State hit a Big 12-best .314 as a team overall, which included the Big 12 overall hitting leader in outfielder Joe Roundy (.389). The Wildcats boasted four of the Big 12’s top 20 hitters in Roundy, outfielder Barrett Rice (.368), catcher Brandon Farr (.337) and third baseman Jared Goedert (.337). Goedert was also selected in the 12th round of the MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians and had a solid rookie campaign.
In 2005, Myers led a Wildcat offense that hit .309 on the season, a number that was up an incredible 50 points from 2004 and was the sixth-best average in school history. In his first season at K-State, Myers guided Wildcat outfielders Steve Murphy and Terry Blunt to All-Big 12 honors as both were among the league’s top offensive players in 2004. Murphy led the ‘Cats with a .338 average while Blunt hit .305. Five Wildcat hitters coached by Myers signed professional contracts while at Kansas State. Under Myers, the Wildcats broke into the top 10 in the single-season school record books in seven different offensive categories including home runs, doubles, hits, runs, RBI’s, slugging and batting average.
He previously served as assistant under Hill from 2000-01 before returning to his alma mater, Pittsburg State, for one season. During Myers' time at Central Missouri, the Mules posted an incredible .836 winning percentage with three consecutive 50-win seasons, three MIAA crowns and three trips to the Division II Baseball Championships. In addition, UCM led the league in batting average each of his three seasons.
In 2003, Central Missouri captured its second national championship and first since 1994 with an 11-4 victory over the University of Tampa at Paterson Field in Montgomery, Ala. The Mules led the MIAA in nearly every offensive category in 2003, including scoring (9.53 runs per game), hits (602), RBIs (423), doubles (134), home runs (61) and batting average (.364). Six players ranked among the league's top 11 in hitting, including batting leader Joe Strada, who also led in slugging percentage, doubles and RBIs. Myers helped coach two second team All-Americans in 2003 with Strada and third baseman Zach Norman along with six All-MIAA selections. Norman was named the conference's Player of the Year, while outfielder Steve Murphy was the Freshman of the Year.
Myers helped guide Central Missouri to a combined 103 wins in 2000 and 2001. The 2001 squad posted a then school-record 53 wins en route to advancing to its first championship game in seven years where the Mules lost to St. Mary's of Texas by a score of 11-3. During the record-setting campaign, Myers helped coach first baseman Chris Umphres, the 2001 NCAA Division II Player of the Year, who ranked among the nation's leaders in batting average (.448) and RBIs (1.44 per game).
In all, Myers helped coach one NCAA Division II Player of the Year, two first team All-Americans, four second team All-Americans and nine first team All-MIAA selections during his time at Central Missouri.
Myers spent the 2002 season as the hitting and outfielders coach at Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kan. Under his direction, the Gorillas finished second in the league in home runs, RBIs and extra-base hits, third in runs scored and fifth in batting average.
A native of Bartlesville, Okla., Myers was a first team All-MIAA and All-Central Region selection as a senior at Pittsburg State in 1998. He batted .405 with 72 runs scored, 14 home runs and 59 RBIs that season. Myers was an honorable mention All-MIAA performer as a junior in 1997. He earned his bachelor's degree in management from Pittsburg State in 1999, while serving as a student assistant coach for the Gorillas.
In addition to his duties with the Mule baseball team, Myers also worked in the UCM Office of Development and Alumni Relations. He is married to the former Tiffany Beshore, who played basketball at Pittsburg State from 1997-98. Myers earned his master's degree in sports and business administration from Central Missouri in 2001. The couple has two children, Logan, 2, and Addison, who was born this past November.