Assistant head coach spent 18 years on Baylor's coaching staff
Mitch Thompson enters his 18th year on the Baylor staff and his third season as assistant head coach in 2012. No stranger to championship-level baseball, he has helped coach nine teams to 40-win seasons and has seen more than his share of postseason action, helping lead three teams to the College World Series and participating in 16 NCAA Regional tournaments. Thompson also serves as the Bears' recruiting coordinator.
In November 2006, Thompson was named National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America. The honor came on the heels of Baylor's 2006 incoming class being ranked first nationally by Baseball America.
As hitting coach, Thompson has seen the program achieve tremendous success. Since arriving at Baylor, Thompson has helped the Bears set team season records in virtually every category, including batting average, hits, runs, doubles, home runs, RBI, total bases, stolen bases, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
Thompson's hitters have also set many individual records, including single-season marks for hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, walks and extra-base hits. Through his efforts, recent Bears have set school career marks for hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, extra-base hits and total bases. Of the 18 major offensive statistical categories in Baylor's record book, school records have been established in 15 categories during Thompson's tenure (both season and career). Furthermore, since Thompson's arrival, the Baylor program has had 86 all-conference players, nine All-Americans and 10 freshman All-Americans.
As recruiting coordinator, Thompson has helped bring in classes ranked in the top 25 six times since 1998 (23rd, 1998; 25th, 2001; 13th, 2002; 19th, 2003; 23rd, 2005; first, 2006). Thompson's recruiting prowess has not been limited to the Lone Star State as he has regularly scoured the nation for talent. Some of Baylor's top players in the past 17 years have come from out-of-state, including but not limited to Ross Bennett (Missouri), Jace Brewer (Oklahoma), Zach Dillon (Iowa), Kyle Evans (New Mexico), Tim Hartshorn (Minnesota), Shaver Hansen (Colorado), Trevor Mote (Arizona), Kevin Russo (Colorado), Josh Scott (California), Kevin Sevigny (Maine), Jared Theodorakos (Missouri), Preston Underdown (Arizona), Beamer Weems (Virginia), Matt Williams (California) and Paul Witt (Arkansas).
In 17 years at Baylor, Thompson has helped coach the Bears to two Big 12 titles, 12 NCAA Regionals, three NCAA Super Regionals and the 2005 College World Series. Since he joined the program in 1995, at least one of his players has been selected in every MLB draft. In fact, 71 different Baylor players have been drafted a total of 83 times during Thompson's tenure. Nine of those players have gone on to play in the Major Leagues.
Thompson's top-ranked class from 2006 saw six players drafted following Baylor's 2009 season. Aaron Miller, who was selected in the 11th round out of high school, became the 10th Baylor player to be drafted in the first round. Additionally, Shaver Hansen (6th round), Dustin Dickerson (6th round), Craig Fritsch (8th round), Kendal Volz (9th round), Adam Hornung (19th round) and Raynor Campbell (31st round) all had their names called during the draft.
Thompson joined the Baylor staff after serving as an assistant coach at Auburn during the 1994 season. While at Auburn, he helped guide the Tigers to a then-school record 44 wins and a place in the 1994 College World Series (one of three CWS appearances during his collegiate coaching career). Thompson worked with the catchers and outfielders and was also the defensive coordinator at Auburn.
Prior to joining the Baylor staff, Thompson and Steve Smith coached together at Mississippi State in 1990 and 1992-93. Thompson's coaching career began in 1990 as a graduate assistant for the Bulldogs. He then moved to Radford (Va.) where he served as the assistant coach for the 1991 season. While at Radford, Thompson coordinated recruiting, worked with team defense and assisted with hitting. He rejoined coach Ron Polk at MSU as a full-time assistant in 1992, working with the hitters and outfielders.
Thompson is a 1988 honors graduate of Fort Hays State in Kansas where he twice earned academic all-conference honors as a baseball standout. Lettering both as a first baseman and a third baseman, Thompson was named team captain as a senior. He toured Europe as a player in the summer of 1987 with Athletes in Action, the athletic ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. He continued his education by earning his master's degree in physical education from Mississippi State in 1991.
In 1998, Thompson produced an instructional video entitled "Contact Hitting and Plate Coverage" with Championship Books and Videos. In 1999, he again joined Championship Books and Videos to co-produce a six-tape series of videos designed to help youth league coaches teach the game of baseball.
Thompson, 46, is a native of Goodland, Kan. He is married to the former Amber Kennedy of Brandon, Miss. They have two daughters, Mary Conley (15) and Caroline (12).