Seven trips to the College World Series (CWS) in the last 12 seasons. National Championships in both 2002 and 2005. Second-place finishes in 2004 and 2009. Seven Big 12 Conference Championships (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011) and four league tournament crowns (2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009). These are the results and the reasons why head coach Augie Garrido was hired to guide the Texas baseball program in 1996.
During his first 16 years on the Forty Acres, Garrido became the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I baseball history by capturing his 1,428th career win on June 9, 2003, (a 6-5 Texas victory over then No. 1 Florida State during NCAA Super Regional action in Tallahassee, Fla.). After he brought Texas back to the CWS for the first time since 1993 during the 2000 campaign, he returned the Horns to the pinnacle of collegiate baseball in 2002 by leading UT to a 57-15 record that produced the school's first-ever Big 12 regular-season and tournament championships as well as its first national title since 1983. He duplicated the feat in 2005, guiding the Longhorns to their sixth National Championship - the second-most for one school in NCAA history. Texas' rise under Garrido has been the culmination of inking 14 straight top 15 recruiting classes and producing teams that have stood tall against perennial powers such as LSU, Miami (Fla.), Stanford and USC. Now, as he enters his 17th year in Austin, Garrido who was selected as both the 2002 and 2005 National Coach of the Year, looks to keep the program in contention for college baseball's ultimate prize each and every season.
Garrido is the first coach in Division I baseball history to tally 1,700 or more career victories. He is one of only two Division I coaches to ever win 500 or more games at two different schools and the only coach to ever win 600 or more games at two different schools.
When head coach Augie Garrido went looking for a pitching coach following the 2006 campaign, the answer to his search was Skip Johnson, who is regarded as the best teacher of pitching skills by the most knowledgeable baseball people in Texas. Johnson is in his seventh season as an assistant coach at UT after serving a 13-year stint as head coach at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.
Johnson had an outstanding first season as the Longhorns' pitching coach, mentoring the staff to a 3.46 earned run average, the best mark in the Big 12 Conference and ninth in the nation. He also tutored Adrian Alaniz to Big 12 Pitcher of the Year accolades and coached three All-Big 12 pitchers including Alaniz, Randy Boone and James Russell.
In his second season, he continued to produce outstanding pitchers as freshman Chance Ruffin earned All-America honors as well as being named Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Year. Kenn Kasparek, Kyle Walker and Casey Whitmer were all drafted and had outstanding professional debuts.
Tommy Nicholson is in his first season after being named assistant coach on June 29, 2012. However, this is not his first time in a Longhorn uniform as he played three seasons at Texas (1998-2000) while earning his bachelor's degree in 2006 and serving as a volunteer assistant coach in 2009 and 2010.
Nicholson spent the last two seasons (2011-12) as an assistant coach at Sacramento State, serving as the team's infield and hitting coach. In 2012, the Hornets batted .298 as a team with 30 home runs. Nicholson helped outfielder Rhys Hoskins earn freshman All-America honors this past season, as Hoskins hit .353 with 10 home runs, 44 runs scored and 53 RBI.
After compiling a 19-39 mark in 2011, Sacramento State improved its win total by 12 and registered a 31-28 record in 2012. Under Nicholson's direction, the Hornets finished the 2012 season with a school single-season record .979 fielding percentage. Sacramento State committed just 47 errors in 59 games this past season. The 2011 squad finished with a .969 fielding mark, the third-best in school history.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Minor League (2004-2006)
• Advanced from Rookie League to High-A in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
• Appeared in a total 45 games and had a .302 batting average.
• Appeared in a total of 15 games while making two starts in right field and three starts as the team's designated hitter.
• Posted a double as well as two singles to go along with a pair of RBI and a stolen base during his limited action.