By Chad Dixon
Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) baseball continues to prove every season that it is not “just a JUCO” program. The conductor of the program since 1999 has been Head Coach Adam Thomas. The former Smiths Station and CVCC graduate won his 700th game as a coach on March 20 in a 11-0 win over Central Alabama. He has compiled a 705-353 (.667) record in eighteen plus seasons at CVCC and has them in the running for another Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) title this season.
“Anybody that goes to CV realizes that it’s a special place.Coach Thomas gave me a chance to play college baseball and develop when nobody else would,” said 2017 ACCC Player of the Year Jaylen Smith. “He takes more pride in a program than anyone else. From mowing the grass to washing jerseys and doing things most coaches would not.”
Thomas led the Pirates to three consecutive ACCC titles and appearances in the JUCO World Series from 2014-2016. Under Thomas, 190 baseball players have signed four-year scholarships and 20 have been drafted to major league teams.
“Coach Thomas is the best! He knows exactly how to make a team feel like family. He always had a perfect blend of knowing when to be your coach, friend and dad,” said 2016 ACCC Player of the Year Will Campbell. “We knew that Coach Thomas had our backs and had our best interest at heart, which made it so fun to play for him and win for him.”
In addition to athletics, Thomas puts a prime focus on academics. In the fall, his team posted a collective GPA of 3.40. CVCC has been a NJCAA All-Academic Team seven times in Thomas’ tenure.
“I think Coach Thomas’ success comes from the process and the mentality that he instills in his players.He told us all the time that games in the Spring were won in the Fall. Chatt Valley is the most fun you will ever have playing the game of baseball. He cares more about who you are and what you are going to be in this world than when you don’t put a jersey on anymore. There is not a day that goes by that CV doesn’t run through my mind,” said former Pirate Caleb Lynn, a member of the 2015 Class 7A Alabama State Champions Smiths Station Panthers.
Thomas exudes what a coach is. He teaches the game and puts emphasis on becoming pillars of the community. He wants his players to become men in their time at CVCC.
“If CVCC was a four-year program, I would still be there. The D1 life is fun, but there is something about suiting up for number seven in Phenix City that makes it different. He was more than a coach to me,” said former player M.J. Rookard.
Thomas has more wins at CVCC than any coach in any sport. He juggles his time as the baseball coach and athletic director. If CVCC ever develops its own Hall of Fame for athletics, Thomas will be a sure fire first ballot candidate.