By Chad Dixon
The Adam Thomas Coaching Era at Chattahoochee Valley Community College ended on Aug. 21 when he formally stepped down as the Head Baseball Coach due to health issues. Thomas has decided to put his health first after doctors found an issue with his lungs earlier this year. To Thomas, his time as a Pirate “was truly a blessing.” Assistant Coach Hunter Vick is taking over the reins of the baseball program, while Thomas remains with the school as the Athletic Director.
“How many people get to play for their hometown school, coach for their hometown school and be able to take them to four Junior College World Series?,” Thomas said. “The Lord blessed my career, brought me countless outstanding student-athletes, and surrounded me with incredible coaches and administrators. It’s very difficult for me to believe that I have been fortunate enough to coach at my ‘home’ for 20 years. I clearly understand that God has a new and different path for me going forward, and I look to honor Him in my work and whatever path He decides to take me.”
Thomas retires with a school record in wins (728-358-1). After playing the catcher position for the Pirates in 1994 and 1995, he signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Montevallo. In 1998, his former coach, B.R. Johnson, asked him to intern as a coach and shortly after, Thomas became Johnson’s successor in 1999.
“I fell in love with coaching but more importantly fell in love with coaching at CVCC. This school has been so good to me and my family. There is no other place I would have rather been for the past two decades,” Thomas said.
Even with 728 wins and four Alabama Community College Conference Championships, he said his biggest achievement at CVCC was his relationships with his players.
“Every coach wants to win a national championship, but if my career is defined as to whether I win the final game each season, then my entire career has been a failure. The 4,000 plus relationships that I have developed with my players of the past 19 years means more to me than any championship of award.”
Thomas is a six-time ACCC South/Central Division Coach of the Year, four-time ACCC/Southeast District Coach of the Year, has coached 23 players that have been signed to MLB contracts or were drafted and has coached eight teams that were NJCAA Academic Team of the Year.
He thinks his 2003 team set the stage for the current lineage of CVCC teams and several other teams made their mark to make the baseball program what it is today.
“The 2003 team set a record in school wins and we came one game shy of the state title, the 2010 team might have been our best team ever and they really set the bar high, 2007 was probably our biggest freshman class and really set the stage and of course our state championship teams set the standard,” he said.
During his tenure with CVCC, he had been approached by Central and Smiths Station to take their head coaching jobs.
“I actually almost took the Smiths Station job in 2013. I thought about it long and hard and decided to stay. Ironically, that was the first year we were ranked number one in the country,” Thomas stated.
CVCC three-peated as ACCC champions from 2015-2017 and won the conference title again in 2018. He has no regrets calling it a career, but leaves the door open to coach again.
“You never say never, but I was able to sit in the dugout for 19 years surrounded by great players. All of the success was because of them and not because I was a great coach. I am just glad I was around for the ride,” Thomas added.
Thomas willingly handed over the baseball program to Vick.
“This is Hunter’s program now and I expect him to take it to greater heights than I ever could. He has a great baseball mind and is a fantastic coach. I don’t want to be viewed as the guy looking over his shoulder. It’s his show and I am beyond happy for him,” Thomas said.
Thomas retires as the winningest coach in the ACCC with a 623-243 (.719) record.