Baseball Coaches

 

Coach Adam Thomas

The 2016 season will usher in the 16th year of the Adam Thomas era as the Pirate Head Baseball Coach.  Thomas took control of the CVCC Baseball program in June of 1999, and at that time was the youngest head baseball coach in the history of the ACCC.  Known for his ability to relate well with his players, Thomas serves not only as the Pirates’ on the field leader, but also an academic, social, athletic, and spiritual mentor to his players on and off the field.

Thomas is a big proponent of education in addition to baseball, as evidenced by the baseball team’s GPA. It has surpassed the 3.0 mark for the fourteenth consecutive year. The Pirate baseball team consistently ranks high at a national level, with the 2010 edition of the Pirates posting a program record 3.35 overall team GPA.  Additionally, the Pirate baseball team once again, earned the prestigious status of being named the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year in baseball following the 2015 season, making them a six-time recipient of this esteemed honor (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015) in the past nine years.  Furthermore, 17 of his student-athletes have earned Academic All-American status, with countless others being named to the Academic All-Region team.

Thomas’ players have not only thrived in the classroom, but have been extremely successful in moving on to the next level of baseball through signing scholarships to four-year institutions and/or the Major League Baseball draft.  Over the past 16 seasons, Thomas has had nearly 156 of his student-athletes to sign scholarships to play at four-year institutions, as well as 17 of his players having been selected by Major League Baseball teams via the MLB draft or free agent signing.  Additionally, Thomas has produced ten NJCAA All-Americans, seven ACCC Players and/or Pitchers of the Year, and 95 of his players have been named to the All-Region, All-Division, ACCC or NJCAA All-Tournament Teams during his post as the Pirate skipper.

Coach Thomas, a local product, was born and raised in Phenix City, Alabama.  He graduated from Smiths Station High School in 1993 and earned a baseball scholarship right here at Chattahoochee Valley Community College to play for legendary Alabama JUCO coach, B.R. Johnson.  After redshirting during the 1994 season, Thomas blossomed into one of the finest defensive catchers to wear a Pirate uniform.  Thomas was a two-year starter, and as a sophomore was chosen to participate in the AJCCC All-Star Game.  That very season, Thomas handled the pitching staff that was tops in the conference, as the Pirates won their seventh AJCCC conference championship.

Upon graduating with honors from CVCC in June of 1996, Thomas signed a baseball scholarship to play for the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama.  Thomas highlighted his career at UM in 1997, as a junior, by knocking in the game tying and go-ahead runs to beat Anderson College in the NAIA Southeast Independent Sectional Playoffs.  The win helped propel the Falcons to the Sectional title and a berth in the Southeast Regional Championship in Homestead, Florida.  Unfortunately, Thomas’ senior campaign was injury riddled with both knee and elbow injuries that plagued his final year.  However, his work ethic and tireless efforts earned him the prestigious University of Montevallo Baseball “Mike Morgan Hustle Award.”  Hall of Fame Coach Bob Reisner called Thomas, “one of the smartest, hardest working players I’ve ever coached.”

Graduating cum laude with a B.S. in Kinesiology in 1998, Thomas returned to his “heart and soul” as the assistant baseball coach at Chattahoochee Valley.  Upon B.R. Johnson’s retirement, Thomas was named the head baseball coach of the Pirates in June of 1999.  After inheriting a CVCC team that won only eight games during the 1999 season, Thomas has turned the Pirate baseball team into a conference powerhouse. The 2014 club won the College’s first conference championship since Thomas’ sophomore year in 1996.  The Pirates made their first ever appearance in the NJCAA World Series, finishing 6th overall, after spending over two months ranked number one in the country. Furthermore, the 2015 club repeated the feat, capturing back-to-back ACCC titles. The team’s return trip to the NJCAA World Series produced a 3rd place finish.

The 2014 team was the third divisional championship for Thomas, as the 2011 and 2010 units claimed the ACCC Southern Division Title, and the 2014 team claiming the Central Division Title, while breaking the school record for wins in a season, with 48 in 2014.  The 48 wins eclipsed the 2013 and 2010 clubs that claimed 42 wins, and the 2003, 2007, and 2008 CVCC baseball teams that broke and set the previous school record with 41 wins.  Furthermore, Thomas guided the 2013 club to its first ever number one ranking in the NJCAA poll. There they remained for two weeks ranked in the nation’s top spot, while the 2014 team spent eight weeks as the nation’s number one team.

Thomas’ Pirates have had continued strong performances in the ACCC Tournament, finishing runners-up in the ACCC in 2003, and finishing third during the 2005, 2007, and 2008 seasons, along with another final four appearance during the 2009 campaign, with, of course, the 2014 and 2015 teams winning the ACCC title.  During Thomas’ tenure, the Pirates have averaged 36 wins a year and have been perennial playoff and final four participants in the ACCC tourney since the 2002 season.  Additionally, the Pirates are typically mainstays in the NJCAA and Perfect Game Top 25, with Perfect Game USA naming Chattahoochee Valley as the top junior college program in the state of Alabama every year since 2010.

Being a former catcher, Coach Thomas’s teams are perpetually known for their strong pitching, year-in and year-out.  Under the guidance of Thomas, the Pirate pitching staffs have led the ACCC in most major pitching categories, including earned run average, strikeouts, wins, saves, fewest walks, and strikeout to walk ratio.  Look for the trend to continue in 2016 under Thomas’ tutelage.

Thomas earned his MBA from Troy State University in January of 2005 and has been serving as the school’s athletic director since June of 2004.  Thomas is married to the former Heather Taylor of Columbus, Georgia and they have one son, Owen, who is fifteen years old.  In his spare time, Thomas enjoys working out, running, working on Howard Lake Field and spending time with his family.  The Thomas’s make their home in Smiths Station, Alabama.

 

Coach Mitch Shelby

Coach Mitch Shelby

Volunteer Assistant Coach

Mitch Shelby enters his first year as a member of the Chattahoochee Valley Pirates coaching staff. He earned his associate degree from CVCC and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at Troy University.

During his high school career at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia, he was a two-year letter winner on the baseball field, and part of a AAAAA state runner-up team in 2010. After completing high school, Mitch signed a scholarship to pitch at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia. His time at Gordon was short lived after a shoulder surgery sidelined him for the season.

After completion of the 2012 season, Mitch transferred to CVCC to pitch for the Pirates. While at CVCC,  Mitch was a member of the Pirate’s bullpen from 2013-2014. The Pirates put together two outstanding seasons during his time, including an ACCC Championship and JUCO World Series run in 2014. After graduating from CVCC, Mitch attended the University of South Alabama to continue his career with the Jaguars in Mobile, Alabama.

A resident of Hamilton, Georgia, Mitch enjoys playing hockey and live music. Mitch’s parents, Freddy and Maureen Shelby, live in Marietta, Georgia, and his brother, Matthew Shelby, is currently a 2nd LT. in our nation’s Army stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.