June 17, 2013
FRISCO, Texas - The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, has announced its All-Decade Baseball Team from the 1970s and 1980s. The teams include stars from its member institutions from the 1970 season through 1989.
A total of 40 student-athletes make up the teams from both decades with honorees from the institutions that made up the Southland Conference during that time.
1970s All-Decade Team
Lamar and Louisiana Tech each placed 11 student-athletes on the team. McNeese State had six, while Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas-Arlington and Trinity each had three. Arkansas State had two honorees and Abilene Christian had one.
"The level of Southland baseball in the 1970s was simply outstanding as the league transitioned into full Division I status and started making noise nationally," league commissioner Tom Burnett said. "And, it was the beginning of Jim Gilligan's outstanding and historic tenure at Lamar that continues to this day."
Gilligan is one of two coaches the Southland is honoring from the decade. Louisiana Tech's Pat Patterson joins Gilligan as co-coaches of the 1970s all-decade team.
Gilligan began leading his alma mater in 1973, and added four Southland Conference championships to the school's first title in 1971. His teams won three consecutive titles in 1975, 1976 and 1977 and added another in 1979. Gilligan, himself a first-team All-Southland Conference pitcher in 1967 and a member of the league's 1960s all-decade team, earned Southland Coach of the Year honors in 1976 and 1977 and led the Cardinals to NCAA regionals in 1976, 1977 and 1979. During the 1970s, Gilligan coached three Southland Conference Pitchers of the Year and 24 all-conference players. During the decade, his teams were 217-122 (.640) overall and 77-37 (.675) in league play.
Patterson led his alma mater to three Southland championships during the decade, including back-to-back titles in 1974 and 1975 to go with another in 1978. He was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year each of those seasons. His Bulldogs advanced to three NCAA regionals, and the 1974 club was one game away from advancing to the College World Series. During the decade, he coached five Southland Hitters of the Year, two Pitchers of the Year, and 20 first-team all-conference selections. His teams were 252-142 (.640) overall and 80-48 (.625) in Southland play during the decade.
Eleven of Patterson's players during the 1970s find a home on the all-decade team, including three-time first-team all-conference selections Dale Holman, an all-conference outfielder in 1977, 1978 and 1979; and Steve Lacy, an all-conference shortstop in 1973, 1974 and 1975. Other Bulldogs on the all-decade team are catcher Chuck Bailey, a two-time all-conference pick in 1978 and 1979; outfielder Bobby Brasher, who was the 1974 Southland hitter of the year and an all-conference selection in 1974 and 1976; pitcher Eddie Holman an all-league pick in 1974 and the Southland's career strikeout leader (336); catcher Richie McAlister, the 1975 hitter of the year and all-conference pick in 1974 and 1975; pitcher Randy McGilberry, who was an all-conference selection and pitcher of the year in 1975; outfielder Fred McGaha, the hitter of the year and all-conference pick in 1972; pitcher Bill Norwood, the pitcher of the year and all-conference selection in 1973; and, second baseman Phil Willingham, who received all-conference honors in 1974 and 1976.
Another Louisiana Tech player on the 1970s all-decade team is Mike Jeffcoat, who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1980 and went on to an 11-year career in Major League Baseball with the Indians, Giants, Rangers and Marlins. He is currently the head baseball coach at Texas Wesleyan.
Six other players on the all-decade team were named either the conference hitter or pitcher of the year, including McNeese State outfielders Paul Young and Russell Conner, who were hitters of the year and all-conference selections in 1973 and 1977, respectively; Texas-Arlington pitcher Bruce Marshall, the pitcher of the year and an all-conference pick in 1976; Abilene Christian third baseman Alvin O'Dell, the 1970 hitter of the year; and, Trinity pitcher Paul Stanley, the pitcher of the year and all-conference selection in 1972.
Additionally, McNeese State pitcher Ray Fontenot holds the conference career records for complete games pitched (29) and shutouts (nine).
Southland Conference 1970s All-Decade Team (1970-79; 40 players)
Julio Alonso, Lamar - P - 1974, 1975 (1974 Pitcher of the Year)
Jose Alvarez, La.-Lafayette - P - 1978 (1978 Pitcher of the Year)
Chuck Bailey, Louisiana Tech - C - 1978, 1979
David Bernsen, Lamar - P - 1971 (1971 Pitcher of the Year)
Bobby Brasher, Louisiana Tech - OF - 1974, 1976 (1974 Hitter of the Year)
Kenneth Clark, Texas-Arlington - 1B - 1971, 1973
Russell Conner, McNeese State - OF - 1977 (1977 Hitter of the Year)
Billy Daffin, Trinity - 3B - 1970, 1972
Pete Davis, Arkansas State - OF - 1971, 1973
Shanie Dugas, McNeese State - SS - 1979, 1980
Larry Elmore, Arkansas State - 1B - 1974, 1975
A.C. Frese, Trinity - 2B - 1970, 1971
Ray Fontenot, McNeese State - P - 1979 (Southland Career Complete Games Pitched Record-29 & Career Shutouts Record-9)
Harold Flynn, Lamar - OF - 1976, 1977
James Gallier, McNeese State - 1B - 1979, 1981
Dale Holman, Louisiana Tech - OF - 1977, 1978, 1979 (1978 & 1979 Hitter of the Year)
Eddie Holman, Louisiana Tech - P - 1974 (Southland Career Strikeout Leader-336)
Kevin Jeansonne, La.-Lafayette - OF - 1975, 1976 (1976 Hitter of the Year)
Mike Jeffcoat, Louisiana Tech - P (1983-94 MLB, Cleveland, San Francisco, Texas, Florida)
Louis Jones, Lamar - SS - 1977, 1978
Steve Lacy, Louisiana Tech - SS - 1973, 1974, 1975
Mike Laudig, Lamar - OF - 1976, 1977, 1978
Bruce Marshall, Texas-Arlington - P - 1976 (1976 Pitcher of the Year)
Richie McAlister, Louisiana Tech - C - 1974, 1975 (1975 Hitter of the Year)
Joe McCann, Lamar - 2B - 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
Randy McGilberry, Louisiana Tech - P - 1975 (1975 Pitcher of the Year)
Fred McGaha, Louisiana Tech - OF - 1972 (1972 Hitter of the Year)
Jeff Martin, Lamar - 3B - 1978, 1979
Jerry Nalley, La.-Lafayette - OF - 1979, 1980
Rick Nesloney, Lamar - P - 1977 (1977 Pitcher of the Year)
Bill Norwood, Louisiana Tech - P - 1973 (1973 Pitcher of the Year)
Alvin O'Dell, Abilene Christian - 3B (1970 Hitter of the Year)
Mark Oldham, Lamar - OF - 1970, 1971
Bill Simon, McNeese State - 2B - 1973, 1975
David C. Smith, Lamar - P - 1979 (1979 Pitcher of the Year)
Paul Stanley, Trinity - P - 1972 (1972 Pitcher of the Year)
Billy Wearden, Lamar - 3B - 1975, 1976
Richard Wilkinson, Texas-Arlington - DH/IF - 1978, 1980
Phil Willingham, Louisiana Tech - 2B - 1974, 1976
Paul Young, McNeese State - OF - 1973 (1973 Hitter of the Year)
Co-Coaches of the Decade: Jim Gilligan, Lamar, and Pat Patterson, Louisiana Tech
1980s All-Decade Team
Louisiana Tech and Texas-Arlington paced the squad with 10 student-athletes each on the team. Lamar had eight while McNeese State contributed five. Louisiana-Monroe added four selections while Arkansas State had two and Sam Houston State had one.
"Southland Conference baseball in the 1980s continued to be played at a very high level with Lamar and Louisiana Tech competing on the national level," Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett said. "As the membership transitioned later in the decade, you can see developing programs planting seeds for more success in the 1990s."
Lamar head coach Jim Gilligan and former Louisiana Tech coach Pat Patterson, the two coaches honored as the coaches of the decade in the 1970s, also are the co-coaches of the 1980s all-decade team.
Gilligan's success coaching his alma mater continued in the 1980s, when the Cardinals won three Southland championships in the decade (1981, 84, 85). He led the program to an NCAA Regional in all three years while 1985 squad fell one game short of advancing to the College World Series. During the 1980s, Gilligan coached a Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, three Southland Pitchers of the Year and 19 all-conference players. In the decade, his teams were 262-201 (.566) overall and 74-39 (.654) in league play.
Patterson also successfully led his alma mater's program in the 1980s, leading the Bulldogs to three Southland championships during the decade (1980, 86, 87), as well as the North Zone divisional crown in 1982. He earned four Southland Coach of the Year Honors in 1980, 1985, 1986 and 1987. His Bulldogs advanced to three NCAA Regionals in 1980, 1986 and 1987. During the decade, he coached five Southland Hitters of the Year, four Pitchers of the Year, and 26 first-team all-conference selections. His teams were 287-173 (.624) and 74-45 (.622) in Southland during the decade.
Among Gilligan's all-conference players, seven found their way to the all-decade team, led by Tony Mack, who won consecutive pitcher of the year awards in 1981 and 1982. Outfielder Jerald Clark was a two-time all-conference player from 1984-85 and was tabbed hitter of the year in 1984. Clark enjoyed a seven-year stint in the majors with the Padres, Rockies and Twins. Infielders Alan Marr (1980-81) and Kim Christensen (1980 and 1982) were selected to multiple all-conference teams while pitcher David Poss (1984 and 1987) collected multiple honors as well. Cardinal Keith Silver earned the 1984 Pitcher of the Year award while outfielder Beau Allred received all-conference recognition in 1987 and proceeded to play for the Cleveland Indians from 1989-91.
Eleven of Patterson's players during the 1980s find a home on the all-decade team, including two-time first-team all-conference selections Richie LeBlanc, the conference pitcher of the year in 1986 and 1987, and second baseman Charlie Montoyo, who was the hitter of the year in 1986 and 1987, earning all-conference honors those seasons. Additional two-time all-conference picks include first baseman Jay Adcock (1979-80), the 1980 Hitter of the Year; shortstop Jeff Richardson (1985 and 1986); outfielder Frank Colston (1985 and 1986); outfielder Doug Ortman (1984 and 86). First baseman David Segui, the 1987 newcomer of the year, earned all-conference honors in 1987. Segui played 15 years in Major League Baseball with eight different teams.
Another pair of Bulldogs to make the all-decade squad is Keith Thibodeaux, the 1980 Pitcher of the Year, and Jim Boehne, the 1985 Pitcher of the Year. The Bulldogs claimed the hitter of the year award five times in the decade, including the first three years. Following Thibodeaux's win in 1980, outfielder Dan Banas earned the award in 1981 and firstbaseman Tom Krupa earned the award in 1982.
Three other players on the all-decade team were three-time, first-team all-conference honorees, including Texas Arlington infielder Trey Hillman, who previously was manager of the Kansas City Royals and is currently the bench coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hillman earned all-conference honors from 1983-85 and is a member of the Southland Conference Hall of Honor. The other three-time all-conference selections are Arkansas State outfielder Tim Maloney (1981-83) and McNeese State shortstop Charlie Phillips (1987-89). Maloney was the 1983 Southland Hitter of the Year, while Hillman earned that honor in 1985.
Four other players on the all-decade team were named either the conference hitter, pitcher or player of the year, including Texas-Arlington pitchers Fred Wilburn and Steve Foster, who were pitchers of the year and all-conference selections in 1983 and 1988, respectively. Sam Houston State pitcher Kenneth Garza was the 1989 Pitcher of the Year, while McNeese State outfielder Jeff Gremillion was tabbed the 1989 Hitter and Player of the Year.
Additionally, Louisiana-Monroe pitcher Chuck Finley went on to play 16 years in the majors and is a 200-game winner with 2,600 strikeouts. Texas-Arlington outfielder Randy Thorpe, a two-time all-conference member, is the conference's career stolen base leader with 151.
The Southland Conference will continue to recognize all-decade teams in the coming days.
Southland Conference 1980s All-Decade Team (1980-89; 40 players)
Jay Adcock, Louisiana Tech - 1B - 1979, 1980 (1980 Hitter of the Year)
Beau Allred, Lamar - OF - 1987 (1989-91 MLB, Cleveland)
Dan Banas, Louisiana Tech - OF - 1981 (1981 Hitter of the Year)
Jim Boehne, Louisiana Tech - P/DH - 1985 (1985 Pitcher of the Year)
Steve Boulet, McNeese State - OF (1988 Newcomer of the Year)
Kim Christensen, Lamar - 3B - 1980, 1982
Jerald Clark, Lamar - OF - 1984, 1985 (1984 Hitter of the Year, 1988-95 MLB, San Diego, Colorado, Minnesota)
Frank Colston, Louisiana Tech - OF - 1985, 1986
Todd Cox, Texas-Arlington - OF - 1984 (1984 Batting Average Champion)
Chuck Finley, Louisiana-Monroe - P (1986-02 MLB, California, Cleveland, St. Louis; 200-Game Winner, Over 2,600 Strikeouts)
Steve Foster, Texas-Arlington - P - 1988 (1988 Pitcher of the Year)
Kenneth Garza, Sam Houston State - P - 1989 (1989 Pitcher of the Year)
Jeff Gremillion, McNeese State - OF - 1989 (1989 Hitter & Player of the Year)
Todd Hale, Texas-Arlington - 3B - 1983, 1984
Lawrence Hanlon, Texas-Arlington - SS - 1989, 1990 (1989 Newcomer of the Year)
Roger Hickernell, McNeese State - SS - 1982 (1982 Batting Average Champion)
Trey Hillman, Texas-Arlington - SS/2B - 1983, 1984, 1985 (1985 Hitter of the Year)
Tom Krupa, Louisiana Tech - 1B - 1982 (1982 Hitter of the Year)
Richie LeBlanc, Louisiana Tech - P - 1986, 1987 (1986 & 1987 Pitcher of the Year)
Tony Mack, Lamar - P - 1981, 1982 (1981 & 1982 Pitcher of the Year)
Tim Maloney, Arkansas State - OF - 1981, 1982, 1983 (1983 Hitter of the Year)
Charley Montoyo, Louisiana Tech - 2B - 1986, 1987 (1986 & 1987 Hitter of the Year)
Alan Marr, Lamar - 2B - 1980, 1981
Terry Matthews, Louisiana-Monroe - DH/P - 1987 (1991-99 MLB, Texas, Florida, Baltimore, Kansas City)
Doug Myers, Texas-Arlington - P - 1986 (1986 Newcomer of the Year)
Doug Ortman, Louisiana Tech - OF - 1984, 1986
Roger Piacenti, Texas-Arlington - OF - 1982, 1983
Charlie Phillips, McNeese State - SS - 1987, 1988, 1989
Rickey Poe, Arkansas State - OF - 1980 (1980 Batting Average Champion)
David Poss, Lamar - P - 1984, 1987
Jeff Richardson, Louisiana Tech - SS - 1985, 1986
David Segui, Louisiana Tech - 1B - 1987 (1987 Newcomer of the Year; 1990-04 MLB, eight teams)
Keith Silver, Lamar - P - 1984 (1984 Pitcher of the Year)
Joe Sims, Louisiana-Monroe - OF - 1985, 1986
Matt Skinner, Texas-Arlington - C - 1984, 1985
Chip Stratton, McNeese State - 1B - 1988 (1988 Player of the Year)
Keith Thibodeaux, Louisiana Tech - P - 1980 (1980 Pitcher of the Year)
Randy Thorpe, Texas-Arlington - OF - 1980, 1981 (SLC Career Stolen Bases Leader-151)
Frank Tornabenne, Louisiana-Monroe - OF - 1983, 1984
Fred Wilburn, Texas-Arlington - P - 1983 (1983 Pitcher of the Year)
Co-Coaches of the Decade: Jim Gilligan, Lamar, and Pat Patterson, Louisiana Tech
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech athletics at www.LATechSports.com.