LEXINGTON, Va. - Sam Roberts has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach position, according to information announced by VMI head baseball coach Jonathan Hadra Tuesday afternoon. Roberts will become the VMI pitching coach, replacing Travis Beazley, who left to accept an associate head coach position at Lynchburg College in early June.
Roberts receives the promotion after spending the 2017 season as the Keydets' volunteer assistant, during which he aided in all aspects of the program. Roberts, VMI's all-time hits leader, ranks in the program's top-three in nine career categories, and leads in hits, walks, at-bats, runs scored and games played. He was also a regular on the mound, both in starting and relief roles.
“We could not be more excited about the opportunity to promote Sam into our pitching coach position," said Coach Hadra. "His tremendous amount of knowledge and feel for the game made this a very easy decision. Our cadet-athletes will continue to be impacted in a positive way because of his tremendous passion for this game and this job. He will also immediately connect with recruits and parents because of his own experiences he had while he was being recruited and while playing at VMI. Sam has always had a tremendous work ethic which will only help develop and recruit the type of players that we will need to compete at the championship level.”
Roberts was drafted by Oakland following the 2011 season and spent five seasons in the A's system, reaching high-A in the 2015 season. Following the 2013 season, Roberts transitioned full-time to the mound and spent his final two professional seasons in that role. He went 5-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 72 relief outings as a pro and retired following spring training, 2016.
"I am honored to be given this promotion and would like to thank Coach Hadra for having the confidence in me," said Roberts. "Also, I would like to thank Coach Beazley and Coach Dykes for their help and guidance during my first year coaching collegiate baseball. I am extremely excited about this opportunity and look forward to continuing in the tradition of producing top-notch young men academically, militarily, and athletically."
A search for VMI's newest volunteer assistant coach is currently underway.