NEW YORK - VMI alumnus Tom Slater '90 has been named the assistant hitting coach for the New York Mets, according to information released by the team on Wednesday. It is the first major league coaching job for the former Keydet head coach and multi-year letterwinner, and he will be the first VMI alumnus to ever coach at the major league level.
Slater, a four-year letterwinner for the Keydets at third base, was the head coach for his alma mater from 2001-2003. That included a 25-win 2003 season that was then the most victories in school history. Slater also spent 10 years as a collegiate assistant coach, including two seasons at VMI (1993-94) and six years at Auburn (1995-2000).
Slater spent four seasons as the head coach at Auburn before entering the professional ranks in 2009 as the manager of the Gulf Coast League Yankees. He worked there for two seasons before moving up to the New York-Penn League, where he skippered the Staten Island Yankees to a title in 2011.
Slater then worked in various coaching jobs throughout the Yankee organization for several years, including time as the team's roving minor-league hitting instructor and two seasons with the Double-A Trenton Thunder, before being hired by the Mets on Wednesday.
The Mets - and their new-look coaching staff, including Slater - will open their 2018 season on March 29 when they play host to the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field.