FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Stan Phelps and Wes Davis, assistant coaches for The University of Texas at Tyler baseball team, were named the coaches of the year in their respective minor leagues following the completion of the 2008 season.
Phelps, who served as head coach of the East Texas Pump Jacks, earned the honor in the Texas Collegiate League, while Davis picked-up the nod in the Coastal Plain League for his work as head coach with the Florence RedWolves.
“We are extremely proud of Stan and Wes,” said UT Tyler head coach James Vilade. “Both of them have an extraordinary amount of knowledge and ability. As assistants, they have made a big impact on our program at UT Tyler and it is good to see that they are being recognized for their work as head coaches during the summer.”
Phelps guided the Pump Jacks to a 22-26 record and a third place finish in the team’s inaugural season. Although East Texas finished five games out of first place in the TCL, the work done by Phelps already is viewed as a tremendous success, considering the time crunch he was under. The other three teams in the league began recruiting players last September, shortly after the 2007 season ended. They also had the benefit of inviting back players from last year’s squads.
In contrast, the Pump Jacks landed in East Texas in mid-January, and Phelps wasn’t named to his first head coaching position until early February. Despite the short recruiting period, and while also serving in his year-round position as pitching coach at UT Tyler, Phelps assembled a competitive roster that was as good as any in the league. With the assistance of coaches Brad Stevens and Hart Hering, Phelps continued to improve the team with timely acquisitions, hopefully setting the stage for a lengthy playoff run.
Under the leadership of Davis, the RedWolves finished second in wins on the entire season with 37 and made it to the championship game of the 2008 CPL Petitt Cup Tournament. In the Petitt Cup, Florence made it to the last game through the winner’s bracket, but the third-seeded RedWolves fell to the top-seeded Thomasville HiToms, 7-4.
Davis also guided Florence to the South Division first-half championship, in which the RedWolves recorded 20 wins. The 20 wins was a new franchise record for Florence. Furthermore, the 37 wins on the season was a new franchise record as well, surpassing the old record of 33 in 2005. For his success in the first half of the CPL season, Davis was selected as the head coach of the 2008 American CPL All-Star Team.
The RedWolves were one of the more balanced teams in the CPL, leading the league in lowest team ERA (2.97), while also finishing third in team batting average (.268). Florence also recorded some team numbers that ranked in the Top 10 in CPL history. The team collected 86 doubles was good enough for ninth place in the record books, while their 13 triples tied them for fifth place in that category. The RedWolves also recorded the ninth most RBIs (259) and tied for tenth in total bases (665). Florence also finished ninth in most regular season wins (34).
With the assistance of Phelps and Davis, UT Tyler won the 2008 American Southwest Conference East Division championship and advanced to the ASC Championship Tournament. The Patriots were 36-9 on the season and narrowly missed an at-large bid to the NCAA regionals.