A proven program builder and player developer, Tom Walter enters his ninth season in 2018 as the head coach of Wake Forest baseball. Walter signed a new seven-year contract in June which runs through 2024.
Walter is coming off a banner season in 2017, which includes Wake Forest hosting and sweeping the Winston-Salem Regional and finishing a game away from the College World Series, concluding the year with a 43-20 overall record. The Demon Deacons set program records in ACC wins (19), ACC series wins (eight), All-ACC honorees (nine) and home runs (106). The Deacs also set a new team-high with eight student-athletes drafted, including program records of two in the top 50 overall picks and four in the top seven rounds.
Wake Forest has earned back-to-back NCAA Regional bids after competing in the College Station Regional in 2016.
Walter has helped 26 players get drafted or sign pro contracts over the last six years & led the Demon Deacons to six straight winning seasons for the first time since Wake Forest posted seven straight from 1997-2003. Those pro Deacons are highlighted by big leaguers Mac Williamson (Giants) and Tim Cooney (Cardinals), and Will Craig, the 22nd overall pick in the first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016.
Walter is one of just two active head coaches in the country to lead three different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament, becoming just the seventh coach all-time to do so. He joins the ranks of Larry Cochell, Augie Garrido, Sunny Golloway, Andy Lopez, Ron Polk & Jack Stallings.
While at Wake Forest, Walter has overseen the development of 2016 National Player of the Year Will Craig, All-America selections Craig, Nate Mondou, Stuart Fairchild, Gavin Sheets and Ben Breazeale, as well as a total of 19 All-ACC selections. Wake Forest had nine All-ACC picks in 2017, a program record and most in the ACC.
To Walter and the coaching staff, development off the field is equally as important as on the field. All of the program's seniors have graduated on time for five consecutive years, and the team has raised more than $100,000 for various charities including the ALS Association, JDRF, and the Vs. Cancer Foundation. The team has had 100 percent roster participation in community service for eight straight years, and also took a service trip to the Dominican Republic in 2012. Walter also selflessly donated a kidney to outfielder Kevin Jordan just days before the 2011 season opener. Jordan was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease and needed a transplant. Without hesitation, Walter gave Jordan one of his own, and in turn, gave Jordan an opportunity at a new life.
Walter was named head baseball coach at Wake Forest on June 16, 2009. Wrapping up his 20th year as a head coach, Walter has amassed an overall record of 667-549. His 500th-career win came at home against Clemson (2-1) on May 18, 2012, while win number 600 also came against Clemson on March 11, 2016. With 239 wins at Wake Forest, he enters 2018 as the third-winningest coach in program history, trailing only George Greer (608 wins in 16 years) and Marvin Crater (269 wins in 12 years).
Prior to coming to Wake Forest, Walter spent five seasons at New Orleans, where he helped the Privateers to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008. New Orleans also boasted one of the best offenses in college baseball under Walter. The Privateers set school records for home runs in both 2007 and 2008 with 97 round-trippers in '08. In 2008, the team also set school records in hits (743), runs (581) and RBIs (524). The offense, which ranked in the top 10 nationally in eight offensive categories throughout the year, helped UNO record its most wins (43) since 1996.
Walter came to New Orleans after a successful eight-year coaching stint at George Washington, which included leading the Colonials to the 2002 NCAA Tournament and an appearance in the Winston-Salem regional, which was hosted by Wake Forest.
During his time at George Washington, 26 of Walter's players went on to play professionally. In 2002, six Colonials were taken in the MLB Draft, which marked the most players taken from the school in a single year.
While at GW, Walter also was the head coach for the Cotuit Kettlers of the Cape Cod Baseball League in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He led the Kettlers to the playoffs in '97. At Cotuit, Walter coached eight players who went on to the majors and 25 players who signed professional contracts. Included on some of his teams were big-leaguers Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Garrett Atkins.
Walter graduated from Georgetown in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in finance. He later went on to earn his MBA at George Washington in 1994, while serving as an assistant coach for the Colonials.