Wake Forest head baseball coach Tom Walter has signed a contract extension through the 2024 season, Ron Wellman announced.
Multiple Wake Forest draft records were set on the final day of the 2017 MLB Draft on Wednesday.
David F. Couch Ballpark will serve as one of 16 hosts during the opening weekend of NCAA Baseball Championship action next weekend.
Keegan Maronpot homered twice, including a grand slam, as the Deacs wrapped up the regular season by clinching a program-record eighth ACC series.
Wake Forest hit five doubles in an 11-run third inning, as the Deacs clinched the series, two games to one.
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The fourth-ranked Gators edged the eight-ranked Demon Deacons with an 11th-inning walk-off single.
The Demon Deacons play West Virginia in the regional final Sunday night.
The Demon Deacons open the 2017 NCAA Regional vs. UMBC
The Demon Deacons battled back from a 4-1 ninth-inning deficit to beat the Yellow Jackets at the ACC Baseball Championship.
The Demon Deacons racked up 18 hits, defeating UNCG by a 15-8 margin.
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 and 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 and 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.
Walter also has experience working with USA Baseball, spending time in the summer of 2016 as a manager of the Stars team at the 17U National Team Development Program.
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.
Also an accomplished fundraiser for his program, the recently-named David F. Couch Ballpark has undergone significant construction projects in six of Walter's seven seasons, including the construction of a $14 million player development center in 2016. Previous renovations include a state-of-the-art weight room facility (2015), all-black chairback seating (2013), an 18' x 24' LED video board (2012), AstroTurf and a manual scoreboard (2011) and an indoor hitting facility (2010).
In addition to Williamson and Cooney reaching the Major Leagues, active professional players Walter coached at Wake Forest include Michael Dimock (AAA), Brian Holmes (AAA), Will Craig (A), Parker Dunshee (A) Stuart Fairchild (A), Aaron Fossas (A), Connor Kaden (A), Nate Mondou (A), Joe Napolitano (A), Jonathan Pryor (A), Donnie Sellers (A), Gavin Sheets (A) and Connor Johnstone (rookie). 2017 draftee Griffin Roberts elected to return to Wake Forest for the 2018 season. A program-record eight Demon Deacons were selected in the 2017 MLB Draft, including records of two selected in the top 50 and four in the top seven rounds.
In the 2017 postseason, Wake Forest took down UMBC once and West Virginia twice to sweep the Winston-Salem Regional. In the Gainesville Super Regional against the eventual national champion Florida Gators, Wake Forest and Florida split back-to-back extra inning games before the Gators claimed the winner-take-all Game 3.
Competitive highlights in recent years include the program's first-ever series win at Miami in 2017, a three-game sweep over top-15 North Carolina and series win over No. 4 Florida State in 2016, Wake Forest's first-ever series win at Clemson in 2015, and a series victory over top-ranked and eventual NCAA runner-up Virginia in 2014.
Following the 2012 season, Wake Forest set a then-school record with six players drafted in the MLB First Year Player Draft, led by Mac Williamson and Tim Cooney in the third round.
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.
The Privateers recorded their second-consecutive trip to the postseason in 2008, becoming the only school in Louisiana to achieve back-to-back postseason bids in 2007 and 2008 and one of only 37 teams in the country to accomplish the feat. UNO finished the 2007 season with a 38-26 record, which included the school's first Sun Belt Tournament Championship since 1979. The Privateers knocked off regional-host Wichita State in the first game of the 2007 NCAA Regional. New Orleans combined to win 81 games in 2007 and 2008 and had 13 players sign professional contracts over the two seasons.
In 2006, Walter was able to guide the Privateers to a 30-28 record, despite having to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Walter re-located the team to Las Cruces, New Mexico for the fall semester. The team then moved to Mobile, Alabama, for the month of January and Westwego, Louisiana, for the months of February and March. The team finally returned to campus on March 21, 2006. Walter's players also had success in the classroom as all but one of his student-athletes who spent all four years at UNO graduated.
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.
Walter averaged 39 wins a season at GW and is the school's all-time wins leader with a 273-181 record. In the five seasons prior to Walter's arrival, the Colonials averaged 21.5 wins a year.
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 also was a head coach of the New Market (Va.) Rebels during the summer of 1994, where he led the team to the Shenandoah Valley League title.
Before going to GW, Walter spent two years as an assistant general manager with the Greensboro Bats. He performed various duties for the then-New York Yankees Class A affiliate.
Walter played his college baseball at Georgetown University and started all four seasons either behind the plate or in the outfield. He served as team captain in 1990 and 1991 and was named to the 1991 Big East Conference All-Academic Team.
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.
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