James Vilade, athletic director and head baseball coach at The University of Texas at Tyler, has announced his resignation effective in early June.
Vilade, who has served as the University's first head baseball coach since 2003 and as athletic director since July of 2008, is leaving UT Tyler to accept a position as vice president with the Premier Baseball Academy in Plano and to serve as an associate scout with the Florida Marlins.
"Simply put, this is an opportunity that my family and I could not pass up," Vilade said. "To leave a place that I love so much was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. In the end, the opportunity to spend more time with my family, and to be closer to our family in Dallas, was something I could not pass up."
Currently among the winningest active coaches in NCAA baseball, Vilade implemented the nationally-recognized baseball program at UT Tyler. Under his direction, the Patriots have amassed a 201-58 record. Overall, Vilade is 319-110 as a head coach including his time at the University of Dallas.
With Vilade at the helm, the Patriots have won four ASC East championships in the last five years, finished in the top three in the league standings every year, and posted three consecutive 35-win seasons. In 2009, Vilade guided UT Tyler to its most wins in program history at 39-12 overall, first-ever American Southwest Conference championship and first trip to the NCAA Regionals. Including his time at UD, Vilade has won seven ASC regular season championships.
"The University of Texas at Tyler is losing one of its most successful coaches and administrators. James has been an integral part of the development of UT Tyler's athletic program since his arrival," Howard Patterson, Vice President for Student Affairs said. "As a coach he has created, from the ground floor, a nationally competitive baseball program in only a few years - the second time he has done this (Univ. of Dallas). He has a tremendous gift for developing talent and will be greatly missed in the Tyler area as a coach and teacher of the game of baseball at all age levels."
During the summers of 2007 and 2008, Vilade was hired by the Texas Rangers to serve as the hitting instructor for the Frisco Roughriders, the Rangers' AA affiliate. The Roughriders qualified for the Texas League Playoffs each summer Vilade was a part of the organization, and were named the Minor League Team of the Year at the conclusion of the 2008 season.
A total of 91 of his former players have been selected to All-Conference teams, 59 have been named All-Academic and 16 have been named to an All-American team. In addition, Vilade has helped 26 former ballplayers sign professional contracts since 1998, including eight into the MLB Draft.
As athletic director, Vilade oversaw the 15 intercollegiate athletics programs at UT Tyler. During his tenure, the Patriots have won eight American Southwest Conference championships, three divisional championships, and made nine appearances in the NCAA Championships.
"James took over the helm as athletics director 18 months ago and has done a tremendous job elevating the stature of the entire program," Patterson said. "He has made some excellent hires and provided focused leadership as UT Tyler's young athletic program continues to take shape and gain national attention."
Very active in community affairs, Vilade founded the "Sports Cards for Kids" program in East Texas. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of East Texas and Food Fast Children's Charities. He and his players have participated in numerous charities and activities, including the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, East Texas Food Bank, KLTV Gift of Love, American Heart Walk, and working with children's wing at Trinity Mother Francis Hospital. Vilade is a recipient of the Gold Volunteer Service award from the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.
Vilade, a graduate of Baylor University and the United States Sports Academy, was honored by the USSA as its 2010 Alumnus of the Year.
Patterson continued, "Coach Vilade was a tremendous advocate of UT Tyler's outstanding academic reputation and of UT Tyler Patriot athletics. James will be greatly missed, as a professional, volunteer, and friend."
The University will begin a search for Vilade's replacement in mid-March.
"I would sincerely like to thank three outstanding leaders - President Rod Mabry, Vice President Howard Patterson, and former Vice President Dale Lunsford - for giving me the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start the baseball program at UT Tyler and to serve as athletic director," Vilade said. "I would also like to thank our current and former baseball coaching staff, including Jack Price, Brad Stevens, Wes Davis, Chris Goss, Josh Dickerson, Paige Hodges, and Kyle Welsh, and especially Stan Phelps who has been a part of our baseball program since day one."
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The Dallas Patriots and Premier Baseball Academy are extremely excited about the hiring of James Vilade as the Vice President of Business and Player Development. Coach Vilade brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program, but most importantly, he brings the values and moral standards the Dallas Patriots and Premier Baseball Academy stand for. His is a man of faith, and the spiritual leader of his household, and will bring incredible value to the players and families involved with our program. We are honored to have the Vilade family as the newest addition to the Dallas Patriots and Premier Baseball Academy family!
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