Yesterday, ABCA and Baseball America announced that Oklahoma State assistant coach and pitching coach Rob Walton had been named the 2016 ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year.
This past year, Walton and his pitching staff helped the Cowboys’ return to the College World Series in Omaha for the first time since 1999. Since Walton has become a coach at OSU in 2012, the Cowboys have had multiple impressive seasons. The Cowboys have been to the NCAA tournament the last four years of Walton’s tenure.
In Walton’s time at OSU, the Cowboys have won the Big 12 Conference Championship, appeared in four NCAA Regionals, advanced to two NCAA Super Regionals, and secured a College World Series berth this past year.
This year’s pitching staff was highlighted by Chicago Cubs’ third round draft pick Thomas Hatch. Under the direction of Walton, the Cowboys’ pitching staff pitched 10 shutouts, 574 strikeouts and 21 saves, all of which ranked as the second-highest totals in program history.
Walton, a former OSU standout, came back to coach at his alma mater after 14 years as coach at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. In nine years of being the ORU head coach, Walton accumulated a 367-187 record, and was named the Summit League Coach of the Year five times. Walton led the Golden Eagles to the NCAA playoffs in each of his nine seasons as head coach.
This year was no fluke for Walton. In his time at OSU, the Cowboys can boast about their 16 All-Big 12 pitchers, three first-team All-Americans, two Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honorees and a first-round Major League Baseball Draft pick.
From all of us here at CRFF, congratulations Coach Walton! Keep up the good work!