Tom Griffin will enter his eighth season as head baseball
coach at Carson-Newman in 2012-2013.
In his seven years at Mossy Creek, the New Jersey-native has looked right at home as the head coach of the Eagles. He has compiled an overall record of 220-153 and a conference record of 94-67 during his seven years at Carson Newman.
Griffin's hard work and perseverance landed him in Jefferson City for a third stint, this time as the lead Eagle.
"This is a dream come true," Griffin said. "Carson-Newman has changed my life. To work here as the head coach is exactly how I want to lead young men, both on and off the field. I want our student-athletes to develop not just on the baseball field, but I want them to grow spiritually, to become good leaders in the community and in all aspects of their lives."
In his first season at Mossy Creek, Griffin led the Eagles to a 35-20 record and a 15-6 mark in the South Atlantic Conference. The success followed in 2007, as he coached the Eagles to a 36-20 mark, a South Atlantic Conference Tournament title, and a berth in the NCAA Division II South regional tournament.
The Eagles grabbed their first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years with an incredible run to the SAC Tournament title. C-N won three games on "Championship Sunday," including 12-inning thriller over rival-Tusculum in the championship game to earn the SAC's automatic NCAA bid.
In 2008, the Eagles finished with a 43-18 mark, setting the school record for wins in a season. C-N earned its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II South Regional Tournament, beating Stillman and Tusculum. The Eagles finished the season ranked #27 in the Ping Baseball Poll and #29 by Collegiate Baseball.
During the 2009 season, Coach Griffin won his 300th game in the second game of the season, beating Augusta State. The Eagles finished the regular season at 24-21. The Eagles were ranked as high as #12 in the Collegiate Baseball poll during the season.
In 2010, the Eagles finished 31-18 overall and 15-9 in
conference play, earning another trip to the conference
tournament. The Eagles would rank as high as #28 during the
season in the Collegiate Baseball Poll. This past
year, the Eagles finished at 28-26 and earned a trip to the
conference tournament, where they would finish 2-2. Kyle
Koeneman was selected the Player of the Year in the conference and
earned first team All-American honors. Griffin earned his
400th win on April 19th against Catawba College.
Griffin had been an assistant with the Eagles on two different occasions, serving from 1998-2001, and then again from 2003-2005.
In his first stint, Griffin worked with the catchers, infielders and outfielders and was an assistant coach on the 1999 team that won the SAC title and advanced to the NCAA Division II World Series.
At Carson-Newman, he has coached and recruited 52 All-SAC players, five SAC Player of the Years, 24 All-South Region selections, and six NCAA Division II All-Americans. He has also coached 19 players who have gone on to play professional baseball. One of his former players, Steve Cishek, just finished his second year in Major League Baseball with the Florida Marlins. Steve is only the second former Eagle to play in the big leagues.
Griffin has also authored an instructional catching baseball video, "Catch It, Block It, Throw It." A regular instructional speaker at various coaching clinics and camps, he has been the featured speaker at the American Baseball Coaches Association convention in Orlando, Florida in 2007 and Anaheim, California in 2012.
In 2002, Griffin took over the reins of the Morristown East High School baseball program, completely turning around the Hurricanes program. He led East to a 24-16 overall record and the district championship. For his efforts, Griffin was named the Northeast Tennessee Coach of the Year. He returned to the Eagles program in 2003 where he helped coach the Eagles to another SAC championship and a 31-21 record, serving as the recruiting coordinator, hitting coach, and coaching the infielders and catchers.
Prior to his arrival at Carson-Newman, Griffin was the head coach at Tusculum College where he compiled a 184-178-1 record.
Under his guidance, the Pioneers earned four straight trips to the NAIA District 24 Tournament, capturing the 1995 TVAC Tournament title and making their first-ever regional tournament appearance at the 1995 NAIA Mid-South Regional.
Griffin also led Tusculum to a school-record 34 wins in that same season. He coached 21 All-Conference selections, two Player of the Year selections, and two All- Americans.
After seven seasons at Carson-Newman, Griffin has now compiled a 403-331-1 career overall record.
A native of Roxbury, New Jersey, Griffin was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Tennessee Wesleyan, in 1989. Griffin was a four-year starting catcher for the TWC Bulldogs and was a three-time All-TVAC selection and a member of the All-District team in 1988. He was named Most Valuable Player after his Junior and Senior years and Best Defensive Player following his Freshman and Sophomore years. In October 2012, Griffin was named to the Tennessee Wesleyan Sports Hall of Fame. He earned a B.S. degree in Health and Physical Education from TWC in 1988 and completed his M.S. degree in Education from Tusculum in 2005. Griffin, 47, and his wife Christy are the parents of three girls, twins Carlin and Cori (11) and Delaney (8).
Griffin is the sixth head coach in the modern era of Eagles baseball (1924-present). The program is rich in history. The Eagles have won five SAC regular-season titles (1991, 1993, 1999, 2002 and 2003) and four SAC Tournament titles (1992, 1993, 1997, 2007). C-N has advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times (1999, 2002, 2007, 2008) and has played in three World Series (1965, 1993, 1999).
C-N claimed the 1965 NAIA National Championship, the school's first national title of any kind.