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http://www.conferenceusa.com/news/2019/6/16/baseball-base-utsa-names-hallmark-head-coach.aspx

SAN ANTONIO – One of the fastest rising young head coaches in college baseball, Pat Hallmark has been named UTSA’s new head coach, it was announced by Vice President/Athletics Director Dr. Lisa Campos on Sunday. 

Hallmark, the 2019 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, takes over at the helm of the UTSA baseball program after two record-breaking seasons as the head coach at UIW.

“I’m excited to be joining UTSA athletics,” Hallmark said. “I want to thank Dr. Lisa Campos and Dr. Taylor Eighmy for a dynamic vision for the future of the university and for an amazing opportunity to be a Roadrunner. The growth of the university and the potential for our baseball program is unlimited, and I am eager to get started.”

Hallmark previously established a reputation as one of the nation’s top coaching minds during stops as the pitching coach at Missouri (2017) and Rice (2006-16). He was named one of the top-50 head coaches to watch by Baseball America following the 2019 season. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Pat and Jada Hallmark, and their children Christian, Tanner, Grayson and Georgia, into the UTSA family,” Campos said. “Pat has quickly established himself as one of the top young head coaches in college baseball during his time at UIW, and previously as a well-respected assistant coach at Rice and Missouri. His energetic approach to building a well-rounded baseball program is infectious and will permeate throughout our community.”

A native of Houston and a former star catcher at Rice, Hallmark helped lead the Owls to NCAA Tournament appearances in each season at his alma mater, including three College World Series appearances and five regional championships. During his year at Missouri, Hallmark helped the Tigers to a 36-win season, including 14 victories in the rugged Southeastern Conference.

Hallmark starred at Rice for legendary coach Wayne Graham, where he was named all-conference in 1995 before the Kansas City Royals picked him in the MLB Draft. Hallmark played nine years in the minor leagues, advancing as high as triple-A with the Royals.

Over the last two seasons, Hallmark has developed a reputation as an energetic winner at UIW, totaling 66 wins after the Cardinals mustered just 33 over the previous two seasons before his arrival. In 2019, Hallmark directed the Cardinals to a school-record 37 victories to earn league coach of the year accolades, including 18 wins in conference.

Hallmark’s ability to build a quick winner is evident in the leap the Cardinals made in his second season in 2019. His first full recruiting class was built to have an immediate impact, highlighted by a pair of freshman All-America selections, including Southland Freshman of the Year catcher Taylor Smith and third baseman Anthony Valdez. This came after Hallmark brought in 2018 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year Ridge Rogers in his first season.

In 2019, the high-octane Cardinals led the conference in batting average (.305), slugging (.485), on-base percentage (.393), runs scored (397), hits (622), RBIs (365), doubles (127), triples (24) and home runs (64), while sporting the third-best team ERA (4.14) and the top fielding percentage (.977) in the circuit.

In 2018, the Cardinals posted a 29-26, 13-15 record, marking the most overall and conference wins since UIW moved into Division I and the Southland.

The 2018 club posted a league-leading .292 batting average and a conference-best .395 on-base percentage. UIW also had 557 hits, a mark which ranked second in the conference following the regular season. The team also ranked second in runs scored (351), sacrifice flies (30) and stolen bases (70).

Rogers, who hit .350, was named the 2018 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year. He also received honorable mention honors and was later named Freshman All-American by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the first DI Freshman All-America honoree in UIW history.

While at Missouri, Hallmark directed the pitching staff of first-year head coach Steve Bieser, who has helped turn the Tigers into a competitive contender in the SEC Eastern Division. The Tigers, sporting a 3.67 team ERA, placed four pitchers among the top-25 ERAs in the SEC.

Prior to his time with the Tigers, Hallmark spent 11 seasons with Rice. In addition to reaching NCAA Regional play in all 11 seasons, Rice made three trips to the College World Series (2006-2008) with five Super Regional appearances.

Hallmark transitioned to the Owls pitching coach role prior to the 2013 season – after coaching hitters, catchers and outfielders for his first eight years. Rice saw immediate success under his guidance, with his Owls setting a Rice single-season record with 12 shutouts, ranking second in the NCAA.

In 2014, Rice finished 13th in the NCAA with a new school record for ERA (2.56). The Owls were also 20th in the nation in both fewest hits allowed per game (7.7) and WHIP (1.19). Rice pitchers registered 18 saves while also finishing with the program’s fewest walks since the mid-1980s (192 walks in 573.1 inn., 3.0 per game). He mentored lefty Blake Fox to consensus All-America honors and 2014 Conference USA Pitcher of the Year accolades.

In 2015, Rice pitching finished 12th in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings (8.8) and registered the fifth-highest single-season saves total in school history (18) while also finishing among the NCAA’s top teams for ERA (3.16), hits allowed per 9.0 innings (8.2) and WHIP (1.27). A total of five Rice pitchers were selected in the 2015 Major League Draft.

Hallmark was a successful player, earning All-Southwest Conference honors in 1995 while guiding Rice to its first 40-win season in 11 years. He played nine years of professional baseball after being drafted in the 18th round by the Royals in 1995. He saw action in two minor league all-star games and was part of three consecutive minor league champion teams from 1997-99.

A Houston native, Hallmark was a two-time all-district honoree in baseball in 1991 and 1992 at Westbury High School. He went on to earn all-conference honors at Alvin Community College in 1993 and 1994, and was named to the All-Southwest Conference team in 1995.

Hallmark is married to the former Jada Sanders of Kingwood, Texas, a 2001 Rice graduate and four-year letterwinner, who set school records for the Owls’ swim team. The couple has four children, Christian, Tanner, Grayson and Georgia.

What They’re Saying About Hallmark

“Hallmark was a joy to be around during my career. He was very relatable to us players, not just with baseball but as we were growing as men. I didn’t realize it until I got older but to have that kind of relationship with coaches when you are 18-19 years old and being away from home for the first time, is something special.”
– Washington Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon, who played at Rice for Hallmark

“It’s remarkable that someone who is so perfectly qualified for the job, like Pat, would be right there in town. He’s a San Antonio person. His high school education is Texas. He is perfect for that job. UTSA has a bright future with him at the helm.

“He is very competitive and that is a great thing in a leader and coach. He was always a high-energy guy. He throws himself into the job completely. He has all the skills. He’s always wanted to be a head coach and he’s evolved quite well over time because that was his drive. He has a clear purpose and didn’t let anything deter him from his purpose. Some people have doubts about what their purpose is but he never had any doubt that this is what he wanted to do.”

“(As a player) Pat came to me from Alvin Junior College. We needed a catcher badly and he had done a little bit of everything. We put him behind the plate and that is the first year we went to a regional. That’s the year we eliminated LSU in Baton Rouge with Pat as our catcher. He showed leadership and I always thought – in particularly after he started coaching with me – that he’d be a great leader and he obviously is.”
– Wayne Graham, legendary Rice Head Coach and College Baseball Hall of Famer

“Pat is a tremendous hire. He is a proven winner with a fantastic baseball mind. He has a great ability to get the most out of his players, and they enjoy playing for him. Pat and his wonderful family will be a great addition to UTSA.”
– Missouri Head Coach Steve Bieser

“Pat Hallmark has a long track record of success at Rice, Missouri and UIW. He’s coached some big talents along the way, proving his ability both as a talent evaluator and developer. His quick turnaround at UIW has been especially impressive, taking a program that only recently moved up to Division I and making it into a contender in the Southland. All those qualities should play well as he takes over at UTSA.”
Baseball America National Writer Teddy Cahill

“Pat Hallmark is an excellent hire for UTSA. Pat earned a very good reputation as an assistant during his time at Rice, and also made an immediate impact at Missouri before returning to UIW. Hallmark made huge waves during his stint at UIW as well, taking that program to another level. Pat has a great pedigree and is a strong hire for the Roadrunners.”
D1baseball.com Editor Kendall Rogers

HALLMARK FILE

Coaching Career
2005: St. Thomas High School (head coach)
2006-16: Rice (assistant coach; pitching coach 2013-16)
2017: Missouri (assistant coach)
2018-19: Incarnate Word (head coach)
2020: UTSA (head coach)

Playing Career
1991-92: Westbury High School
1993-94: Alvin Community College
1995: Rice
1996-2002: Kansas City Royals MiLB
2003: San Francisco Giants MiLB

Personal
Born: Houston, Texas
Wife: Jada Sanders Hallmark
Children: Christian, Tanner, Grayson, Georgia

Honors
2019 Southland Conference Coach of the Year