Jonathan Hadra ’04, head VMI baseball coach, announced several changes to the Keydet coaching in December for the upcoming 2021 season, with two internal promotions and one new hire.
Sam Roberts ’11 was promoted to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. Roberts has been a Keydet assistant since the 2016 season after an outstanding career on the diamond. Roberts, VMI’s all-time hits leader, ranks in the program’s top three in nine career categories and leads in walks, at-bats, runs scored, and games played. Roberts was drafted by Oakland following the 2011 season and spent five seasons in the A’s system.
“Sam has been on staff for the last four seasons and has brought a wealth of knowledge and value to the VMI baseball program,” said Hadra. “He is a fantastic communicator [who] has the long-term development of each player as his main focus. He works extremely hard on the recruiting trail, identifying the right type of players and establishing the relationships that are necessary to continue to move our program forward. Sam has earned this much deserved promotion through his consistent hard work, and I am excited to see the continued impact he will have on our cadet-athletes.”
Ray Noe was hired as assistant coach after one season in Lexington as a volunteer assistant. He was a coach at the IMG Baseball Academy in Bradenton, Florida, before joining the VMI staff. Noe served as the head varsity coach at Pickerington High School Central (Ohio) from 2015-18, compiling a record of 52-32 overall and 26-17 in league play. Noe graduated from Wittenberg University in May 2011 and was a four-year starter on the Tigers baseball team, serving as the team captain as a junior and senior. As a senior, Noe earned first-team all-conference honors and second-team all-state accolades.
“I am excited to extend this opportunity to Ray as a full-time assistant coach,” Hadra said. “Ray has sacrificed much to pursue his dream of coaching baseball at the collegiate level and he has earned this next professional opportunity. When he came onto campus, almost a year and a half ago, he instantly connected with the guys and brought a positive energy to a young team that is so important while going through the VMI Rat Line. Ray has taken over the primary responsibilities of organizing the development of our hitters, outfielders, and baserunners. He will also play a vital role on the recruiting trail, bringing in quality cadet athletes that will represent VMI in a first-class manner and put our program in a position to compete for SoCon Championship.”
Tyler Cox, a former assistant at nearby Southern Virginia University, was hired as an assistant coach. Cox played during the 2010-13 seasons and helped win more games (87) in program history while helping the Knights to postseason appearances each year. In his four years, Cox set all-time records such as second in career games started (130), third in RBI (110), total bases (211), and hits (149). Cox played professionally for the Santa Fe Fuego in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and helped them to a Pecos League championship and Northern Division title during summer 2014. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management and leadership from Southern Virginia University in May 2014.
“Tyler comes to us from SVU, where he was an assistant coach since fall 2013. Tyler will be primarily responsible for the development of our catchers as well as managing and coordinating the efforts of our camps. Tyler brings a blue-collar type work ethic to the program and I believe our players, coaches, and especially our catchers, will immediately reap the benefits to having him on staff,” Hadra said.
This article was first published at vmikeydets.com.