BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (SAMFORD ATHLETICS) – Samford University has named Tony David, a longtime associate head coach with the program, as its new head baseball coach, Director of Athletics Martin Newton announced Wednesday.
David replaces former head coach Casey Dunn, who accepted the same position at UAB recently.
“When thinking of the monumental task of replacing Casey as our head baseball coach, the one phrase that kept popping in my head was, ‘earned not given,’” Newton said. “That is exactly what Tony David has done. He has earned the right with his loyalty, dedication and hard work to become the next head coach of our baseball program.”
David served on the Samford staff for the past 17 seasons, including the last 16 as associate head coach. David also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator from 2005 to 2017.
“Tony has played an integral role the last 17 seasons in building Samford baseball in to the successful program it is today and I’m proud and happy for him and his family that he will be our next coach to continue and grow upon that success,” Newton said. “He has a great love and understanding of the Christian mission of our university, our student-athletes and the Birmingham community, and the respect of our baseball alums, current student-athletes and staff.”
“I want to thank President Beck Taylor, Martin Newton, Bo Kerr and other members of the Samford leadership for this tremendous opportunity as well as the speed in which this transition is happening,” David said. “I fell in love with Samford University a long time ago and it has only intensified yearly. The relationships, staff and alumni…there is just no place like Samford. Our guys will continue to perform at a high level on the field, in the classroom and community as we continue with the main charge of Samford’s mission for all students.”
“There’s not a strong enough word to describe how excited my family and I are about this moment,” David said. “We have made the decision over the years to stay here, hoping for this. I have had the wonderful opportunity to play a role in what we have built here over the years, and our staff will keep it moving forward.”
David has been extremely instrumental in the school-record 533 wins amassed during the past 17 seasons. The Bulldogs posted 13 30-win seasons during that span, including the only two 40-win seasons in program history. David also helped the program to the 2006 Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title, as well as the 2012, 2018 and 2021 Southern Conference Tournament championships and 2019 SoCon regular-season title.
“The majority of our approach will remain the same,” David said. “There is a reason we have continued to win at a high level. We have developed a process for player development, day-to-day and year-to-year. That will continue. But at my core, I am a baseball disciple of Coach Steve Kittrell, who I played for in college and is the most important person in my athletic life. We will continue to hit the ball over the fence but we will incorporate other aspects of the game to help put runs on the board.”
In addition to David’s promotion, pitching coach Tyler Shrout will be promoted to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, and volunteer assistant Brad Moss will be elevated to a full-time assistant coach.
“One of our keys to consistent success over the years has been staff continuity,” David said. “Keeping most of the staff here after winning multiple championships in a row is huge. Tyler Shrout is incredibly detailed and organized. Does an unmatched job at coaching the entire staff and developing pitchers. Brad Moss is a tireless worker and will continue in his role of coaching our hitters and catchers as he has the last couple of years. These guys deciding to stay on here is a jump start to the next phase for our program. They are both great coaches, fathers, and men.”
In the recently completed 2021 season, Samford captured its third SoCon Tournament title, earning its third NCAA Tournament bid. The team posted a 35-24 overall record, including a 20-10 mark in SoCon play. Included in the 35 wins were 15 victories in one or two-run games.
David has been on the coaching staff for the most successful seasons in program history, as the team has averaged 35 wins in each fully completed season since 2012 (excluding the COVID-shortened 2020 season).
Overall, in his coaching career at all levels, David has coached four future major leaguers in Jake Peavy, Adam Lind, P.J. Walters and former Samford Bulldog Phillip Ervin, as well as 46 players who were drafted and/or signed contracts with major league baseball teams.
In all, Samford has seen 28 players drafted during David’s time with the program, and David has played an integral role in the recruitment and development of that talent.
David spent the 2004 season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, South Alabama. He helped lead the Jaguars to a share of their fourth-consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship. While assisting with infield instruction and overseeing the outfield, David managed an outfield that would produce two major league draft picks (Adam Lind – third round and Kevin Williams – 30th round).
Before returning to South Alabama, David spent six seasons as the head coach at Bayside Academy in Daphne, Ala. David was hired in 1998 to start the program from scratch and watched it grow from nine players the first season to well over 40 in his last. He established a consistent winner, never suffered a losing season and finished with an overall record of 91-64.
In the summer of 1996, David was the head coach of the high school summer select team in the NABF for the Mobile Bears Baseball team, leading the team to a 55-5 record and runner-up finish at the NABF World Series.
David played at South Alabama in 1994 and 1995, helping lead the team to the 1994 Sun Belt Conference regular season championship. As a senior in 1995, David received the Eddie Stanky Award on a team that was ranked as high as 13th in the nation. South Alabama finished the year with an NCAA Regional appearance at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla.
In his two-year playing career with South Alabama, the Jaguars compiled an impressive 73-42 overall record.
David talked about his coaching influences and what he sees for the future of the Samford baseball program.
“Working directly with and under Coach Dunn for this long has been impactful,” David said. “All the way back to my high school head coach Greg Williams, I have always tried to learn from the quality coaches I have worked with. But I am a Division I college baseball coach and now head coach because of Coach Steve Kittrell. We will carry on the Samford way for sure, but there will be a lot of Coach Kittrell flowing through here as well.
“I can’t thank Coach Dunn enough for bringing me here in the beginning of the building process at Samford and his loyalty ever since,” David said. ”I’m obviously grateful to Martin Newton, but also grateful to our former athletic director Bob Roller who was instrumental in our staying here in the early years and has been a great mentor for me since.”
David is married to the former Bethany Snodgrass, a South Alabama graduate. The couple has two daughters, Peyton Elizabeth and Addison Nicole, as well as a son, Tyler Samuel.
THE DAVID FILE
2021-Present, Head Coach, Samford University
2017-21, Associate Head Coach, Samford University
2006-17, Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Samford University
2005, Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Samford University
2004, Assistant Coach, South Alabama
1998-2003, Head Coach, Bayside Academy High School
1997, Assistant Coach, Citronelle High School
1996, Head Coach, Mobile Bears Summer Team
1994-95, Division I Baseball Player, South Alabama