The Athletic Department at Southwestern Assemblies of God University has announced the hiring of Sam Blackmon as the new head coach of the baseball program.

He brings a notable resume of building and managing high school and college teams known for their integrity.

“Finding an individual to take over a baseball program that has struggled to be competitive in the Red River Athletic Conference and now finds itself headed into the Sooner Athletic Conference was a daunting task,” SAGU athletic director Jesse Godding said. “Our goals were to find an individual who could stand up to the task ahead, provide mature, proven baseball leadership, and has demonstrated spiritual guidance for players in previous coaching experiences.”

Godding thinks he found his man.

“I would say that coach Blackmon unquestionably embodies those characteristics. Throw in his coaching record and his administrative abilities,” Godding said.“I believe that SAGU baseball is in the right hands and will grow under coach Blackmon’s tutelage and leadership.”

The Lions, who have not finished better than .500 in a decade, will have a young core of committed players returning this year. Godding expressed his confidence in the newly hired Blackmon.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Godding said. “We have a long way to go with our baseball program, but I do believe we have the architect in place.”

Blackmon is ready to take over the reins in Waxahachie.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to be the head baseball coach at Southwestern Assemblies of God University and humbled and thankful for that trust given to me,” Blackmon said. “I was very impressed with the leadership, vision and direction of Dr. (Kermit) Bridges, reverend (Terry) Phipps and coach Godding have for the university and the baseball program.”

Blackmon’s most recent college post was at East Texas Baptist University from 2006 through 2012.

Prior to that he was the skipper at the University of Dallas, also an NCAA Division III team, from 2001-2005. Blackmon’s Crusaders teams were nationally ranked during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

The 2002 unit rolled to a 33-3 record as the No. 3 rated team. A year later the Crusaders were No. 14. They led the country in stolen bases with 158.

Blackmon coached at the high school level for 10 years, and he won nine district titles and advanced to three state tournament appearances.