TONY DAVID | ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH / RECRUITING COORDINATOR
Tony David is in the midst of his 13th season at Samford and his 22nd in collegiate coaching. As one of the most highly-respected coaches in the Southeast, he continues to serve as the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator, infield instructor, third base coach and hitting specialist. The 2016 season proved to be David's 11th as the team's Associate Head Coach after being promoted to the position following his first year at Samford.
Overall, in his coaching career at all levels, David has coached three future major leaguers in Jake Peavy, Adam Lind and PJ Walters, as well as 36 players that were drafted and/or signed contracts with major league baseball teams.
Last year, in 2016, Samford’s Heath Quinn (third round, San Francisco Giants), Alex Lee (22nd round, Atlanta Braves) and Hunter Swilling (29th round, Detroit Tigers) were all selected in the Major League Draft after the Bulldogs made another deep run in the SoCon Tournament. Additionally, All-SoCon pitcher Parker Curry signed a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 2015, reliever Andres Gracia was selected by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Draft, while two of David’s infielders, shortstop Tyler Filliben and third baseman Tripp Martin, were drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Texas Rangers, respectively, in 2014.
Following the 2013 campaign, two more were added to the list, including first-round pick Phillip Ervin, the 27th overall selection in the draft to the Cincinnati Reds, and CK Irby in the 10th round to the Minnesota Twins.
David played an integral role in the recruitment and development the talent that has led to 19 Major League Baseball draft picks in the last six seasons, as well as six top-10 round picks in the last five years. He was named the 2010 SoCon Assistant Coach of the Year by SEBaseball.com.
In the last 11 years, the Bulldogs have had the best nine seasons in school history.
Samford’s jaw-dropping number culminated in 2012 as the Bulldogs finished the year with school-record 41 wins, the program's first SoCon Tournament title and their first NCAA Tournament bid. That team went on to have seven players drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft and two more to sign as free agents with professional teams.
In 2011, Samford won 37 games and reached the finals of the SoCon Tournament for the first time in school history. At the end of the season, four players from the Bulldogs’ 2011 squad were selected in the MLB Draft.
The 2010 season was a successful year for the Bulldogs. For his efforts David was named the 2010 SoCon Assistant Coach of the Year by SEBaseball.com.
"Recognition for us in the coaching world usually only comes in wins and losses,” said Davis. “I was excited to receive word of this honor. It is great to be recognized, but more for the statement it makes about the direction of our program under (Head) Coach (Casey) Dunn, the season we had, and our entire coaching staff. We feel this team is ready to make that next step."
David has helped coordinate one outstanding recruiting class after another with five nationally-ranked classes by Collegiate Baseball.
The Bulldogs’ 2010 group was a large class that had to be filled with impact players for the team to have success. The talented collection of players included two drafted in the 2010 MLB draft: Mark Donham and Brandon Miller. The feat marked the second straight season that two signees were taken in the draft, with the 2009 class including Lex Rutledge, who enjoyed an incredible freshmen season that landed him on the Freshmen All-American Team. The 2007 class was the top-ranked class in the SoCon.
Over the last 11 seasons, the program has been transformed by averaging 32 wins a year, with the exception of one injury-plagued season in 2011.
Previously, the Bulldogs averaged 18 wins a year for the prior 15 seasons. The 2008 campaign produced the most regular-season victories (33) at the school and boasted the longest home winning streak (16) in the nation during the year. David's top infielder, Mikey Marseco, became one of the top defensive shortstops in the nation and was selected in the 11th round of the MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Defensively, the 2007 squad finished the year with a spectacular .981 fielding percentage in conference play after a 2006 season that led the way at .973. Despite inheriting an infield without a true shortstop, David helped lead the 2005 team to a fielding percentage that was second overall in the conference. The 2008 squad lead the league in assists while the 2009 team finished second in conference.
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.
David also served as an instructor at the University of South Alabama Baseball Camps for 11 years. Building on that experience, he was later named the director of the camps for his last four years at USA. Additionally, David has served as the Director of the Samford Baseball Winter and Summer Camps for seven years for a total of 18 seasons of experience.
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 stint at USA, the Jaguars compiled an impressive 73-42 overall record.
David is married to the former Bethany Snodgrass, a South Alabama graduate. The couple has two daughters, Peyton Elizabeth, 12, and Addison Nicole, 10, as well as a son, Tyler Samuel, who is 5.
TYLER SHROUT | ASSISTANT COACH / PITCHING
Regarded as one of the top, high-rising young coaches in the Southeast, Tyler Shrout recently completed his 10th season as a pitching coach at the collegiate level in 2016. Over the past three seasons at Samford University, Shrout played an immense role in the Bulldogs’ success as they averaged 34 wins per season, including back-to-back appearances in the Southern Conference Championship game.
Under Shrout in 2016, the Samford pitching staff led all SoCon teams in earned run average. The Bulldogs also ranked in the top three in ERA in each of Shrout’s three seasons at Samford.
Additionally, the Bulldogs’ staff has had at least one pitcher named First-Team All-SoCon in each of his three years. Right-handed pitcher Andres Gracia, a two-time all-conference pitcher, was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft in 2014. Right-hander Parker Curry was voted First-Team All-SoCon by both the coaches and media in 2016, and led the Bulldogs in wins.
Shrout’s other responsibilities at Samford include recruiting, assisting in academic progress, overseeing the travel budget and team scheduling.
Shrout came to Samford in the summer of 2012 after spending the previous four years on the coaching staff at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. Shrout excelled as the pitching coach at Lipscomb and was promoted to the team’s recruiting coordinator during his final season.
In 2012, Shrout’s pitching staff recorded the second lowest earned run average in the school’s Division I era, while his 2011 group set a record for the most strikeouts and finished the season ranked 18th in the nation in the category.
During his tenure at Lipscomb, three of Shrout’s pitchers were taken in the MLB Draft. Right-hander Josh Smith was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 21st round in 2010 and was later named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011. Smith made his major league debut for the Reds during the 2015 season.
From 2006 to 2009, Shrout served as pitching coach for Division III powerhouse Birmingham-Southern College. In Shrout’s last season at BSC, the Panthers’ pitching staff led the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in ERA and helped lead the team to its first SCAC title in 2009. At Birmingham-Southern, he was also in charge of summer camps, team travel, academic progress, and assisting with recruiting.
In historical fashion, Shrout recruited two players to BSC who were selected in the MLB Draft. Bruce Maxwell was taken in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics and Drew Leachman was selected by the Minnesota Twins in 2011. Maxwell has proven to be a high-riser in the minor league ranks and is currently competing in AAA for the Nashville Sounds.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Shrout was also the head coach of the Alabama Bombers for two summers (2008-09), and was the pitching coach for the Kentucky Baseball Club in the summer of 2006.
Shrout played four seasons at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. He is the school’s all-time leader in ERA and is ranked in the top five in nearly every pitching category. Shrout graduated from Transylvania in 2006 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance.
Shrout married his wife, Lexi, in the summer of 2013. Lexi currently serves as the head softball coach at Hoover High School and the couple resides in the Birmingham area.
GIL WALKER | VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT COACH
Gil Walker, a former Samford pitcher and member of the Bulldogs’ 2012 team, which is arguably the best squad in school history, is in the midst of his second season as the team’s volunteer assistant coach. Walker officially joined the coaching staff on Aug. 11, 2015.
Last season, in his first campaign on staff at Samford, the Bulldogs registered a 35-26 overall record and advanced deep into the Southern Conference Tournament held in Greenville, S.C.
Samford’s Heath Quinn (third round, San Francisco Giants), Alex Lee (22nd round, Atlanta Braves) and Hunter Swilling (29th round, Detroit Tigers) were all selected in the 2016 Major League Draft. Additionally, All-SoCon pitcher Parker Curry signed a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Walker, who was a senior on Samford’s 2012 team that won the SoCon Tournament and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, has been constantly lauded by Head Coach Casey Dunn for both his playing experience and coaching prowess.
Born and raised in Birmingham while his father, Tommy, was the head baseball coach at Samford for nine seasons from 1989 to 1997, Walker went on to play for his father at Spanish Fort High School where he was named to All-South and All-County teams. He was additionally named both team captain and Most Valuable Player, while batting .375 and posting a 1.40 earned run average as a senior.
Following his graduation from SFHS, Walker signed with Wallace State–Hanceville and played for one of the top junior college programs in the nation.
Walker spent his junior and senior seasons at Samford University under Dunn and enjoyed two of the most successful years in school history.
As a junior, he appeared in 12 games, all out of the bullpen and posted a 3.86 ERA in 18.2 innings of work. Walker finished the season with 12 strikeouts and pitched 2.1 hitless innings of relief at UAB, while later tossing 3.1 shutout innings against Davidson. He also pitched 3.1 innings, allowing no runs against UNCG.
Walker’s senior season at Samford proved to be the best year in school history. The Bulldogs set a school record in wins, earning the school’s first SoCon Tournament title and NCAA Tournament bid, while having seven players taken in the Major League Baseball Draft.
The Bulldogs finished the 2012 campaign with a school-record 41 wins, posting an overall record of 41-23. The team went through the SoCon Tournament undefeated and then reached the finals of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional by earning two wins over SEC Tournament champion Mississippi State.
Following his graduation from Samford University in December of 2012, Walker accepted an assistant coaching position at Vestavia High School and worked there through the 2013 season.
He then took an assistant coaching position at Lawson State in the summer of 2013 where he worked for two seasons under the direction of Head Coach Doug Kovash. Walker served as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach, while also specializing defensively with the infielders and catchers.
In 2015, Lawson State turned in its best season in school history and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time in its existence. Walker also helped a trio of Lawson State student-athletes earn all-conference honors.