Close to a decade ago now I was sitting in the office a couple of days after writing a story about UNT and the possibility of the school adding a baseball program.
UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal had gone on the record about wanting to start a baseball program within the next 90 days.
My phone rang.
It was an old friend named Tim Tadlock.
When I got into the business back in the late 1990s, one of my first assignments was to cover the local junior college in town.
I lucked out. I was working at the Herald-Democrat, the Sherman/Denison paper, which covered a power house in Grayson County College. Bill Brock was the women’s basketball coach, while Tadlock was the baseball coach.
I was there when Grayson won the NJCAA national title in 1999 and 2000 after Tadlock built the program from scratch.
Brock never had a losing season at Grayson, went to the national tournament as well and now has a couple of national championship rings from his time at Baylor.
Tadlock was an assistant coach at Oklahoma when he called. It turned out he would at least entertain the idea of coming home to Denton, where he was a star player for the Broncos, to try to build another program from scratch at UNT.
I thought a little about that conversation the other day when Tadlock was named the new head coach at Texas Tech.
Tim will win at Tech. He’s won everywhere he has ever been and is maybe the best recruiter in Texas, not to mention one of the best hitting coaches one will ever find.
It’s a long way from junior college to the majors, but some of his former Grayson players made it. John Lackey made it big. He has a World Series ring and 128 career wins. Brandon Fahey made it, as did Kevin Thompson just to name a few.
UNT will add a program one of these days and will have plenty of good coaches to pick from to lead the way. There is no guarantee UNT would have even been interested in Tadlock if it had started a program. Skip Johnson, another Denton product who is at Texas these days, would have been another possibility.
It’s just interesting to think about the fact that there might have been a chance a few years ago now for UNT to bring one of Denton’s own home.
Especially now that he is the head coach at Tech.
Tadlock is one of the best there is in college baseball. I have no doubt that he will put Tech back on the college baseball map.
I will be following along, pulling for one of the good guys I got to know a little along the way and thinking about what might have been.