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VMI signs baseball coach, alum Sam Roberts to contract extension

Chris Graham

vmi VMI has signed baseball coach Sam Roberts to a contract extension, the school announced on Friday.

Roberts, a VMI alum, has led the Keydets baseball program to 26- and 27-win seasons in his first two years at the helm since replacing Jonathan Hadra, who left VMI to take over the program at ODU.

Roberts had been an assistant coach at his alma mater since 2017, following the end of his minor-league baseball career.

Roberts pitched for four seasons in the Oakland A’s organization, from 2012-2015, going 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 43 relief appearances at the High-A level in his final season, in 2015.

“I am thrilled to have Coach Roberts here on post,” Athletics Director Jamaal Walton said. “He has done great things with the baseball program in just two seasons, and I have no doubt that with his leadership, VMI baseball will continue to achieve sustained success while competing for Southern Conference championships.”

Taking over prior to the 2023 season, Roberts coached VMI to a 10-win improvement in his first year and to a 27-win season in his second, becoming the fastest coach in VMI program history to reach 50 career wins.

In Roberts’ two years, VMI has led the nation in stolen bases twice, broke the Division I record for stolen bases in an inning (9), set the program record for steals in a game (14), defeated SEC-power Mississippi State, set the season record for walks (287) and won the fifth-most games in VMI history.

After earning VMI’s Distinguished Coaching Award in 2023, Roberts coached VMI to walk-off wins against The Citadel and Western Carolina in 2024 and saw the Keydets capture a series win against Wofford for the first time since 2017.

“My family and I are very excited to continue our time here in Lexington. We love VMI and VMI Baseball and I am excited to continue to build on what we have started,” Roberts said. “I would like to thank General Wins, Jamaal Walton, Emily Fulton and the Keydet Club for believing in my vision for VMI Baseball and their commitment to the program. The future of VMI athletics is bright under Jamaal Walton and I am excited to be a part of his return to post.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].