VMI promotes Sam Roberts to replace Jonathan Hadra as head baseball coach

VMI AthleticsVMI has named former Keydet pitcher and long-time pitching coach Sam Roberts as the new baseball coach.

A 2011 VMI graduate, Roberts becomes the 21st head coach in program history. Roberts had spent the 2017 season as a volunteer assistant with the VMI program after retiring from the professional ranks following spring training 2016.

“It is a tremendous honor to be chosen to lead a team and program that has given so much to me over the years as a player, cadet, alumni, and coach,” said Roberts. “I want to thank Gen. Wins and Jim Miller for giving me this opportunity, as well as Emily Fulton and Lenny Brown, as they were first class as I went through this process. I also want to thank Jonathan (Hadra) for helping me get to this point in my career and for all he has done to lift this program up over the past eight seasons.”

Roberts was promoted to VMI’s associate head coach/recruiting coordinator in the fall of 2020 after serving as an assistant coach for four years. During the 2018 year, Roberts worked with a staff that included junior Josh Winder, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Twins. Roberts also mentored Matt Eagle, who posted the third-most saves in a single season in VMI history and went on to sign a free agent contact with the Los Angeles Angels. In 2019, junior Zak Kent was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round after setting the program record for strikeouts in a single season.

VMI’s all-time hits leader, Roberts ranks in the program’s top-three in nine career categories, and leads in hits, walks, at-bats, runs scored and games played. He was also a regular on the mound, both in starting and relief roles.

Roberts was drafted by Oakland following the 2011 season and spent five seasons in the A’s system. Following the 2013 season, Roberts transitioned full-time to the mound and spent his final two professional seasons in that role.

Roberts replaces VMI alum Jonathan Hadra, who moved on to become an assistant coach at ODU under VMI alum and former Keydet assistant Chris Finwood.

“I am fired up to continue the great work being done within this organization as we continue to improve facilities, raise scholarships, and work towards creating cadet-athletes who are prepared for life on and off the field,” said Roberts. “I believe in the young men we have on our roster and am committed to adding first class players to this team. There is much work to be done, but the future is bright for VMI baseball, all of which is possible through the continued support of our alumni, donors, and supportive administration at VMI. It’s time to go to work, Go KEYDETS!”

Roberts is married to the former Haley Taylor and the two have two children, Madison (3) and Grady (1).


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