MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Jim Toman has been hired as the 22nd baseball coach in Middle Tennessee history, Director of Athletics Chris Massaro announced Wednesday.
Toman’s hiring signals a new era for the Blue Raiders as the highly-successful mentor is the first baseball coach in 45 years to not have direct ties to the program.
“Jim Toman is nationally known for his recruiting skills which has been on display at previous stops,” Massaro said. “It showed as the head coach at Liberty where he won 60 percent of his games with a very selective recruiting pool available. Coach Toman was also a critical part of the dynasty that was created at South Carolina. I believe he will be a perfect fit for our baseball program, university and community.”
Toman brings a wealth of experience and success to the Middle Tennessee program as both a head coach and top assistant in two Power 5 conferences (ACC and SEC). Toman said he is honored to have the opportunity to build upon the success and tradition of Middle Tennessee baseball, and is excited for the future of the Blue Raider program.
“Middle Tennessee has a lot of tradition and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this program,” said Toman. “Coach (Steve) Peterson and Coach (Jim) McGuire have been around this program a long time and built a strong foundation. It’s been really good through the years with outstanding players and is known to have a great reputation. I have already been getting numerous calls from people wanting to be on this staff.
“Middle Tennessee sits in a great area for recruiting, is the largest school in the state and has tremendous facilities. I’m super excited to be here and can’t wait to roll my sleeves up and get to work.”
Regarded as a top-flight national recruiter, Toman fashioned a 329-205-1 record in his nine seasons as head coach at Liberty in the Big South Conference. Prior to his successful stint at Liberty, Toman spent 11 years as Ray Tanner’s top assistant at the University of South Carolina, and an additional seven seasons under Tanner at NC State.
During his career, Toman has presided over 15 Top 25 recruiting classes, including 11 consecutive during one stretch. He said Middle Tennessee’s facilities and tradition, as well as playing in the high-profile Conference USA, provide strong recruiting prospects.
“The selling point will be the school itself and the fact Conference USA is really good,” Toman said. “In Conference USA, you have anywhere from two to five teams that can go to a regional in any given year and that is big. When you are in a really good conference, you have a chance to go to regionals every year.”
Toman spent the past season as assistant head coach/recruiting coordinator with the College of Charleston baseball program, where the team produced a 36-19 mark.
Toman averaged 37 wins at Liberty, where he also turned in three of the school’s four 40-plus win seasons.
He had 24 of his signees selected in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
Toman led the Flames to the 2013 Big South Conference Tournament Championship, and advanced to the Columbia Regional where they defeated Clemson twice and advanced to the final. In 2014, Liberty secured the first-ever at-large bid in school history. Toman resigned following the 2016 season to pursue other opportunities before getting back into baseball at College of Charleston in 2018.
Toman served as Tanner’s top assistant at N.C. State and South Carolina, respectively, prior to his arrival at Liberty. The two were together 18 seasons before Toman accepted the head coaching position at Liberty.
From 2003-06, three of the Gamecocks’ four recruiting classes were ranked No. 1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball. During his time on the staff in Columbia, S.C., Toman and the Gamecocks made nine NCAA Regional appearances including eight straight between 2000-07 and three consecutive trips to the College World Series (2002-04). Including his seven seasons at NC State, the 2002 Baseball America National Assistant Coach of the Year has helped lead teams to appearances in 17 NCAA Regionals, seven NCAA Super Regionals, and three College World Series.
A native of Monroeville, Pa., Toman has three children – Caroline (20), Charlie Mac (18) and Tucker (14).
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT TOMAN
Ray Tanner, Director of Athletics at South Carolina and former Head Baseball Coach (2010 & 2011 National Champions)
“Jim Toman is a great hire by Middle Tennessee State Director of Athletics Chris Massaro to lead the Blue Raider baseball program. Toman brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will create a winning culture for MTSU student-athletes.”
“Coach Toman is one the best at identifying talent, recruiting and developing players in all of college baseball. He worked by my side for 17 years, and played a significant role in our success. Fans of the Blue Raider baseball program will be excited by the impact that Coach Toman will bring to Murfreesboro.”
Chad Holbrook, Head Baseball Coach at College of Charleston
“Coach (Jim) Toman is one of the most successful coaches in our game. His experience and knowledge are unmatched. He is just terrific in all that he does. He relates to players, demands effort, is a tireless recruiter and is a joy to be around. Middle Tennessee has hit a home run. There is no doubt that the Blue Raiders will be in the NCAA Tournament in the near future.”
Mark McKnight, National Director of Scouting for the Cincinnati Reds
“Middle Tennessee picked a winner. I’ve known Jim for 25 years and he is one of the best recruiters and evaluators in college and professional baseball. The job that he has done recruiting at South Carolina, Liberty and even in the one year at Charleston is unbelievable.”
“What makes him a good coach is that he is a great in-game tactician. You don’t win as many games as he did unless you really know what you’re doing. He’s going to expect a lot of effort and hard work from his players but I think they’ll really respond well to him.”
Elliott Avent, Head Baseball Coach at NC State
“Middle Tennessee State has just made a tremendous hire with the naming of Jim Toman. He is a tireless recruiter who has a knack for getting the most out of his teams. He was an assistant at NC State, South Carolina and most recently the College of Charleston with all three programs improving significantly with his instruction. As a head coach, Toman led Liberty University to their most successful seasons in the history of the program. It’s no coincidence that winning follows him wherever he goes.”