FIU has given baseball coach Henry "Turtle" Thomas a new five-year deal that'll run out after the 2016 season. Thomas was working on a contract that ran out after the 2014 season.
"We're just being proactive," FIU athletic director Pete Garcia said. "We're trying to keep good coaches and he's done a great job here. I still feel he's the best college baseball coach in America. I think he's going to take us to the College World Series and championships. He knows how to do the whole package."
Garcia lauded Thomas' success on the field (130-104-1, 2010 Sun Belt title, NCAA Regional appearances each of the last two years) and off (the 2011 Academic Progress Report score was 990, the program's highest ever).
By the way, if 2016 sounds familiar, that's also when football coach Mario Cristobal's deal runs out and, as Garcia himself pointed out, his own.
"Somebody could swoop in and pay a buyout and get your coach, but I want to make sure the valuable pieces here stay here as long as possible," he said.
What he didn't say is if all three are still around in 2016 -- an IF the size of the national debt -- this creates a nice situation for them if they choose to act as an informal unit, notwithstanding Garcia being theoretically Cristobal and Thomas' direct superior.
More after this moment from the WABAC machine:
Another newsy tidbit: Garcia also said the school already has sold over 10,000 season tickets for football and has surpassed last year's final number.
Futbol news: an Aug. 29 home game against Florida Tech was added to the FIU women's soccer schedule Monday. That season starts Friday at Stetson, and we'll be giving that team some blog love in the next couple of days.