The Academy’s 2010 Alumnus of the Year, James Vilade, has enjoyed a very successful coaching career since obtaining his Master’s Degree in Sports Management from the Academy in 2003.
Vilade serves as a scout, as well as the first base coach and the hitting coach for the Frisco Roughriders, the Class AA affiliate of the major league team, the Texas Rangers, in Frisco, Texas. Currently in his sixth year with the organization, he also creates the pre-draft workouts and player developments for the Texas Rangers.
Vilade, who coached the current major-leaguers, Elvis Andus and Chris Davis, said he is most proud of his dedication to his community including the two charities he cofounded.
Over the previous 20 years, he has directed more than 200 community service events and humanitarian efforts reaching multiple foreign countries. Earlier this year, he started Keeper of the Game, a non-profit organization that provides athletes with disabilities and special needs a unique baseball experience that fosters their growth and love for sport.
He also helped create the non-profit organization Diamond Dreams, an organization set up in memory of the minor-league coach Mike Coolbaugh.
“The best part of sports is being able to share it with your teammates, your coaches, the fans, your family and people who have special needs,” Vilade said.
A talented baseball and basketball athlete at Bernards High School in Bernardsville, N.J., Vilade earned himself a spot on the Baylor Bears baseball team while he attended Baylor University. Upon graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications, Vilade served 11 years as a NCAA head baseball coach, which granted him the opportunity to build two college baseball programs from the ground up.
In addition, he served as the Head Coach at the University of Dallas before guiding the University of Texas at Tyler, a NCAA Division III school, through the first seven years of its program. He was also featured in the 2010 Baylor University Alumni Magazine for his active role in community service.
“My passion is coaching,” Vilade said. “It facilitates opportunities for people to play.”
Throughout his career thus far, Vilade has compiled a career record of 348-117 and a .748 career winning percentage. He is the second-winningest coach in the history of NCAA baseball in the state of Texas.
In 2007, Vilade coached the University of Texas at Tyler to a 37-1 record, which resulted in the team being honored in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
“One of the best decisions I have made was to study at the United States Sports Academy,” Vilade said. “The last five years have been filled with great growth and challenge.”
“The Academy allowed me every bit of flexibility to obtain my degree,” Vilade said. “As a coach, your job is to coach, compete and win. The Academy allows for personal growth and your personal schedule. It is an amazing institution.”
The United States Sports Academy, known around the world as America’s Sports University, is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.