Johnstown native, top-ranked Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter named ACC Coach of the Year
May 22—Greater Johnstown High School graduate Tom Walter earned Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Wake Forest University baseball team to a historic season that included a conference regular-season championship and the nation's No. 1 ranking heading into the postseason.
Walter became Wake Forest's third baseball coach of the year honoree and the first since George Greer in 2002. His Demon Deacons finished the regular season with records in wins (45), conference wins (22) and conference series victories (10).
Wake Forest led the nation with an .833 winning percentage, and on May 8, the Demon Deacons moved into the No. 1 ranking in the nation for the first time in program history.
On April 23, Wake Forest beat the University of Pittsburgh 17-1 to give Walter his 400th win as coach of the Demon Deacons. He has 411 wins at Wake Forest and 838 victories as a Division I head coach, including stints with the University of New Orleans, where he led the Privateers to two NCAA Tournament appearances, and eight years at George Washington University, where he won 273 games and took the Colonials to the NCAA Tournament.
A Cambria County Sports Hall of Famer and AAABA Hall of Famer, Walter has led three different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
The day after picking up his 400th career win in Pittsburgh, Walter traveled to Roxbury Park and emceed a ceremony to rename the AAABA field in honor of his former coach and mentor Dee Dee Osborne. Walter and another former area player, Ross Kott, helped spearhead the effort to recognize Osborne on April 24.
Wake Forest (45-9, 22-7 ACC) will take the top seed into the conference tournament, playing against Pitt (23-29, 10-17) at Durham Bulls Athletic Park at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Wake Forest's Rhett Lowder repeated as ACC Pitcher of the Year. The junior right-hander went 12-0 with a 1.73 earned run average and 108 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings.
Forest Hills High School graduate and former AAABA Tournament player Adam Cecere is a redshirt junior outfielder for the Demon Deacons. Cecere is batting .280 with nine doubles, 11 homers and 34 RBIs in 35 games.