By Melissa Trevizo / Photo courtesy of San Jacinto College
Wayne Graham, former San Jacinto College baseball coach, has been named as one of the eight inductees into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame.
“It is such an honor,” Graham said. “I am proud to be part of this class of honorees. These men have done a lot for the game, and I congratulate them on their selection. I am also thankful for the recognition from the association and the work they do for the baseball coaches across the country.”
Graham began coaching at San Jacinto College in 1981, where he turned the team into a powerhouse. Following a pair of conference titles in 1982 and 1983, Graham’s team made seven straight National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) World Series appearances from 1984-1990. After a runner-up finish in 1984, his teams captured three consecutive national titles from 1985-1987. The Gators once again came back from a runner-up finish in 1988 to claim another pair of national titles in 1989 and 1990.
Named the Junior College Coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball, Graham completed his 11-year tenure at San Jac with a 675-113 (.857) record and five National Coach of the Year awards. His uniform number, 37, was retired by the College, and he was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1995.
As the head coach for Rice University, Graham amassed a 1,173-528-2 (.689) record to go along with seven College World Series appearances and the 2003 National Championship, the school’s first team national championship in any sport.
Beginning with the 1995 season, Rice appeared in 23 consecutive NCAA Regionals and advanced to the Super Regionals 10 times following the adoption of the format in 1999. The Owls also captured 21 conference championships as part of three different conferences, including 20 straight from 1996-2015.
Graham’s coaching career was preceded by an 11-year professional career that included stints as a third baseman and outfielder with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets organizations.
Graham’s success led to his induction into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, and he was named one of Houston’s 38 Sports Legends in 2004. In addition, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
The 2021 hall of fame induction ceremony will be held during the 77th annual ABCA Convention in January at the Gaylord National in Washington, D.C