|Organization:||Texas A&M University|
Former Texas A&M University head baseball coach Tom Chandler was the winnder of the 1982 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award. He retired from Texas A&M in 1984 after 26 years as baseball coach, bringing the Aggies' program into national prominence. Following his retirement, he served as a professional baseball scout for a number of Major League clubs.
During his Texas A&M coaching career, Chandler's Aggie teams won five Southwest Conference championships, and he was named SWC Coach of the Year seven times, including his final season in 1984.
More than 50 of his players signed professional baseball contracts following their collegiate careers.
After playing two years of professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Chandler began his coaching career at his high school alma mater, Dallas Adamson High. During the summers of 1950-58, he was player, field manager and general manager of the Alpine Cowboys, a semi-pro baseball club. He received his master's degree in Education and Administration from Sul Ross College in Alpine, Texas.
The 1972 President of the ABCA, Chandler became head baseball coach at Texas A&M in 1959, and during his 26-year career, presided over 999 Aggie baseball games, with a winning percentage that ranked him among the top college baseball coaches of all time. Chandler had a 660-329-10 (.661) record.
In 1978, Chandler was selected to lead a team of United States college all-stars in the World Amateur Baseball Championship Tournament in Italy.
Chandler earned a number of Hall of Fame inductions, including the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1978, the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991. He was also selected to join the Sul Ross State University Hall of Honor.
During his coaching career, Chandler tutored many renowned players, including Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, whom he coached at Alpine, as well as a number of major leaguers, including All-Star second baseman and veteran field manager Dave Johnson, who was All-SWC for the Aggies in 1964.
Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.