Jan. 25, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --- The University of New Mexico head baseball coach Ray Birmingham was recently named a member of the 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame. The NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association released this notification Monday. Birmingham is one of three legendary coaches to receive the nod. Birmingham spent 19 successful years as head baseball coach at New Mexico Junior College. He enters his fourth year at UNM as baseball head coach. Birmingham guided UNM to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 48 years last season.
During his 19 seasons at NMJC he amassed a career mark of 765-255-2. He was named the WJCAC Coach of the Year several times (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2005 - 2007), Region 5 Coach of the Year twice (2005, 2007) and was crowned the NJCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 2005. He guided the Thunderbirds to six conference titles, two Region 5 Championships and two appearances at the NJCAA Division I JUCO World Series where his clubs finished as national champions in 2005 and runner-up in 2007.
At NMJC `Coach B' consistently had the Thunderbirds as one of the top hitting clubs in the nation each year. In 2001 his team set the NJCAA record for team batting average (.438).
During his tenure with the Thunderbirds he led efforts that resulted in a new baseball field erected for the college and championed mandatory drug testing for NMJC student-athletes.
Birmingham served on the NJCAA Region 5 baseball committee, was the director of the Region 5/Southwest District tournament and helped coordinate the annual Region 5 All-Star Game. He also twice served as an assistant on NJCAA All-Star teams (2004, 2007). Off the field he has given his time and energy to non-profit organizations like the United Way, Boys Club of America, Special Olympics and Toys for Tots. He also led his Thunderbird teams as honorary coaches in the Challenger Program at the NJCAA DI JUCO World Series.