Tom Cantrell: University of North Georgia

Note: Bio updated on 7/11/18

Tom Cantrell

Tom Cantrell, the current North Georgia head coach, was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame in 2016.

In his 18 years at North Georgia, Cantrell, who relaunched the baseball program from the ground up in 2000, has formed a consistent winner in Dahlonega with a 686-411 record, with an impressive 16 30-win seasons.  He has been named Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year six times.

In 2017, Cantrell led North Georgia to a 46-12 record, a Southeast Region title and a berth in the NCAA Division II Championships.

In 2015, Cantrell led the Nighthawks to their first Peach Belt Conference regular season crown after being picked to finish 10th in the PBC preseason coaches' poll. UNG went on to advance to the NCAA DII Southeast Region Final falling to the ultimate national runner-up, Catawba. The banner year for North Georgia baseball led Cantrell to be named the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year and the NCBWA Southeast Region Coach of the Year.

In the program’s first year of eligibility for postseason play in 2008, Cantrell led North Georgia to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship. The team won 19 of its last 22 regular season games and went on to compete in the NCAA South Atlantic Regional, the first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance for the program.

Cantrell came to North Georgia from DeKalb College - now a part of Georgia State University - where he spent nine years, four as head coach with a record of 177-52 (.773). Cantrell's teams produced three NJCAA All- Americans, five NJCAA Academic All-Americans, 20 GJCAA All-Region and two GJCAA Players of the Year. Cantrell was also named GJCAA Assistant Coach of the Year in 1995 after a 44-14 season. In his four years, Cantrell’s teams won three conference titles (1997, 1998, and 1999).

In 1998, Cantrell guided DeKalb to its first state championship since 1987. They also won the East Central District Championship and made an appearance at the JUCO World Series, DeKalb's first appearance since 1977. Cantrell's squads were consistently ranked nationally in the Top 20. For his efforts in 1998, he was named GJCAA Coach of the Year, as well as the East Central District Coach of the Year.

Over his 22-year career at DeKalb College and North Georgia, he has a 863-463 overall record. The Habersham, Ga. native was a two-time all-state shortstop at North Clayton High School. Following his senior season, Cantrell began his collegiate career at DeKalb College. At DeKalb, he hit .332 in his freshman year and .362 in his sophomore year, being named All-Region both seasons. At the conclusion of his second year, Cantrell was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the seventh round of the 1985 MLB Draft where he played two seasons.

Information from was used in this article. Photo courtesy of University of North Georgia Sports Information.