Alma Mater: Catawba '89
Office Phone: (704) 637-4469
Jim Gantt became the head coach of the Catawba College baseball program in the summer of 1996 and was inducted into the Catawba Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2012, Gantt was named the ABCA Southeast Region Coach of the Year and the North Carolina Amateur Coach of the Year as he guided the team to the NCAA II National Finals where Catawba finished fourth in the nation.
In 2015, Catawba returned to the National Finals and finished as the national runner-up, equaling the school record with 47 wins. The 2019 team became Gantt’s third squad to claim a regional title and advance to the National Finals, equaling the record of 47 wins.
Under Gantt, Catawba has posted 20 straight 30+ win seasons, including nine 40-win seasons since 2004. Catawba has made a dozen appearances in NCAA II Regional play. He has a career record of 834-422, guiding Catawba to 23 championships.
Gantt was honored as South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year for the 11th time in 2018 after guiding Catawba to an unprecedented sixth straight conference championship. He was also named the league Coach of the Year in 2017, 2016, 2014 and 2013 in leading Catawba to championships. He earned the honor in 2011 as the Indians garnered a SAC regular season championship at 41-15 and advanced to the regionals for the fourth consecutive year.
In 2008, he earned SAC Coach of the Year as the Indians claimed a SAC Championship. The squad advanced to the NCAA II South Region Championship game and posted a 43-18 mark. He was named the 2006 SAC Coach of the Year after the Tribe went 47-14. Catawba won both the SAC regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA II South Region Championship game. The Indians were ranked as high as #2 in the nation.
Gantt also earned SAC Coach of the Year honors in 2004 after guiding the Indians to a then school record 42 wins, including its first-ever berth in the NCAA II Regionals. In 2005, Catawba won the SAC title and went 35-19. The 1997 squad, his first as head coach, equaled a then second most win total with 32. Gantt also led the Indians to the 2002 SAC Tournament title and was named SAC Coach of the Year for the first time in 1999.
As an assistant for seven seasons, Gantt was a key part of Catawba’s five straight seasons with at least 27 wins from 1991-95. The Indians won back-to-back South Atlantic Conference championships in 1992-93 and was a perfect 21-0 in league games in 1992 (38-7 overall). He currently serves as the coach of Rowan County’s successful American Legion team, guiding the team to several World Series appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 2016.
In 2015, Gantt was inducted into the North Carolina American Legion Hall of Fame. He was named the North Carolina Amateur Coach of the Year in 2002 after guiding Rowan to a 43-2 record and a state championship. As an assistant, he helped the legion team to the 1996 Southeast Regional Championship, advancing to the World Series in Roseburg, Oregon.
Gantt, who graduated from Catawba in May 1989, with a bachelor’s degree in sports management, had an outstanding four-year career as a player for the Indians. As a third baseman, he was an all-conference performer and helped to Catawba to the 1988 Carolinas Conference championship and to the NAIA District 26 Tournament. Gantt was an all-conference player at Newton-Conover (NC) High School before graduating in 1984.
Gantt resides in Salisbury with his wife, Adrian and their daughter Blakley. Adrian, a 1998 Catawba alum, served Catawba as a head field hockey coach and an assistant softball coach before joining Jim in the Catawba Hall of Fame in 2017.
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