Coach Carlos James and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Part Ways

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has decided not to renew the contract of head baseball coach Carlos James after spending 14 seasons at the helm of the program.

James announced he was leaving his coaching duties from UAPB via social media. In doing so, the Pine Bluff, Arkansas native graciously thanked the institution for his time in Pine Bluff.

Coach James has been critical of the school’s lack of support to the baseball program… as many HBCU baseball programs are underfunded and face similar situations.

UAPB’s baseball budget is believed to be one of the lowest in Division I baseball. James had been vocal about the lack of support he faced at UAPB due to its budget and voiced his concerns which sources believe led to both the school and James parting ways.

Carlos James took over the UAPB program in 2011. His best season at UAPB was the 2015 season where he lead the team to a 25-16 record which includes knocking off two ranked powerhouse baseball programs from the SEC defeating No. 7 Mississippi State, and No. 23 University of Missouri. He led the Golden Lions to 3 consecutive first place finishes in the SWAC’s Western Division from 2014-16.

James’ 2015 season saw two of his former players drafted by Major League Baseball. Left-hander Andre Davis drafted by MLB’s Kansas City Royals selected in the eighth round and was the 249th selection overall, and right-handed pitcher Kevin Walsh was selected in the 21st round by the Philadelphia Phillies.

What may have been a deciding factor was his career 212-414-2 overall record at UAPB.  In conference play the Golden Lions record was 133-165 during his tenure.  This past season, UAPB was 15-34 overall and the team has not been to the SWAC tournament since 2018.

Carlos James had previously served as an assistant coach at UAPB from 2000-04 and as a head coach was named SWAC Coach of the Year in 2013. The Golden Lions then won three straight SWAC West Division championships between 2014-16, going 46-18 in SWAC play during that period.

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