Erik Grafton, the 20th head coach in program history, completed his first year at the helm of the University of Dallas baseball team. Dallas made a six game improvement from last season and gathered the most wins since 2013. UD had the hottest start in a season since the 2012 playing year. Seven Crusaders were selected as all-conference award winners. Conrad Voss secured a spot on the first team list. Luke Boylson, Nathan Patton, and Jordan Stickler were all named to the second-team ballot, while Josh Abalos, Andrew Magness, and Jessup Scott all were selected as honorable mention recipients.
Grafton arrives after spending the previous six seasons as the assistant coach for the UT Tyler Patriots. Four of those seasons he helped lead the Patriots to the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Championships.
This past spring, Grafton was part of a magical run that carried the Patriots to the NCAA Division III National Championship, where they won their first title in program history by defeating Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament champion, No. 6 Texas Lutheran University.
It was also the first trip for UT Tyler to play in the D3 World Series, which was earned by winning the NCAA DIII Central Regional with consecutive wins over Rhodes College.
In his two seasons as recruiting coordinator, Coach Grafton was responsible for bringing in 23 All-Conference and 8 All-Region performers, as well as 1 All-American, the programs first since 2013. He led a 2017 Patriot offense that boasted a .321 team batting average, scoring 338 runs, 7+ per game and tutored a sure handed Patriot Infield that turned a school record 49 double plays.
Grafton was a part of former head coach Chris Bertrand's staff for four seasons, earning a promotion after each of those seasons. Grafton continued serving as the programs recruiting coordinator and strength and conditioning coordinator, as well as working with infielders and hitters. On game days, Grafton coached third base.
Grafton, a graduate of Hendrix College, lettered three years for the Warriors as a catcher and an infielder. In 2007, he was named to the All-Academic Team in the SCAC. In 2011, Grafton finished his Master's degree at the University of Central Arkansas and was a volunteer assistant with the UCA Baseball team.
Prior to UT Tyler, Grafton was an assistant coach with the Conway High School baseball team in Arkansas and a private baseball and softball instructor in Martin, Tennessee.