|Title:||Baseball Head Coach|
The University of Dallas announced the hire of Erik Grafton as the baseball head coach. Grafton will be the 20th head coach for the program, and is expected to begin his tenure this fall.
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.
Schweiss, an alumni pitcher for the UD Baseball program from 2009-12, was named the assistant coach prior to the 2016-17 season. He is the team's pitching coach. Schweiss had served on staff the past two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach. The final two years of the right-hander's career included the pitcher playing with current head coach Joe Myers – who finished his fourth season at the helm in 2018. Myers was an assistant coach and handled the pitchers during the last two years Schweiss pitched.
Schweiss brings experience working with Myers and being part of the Crusaders' staff throughout the last two springs. He has worked with many players on the current roster. Schweiss will also aid in the recruiting side of the position, having attended UD.
After Schweiss graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Finance, Schweiss signed with the Normal Cornbelters out of Normal, Illinois. Schweiss pitched four summers (2013-16) with the Cornbelters, logging a 25-23 record, 4.03 ERA, 71 appearances (61 starts), 375 innings, and 330 strikeouts over his career. In 2016, the native of Parker, Colorado, was named to the West Division All-Star Game.
In his collegiate career, Schweiss was a four-year letterwinner and is the all-time leader in the program for saves (9). In 2011, the co-Team MVP earned top 20 spots in NCAA Division III National Statistical Rankings. This included: 1.03 ERA (3rd), 5.68 hits allowed per nine innings (12th), and 9 wins (19th).
Other accolades garnered by Schweiss included: AD31 Baseball First Team (2010, '11), D3Baseball.com Honorable Mention All-America (2011), USCAA Baseball All-American Team (2011), All-SCAC Honorable Mention Team (2012), and SCAC Spring Student-Athlete Academic Honor Roll (2012).
In the offseason from the Cornbelters in 2014-16, Schweiss worked with the Dallas Independent School District. He helped build new databases in DISD system. Prior to that in his hometown, Schweiss coached at Bardo's Diamond Sports as a Youth Baseball Instructor from October 2013-April '14.