Waco (FOX 44) — Baylor University has hired Mitch Thompson away from McLennan Community College to lead its baseball program.

Thompson has taken the Highlanders to the JuCo World Series four times over the last ten years and winning it all in 2021.

He will replace Steve Rodriguez, who stepped down from Baylor last month. The Bears had a 26-28 season and missed getting an invite to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.

Thompson was an assistant coach at Baylor from 1995 to 2012, under Steve Smith.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to return home to a place where I spent 18 wonderful years working hard to help build a championship program,” Thompson said in a press release from Baylor. “This is truly a dream job for me and my family, and I’m so thankful to Mack Rhoades and his team for believing in my vision to bring new energy to the Baylor Baseball program. I look forward to working together with our administration, alumni, the Heart of the Order, and all of the Baylor Family, to bring championship caliber baseball and a great home field advantage back to Baylor Ballpark.”

Twelve players who Thompson recruited to BU eventually reached the Major Leagues. His recruiting classes were ranked among the nation’s top-25 six times, including a No. 1 ranking in 2005 that led to Thompson being named Baseball America’s American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) National Assistant Coach of the Year.