Prestonwood Christian Academy School System (PCA) announced Wednesday that Miami Marlins scout James Vilade was named Varsity Head Baseball Coach at the Plano campus.
“James has had a profound impact on many young lives as a coach, scout and mentor, and we know that God will use him in a powerful way here at PCA as he leads our baseball program forward in excellence,” said Dr. Mike Goddard, PCA Superintendant.
Vilade comes to PCA Plano from the MLB’s Miami Marlins franchise where he is currently in his second stint as a scout. "I want to thank Derek Jeter, Kim Ng and Gary Denbo for the opportunity to serve the Marlins for the last two years,” said Vilade. “This was an amazing experience to work alongside the best in Major League Baseball. The personal advancement and work experience I received under the leadership of DJ Svihlik and Ryan Wardinsky was life changing. They are examples of loyalty, hard work, knowledge and love for the game. They treated everyone in our scouting department with an amazing care and push for excellence. This culture and environment made us all compete, enjoy our work and absolutely love the Marlins."
Vilade also served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Oklahoma State University for four seasons after six years working for the Texas Rangers Double-A affiliate Frisco RoughRiders. With Oklahoma State, Vilade helped guide a College World Series appearance in 2016 and a pair of Big 12 Conference Tournament championships (2017 and 2019). During his tenure, the RoughRiders qualified for the Texas League Playoffs four times and appeared in the Texas League Finals twice. The RoughRiders were named Minor League Baseball Team of the Year at the conclusion of the 2008 season, which is the highest team honor in Minor League Baseball. Vilade has worked with many major leaguers, including several current Rangers. Vilade also served as DFW area scout for the Rangers.
"Thank you, Pastor Jack Graham and Prestonwood Christian Academy leadership team for the opportunity to represent Prestonwood, PCA and the baseball team,” said Vilade. “This is an opportunity to be a part of all that represents the principles and values embraced in Christian education. I am excited to join the Athletic Department along with the players who represent our PCA Baseball Family. Our entire family is excited about extending our existing relationship with Prestonwood to the baseball field and beyond."
Vilade has a passion for baseball and the game of life. Over the past 20 years, he has delivered a powerful motivational message to thousands. He has served as a speaker for The Boys and Girls Club, University of Texas System, Texas GED program, Special Olympics, The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, high schools, universities and many other great organizations.
Chris Cunningham, Prestonwood Christian Academy Athletic Director is looking forward to Vilade joining the team at PCA. "I can’t tell you how excited I am about Coach Vilade leading the PCA baseball program. His resume speaks for itself, but it can’t come close to telling the whole story of who this man is and what he does with the cultures of the teams he leads and works with. That story is told through changed lives, and I look forward to all that God is going to do in the lives of our baseball families through Coach Vilade.”
Prior to professional baseball, Vilade spent 12 years as a college coach, serving as head coach for 11 of those seasons. Vilade had the opportunity to start two NCAA baseball programs from the ground up: he was the head coach at the University of Dallas for the first four seasons of its reinstated baseball program before guiding the University of Texas at Tyler through the first seven years of its program. In between running these programs, Vilade was an assistant coach at Oral Roberts University, where he helped ORU capture the Mid-Continent Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.
In his 11 seasons as a head coach, Vilade compiled a career record of 348-117. His .748 career winning percentage makes him one of the winningest coaches in the history of NCAA baseball and the second-winningest coach in the history of NCAA baseball in Texas, where he trails only Cliff Gustafson, the former University of Texas coach. From 2000-2010, Vilade was the winningest NCAA baseball coach in the state of Texas. In 2007, Vilade coached the University of Texas at Tyler to a 37-1 record, which is the best single season record in the history of NCAA baseball in the Lone Star State and second-best nationwide. Vilade’s historic 2007 team is featured in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. A total of 112 of the college players Vilade coached were selected to All-Conference teams, and another 65 players were named to All-Academic teams. Vilade coached 16 All-Americans in his 12 year-career, and more than 60 players that Vilade coached have gone on to play professional baseball.
Vilade played college baseball at Baylor University where he helped the Bears win the 1993 Southwest Conference Championship, defeating the University of Texas Longhorns while advancing to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. A team captain and academic scholar-athlete, Vilade received his Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications from Baylor in 1995. Vilade also earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy in 2003.
Outside the game of baseball, Vilade remains active in community affairs and humanitarian work. Vilade founded Keeper of The Game Foundation in 2014, an organization that supports children with special needs and disabilities in and around baseball. The organization also promotes servant leadership among players and coaches. Vilade is involved with organizations such as Special Olympics, The Miracle League, The Frisco RoughRider Foundation, The Children’s Advocacy Center and Mike Coolbaugh’s Diamond Dreams. Vilade has spent more than 20 years focusing on community service, during which time he has directed more than 200 community service events and humanitarian efforts reaching both local communities and foreign countries. Vilade and his wife, Jennifer, are active members at the north campus of Prestonwood Baptist Church have three children: Ryan, who plays in the Colorado Rockies organization, Trent and McKenzie.
Vilade takes over for Coach Mike Maack, who announced his retirement yesterday. "There have only been two previous head coaches at PCA, Mike Maack and Todd Cash,” said Vilade. “I want to thank them both for the time they have poured into our school and program. This is something that is extremely meaningful for us as a program and our future."
Prestonwood Christian Academy School System is made up of five schools serving students across the Dallas Metroplex and virtually throughout the world. More than 1,650 students are enrolled at four campuses: PCA Plano (Pre-K3 through 12th Grade), PCA North in Prosper (Pre-K3 through 10th Grade), PCA Hybrid (starting in fall 2021) and PCAplus Virtual Academy. St. Timothy Christian Academy in Plano serves students with learning differences and The King’s Academy provides a Christian education to students in South Dallas. The PCA School System has been recognized as having one of the strongest Christian education programs in the country providing intentional biblical worldview training and integration. PCA places great value on the growth of students’ spiritual health in addition to their scholastic endeavors and co-curricular activities. Tantamount to its Spiritual Development plan is PCA’s rigorous Liberal Arts academic program. From the first graduating class in 2002 through the class of 2021, graduates have been offered more than $153 million in scholarship for academics, arts and athletics from universities and other institutions of higher learning. All PCA schools are now enrolling for its 25th school year in 2021-22.