A former collegiate standout and three-time Major League Baseball draftee, Brett Lawler just finished his fourth season as an assistant coach and sixth overall on the Roadrunners’ staff. Lawler began mentoring UTSA's pitching staff in 2013 after working with the program’s hitters, catchers and outfielders the previous three campaigns.
Last season, the Roadrunners posted a 35-25 overall record and advanced to their third NCAA Regional after the club captured the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament Championship.
Lawler guided the pitching staff to a 4.35 ERA, the third-lowest mark in program history and lowest since 2006.
Right-hander Brock Hartson anchored the staff with a 9-5 record and a 3.40 ERA, which earned him Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America and second-team All-WAC honors. The bullpen accounted for 20 of UTSA's 35 victories and closer Matt Sims posted a 2.31 ERA and limited opposing hitters to a .176 batting average in his 58.1 innings of work.
The 2011 campaign saw Riley Good garner Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball, as he posted program frosh records with 86 hits (third in NCAA among freshman) and 16 stolen bases. In addition, Ryan Hutson became the program’s all-time home run leader after belting three on the final day of the regular season, which earned him National Co-Hitter of the Week accolades (May 24).
Ryan Dalton earned 2010 Southland Freshman of the Year and consensus Freshman All-America accolades after tying for the conference lead with a UTSA frosh-record 17 home runs (second in NCAA among freshmen) and leading the Birds with 51 RBIs. The Roadrunners launched a Southland-best 71 long balls in just 50 games and that total ranks second in school history. Hutson (first team) and Ryan Rummel (third team) also earned postseason honors from the league.
As volunteer coach in his first two seasons, Lawler helped coach the team’s hitters, first basemen and catchers.
UTSA rewrote the record book yet again in 2009, setting new program standards for batting average (.317), hits (661), home runs (89), total bases (1,109) and slugging percentage (.532) and just missed school records for runs (461), doubles (131) and RBIs (409). The Birds easily shattered the previous mark for long balls, 66 in 1999 (60 games), doing so in the season’s 49th contest.
That performance came on the heels of one of the most-prolific offensive years on school record in 2008. The Roadrunners set new program marks for batting average (.316), runs scored (467), hits (647), doubles (134), RBIs (419), total bases (1,005) and slugging percentage (.490) while finishing second in home runs (64) and on-base percentage (.397).
A two-year starter at Arkansas-Little Rock (UALR), Lawler played in 106 games as a Trojan. Prior to that, he helped lead San Jacinto College to a runner-up finish at the 2004 NJCAA World Series. The College Station native was an all-state selection as a senior and he helped A&M Consolidated High School attain a No. 1 national ranking by Baseball America that season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected him in the 34th round of the 2003 MLB Draft and in the 28th round one year later. The Florida Marlins then called his name in the 42nd round in 2007 and he played for one season for the Rookie-level affiliate Gulf Coast Marlins.
He comes from a baseball family, as his father, Jim, was the head coach at UALR from 2006-08 after serving as an assistant at Texas A&M for 21 years under the legendary Mark Johnson. His brother, Travis, pitched in the St. Louis Cardinals organization for three seasons after being selected in the 32nd round of the MLB Draft in June 2009.
Lawler earned his bachelor’s degree in health science from UALR in May 2007 and finished his master’s in education with an emphasis in kinesiology two years later at UTSA. He married the former Jennifer Haney in June 2008.