Originally posted on Summer Ball  |  Last updated 4/5/12
From the FCBL
Brockton, Mass. - The Brockton Rox of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) have announced the hiring of Jud Thigpen as their Head Coach for the 2012 season.

 "We are very excited to have Jud as our Head Coach,” said Michael Canina, President of the Brockton Rox and Shaw’s Center. “I have had the privilege of watching Jud play for the Rox over the years and his demeanor and work ethic make him a great fit.”

“I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to come back here,” said Thigpen. “I’m excited to do my best for the city of Brockton.”

Thigpen spent two seasons with the Brockton Rox as a player from 2008 to 2009 and departed as one of the all-time greats in the history of the franchise. The smooth-fielding outfielder put together one of the most productive and prolific seasons in Rox history with his performance in 2008. Thigpen was named to the Can-Am League All-Star Team after hitting .295 with 20 doubles, and 59 runs scored, while leading the team with 17 homers and 70 RBI. Thigpen’s 70 RBI was the single-season Rox record until this past season, when Keith Brachold plated 80 runs to finish the 2011 campaign.

A year later, Thigpen hit at a .279 clip with 11 homers, 39 RBI, 16 doubles, and 50 runs scored in 2009 to close out his playing career. That same year he was named to the “All Time-Brockton Rox Team” as the left fielder.

"I am thrilled to be able to work with someone like Jud,” said General Manager Tom Healy. “To have someone of his caliber leading this team and working with our young men day in and day out is truly remarkable."

Before his time in the City of Champions, the Cleveland, Mississippi native spent three seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization. After hitting .310 in 2004 with Low-A Tri City of the Northwest League, Thigpen opened the 2005 campaign with High-A Modesto of the California League. Thigpen hit .304 with 27 RBI through 45 games and soon made the jump to Double-A. Thigpen went on to hit .266 with 11 homers and 33 RBI through 61 games with the Tulsa Drillers, before getting called up to Triple-A Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .317 over the course of 12 games. Thigpen spent 2006 in the Rockies organization with Double-A Tulsa, before joining the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League in 2007.

Since his retirement in 2009, Thigpen, 31, has worked as a full-time hitting instructor at Performance Sports Academy, while also doubling as the hitting coach for the baseball team at Clinton High School outside of Jackson, Mississippi.

“Playing in this city really re-energized my passion for baseball,” said Thigpen. “The atmosphere is great, and when the fans are feeling it, the players feed off of that energy. It will be a great opportunity for college kids to experience something like this.”

Thigpen was a collegiate standout while playing at Div. II Delta State in his native Mississippi from 2000-04. During his senior year he led DSU to the program's first ever NCAA Championship. For his efforts, he was named the 2004 Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II Player of the Year. In 2010, Thigpen was named to the Gulf South Conference (GSC) All-Decade Team and was tabbed as the West Division’s Player of the Decade.

The Brockton Rox will play their 2012 season as a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. The FCBL provides student-athletes from New England and New England colleges the opportunity to compete and play with the elite players from across the country and to promote them to MLB organizations. The Futures Collegiate Baseball League will provide a family friendly, affordable, and fun experience for the communities that we play in, in a minor league style setting.

The Brockton Rox are set to start their season with back-to-back home games on June 8 against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks and June 9 against the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs.

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