J.A. "Ike" Tomlinson
J.A. "Ike" Tomlinson
Organization: Arkansas State University
Year: 1971 Inductee

James Albert "Ike" Tomlinson was responsible for the revival of the athletics program at Arkansas State University (ASU) after World War II. An athlete who coached five sports, he served as ASU's head baseball coach for 32 years, also serving as athletic director for three decades.

Tomlinson was named Associated Press National Coach of the Year and was selected for induction into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. In 1993, ASU's baseball complex, Tomlinson Stadium, was named in his honor.

Though adept at coaching several sports, he preferred baseball. Under Tomlinson's leadership, ASU claimed three collegiate All-Americans in baseball—George Glenn, Dana Ryan, and Wayne Pitcock. Tomlinson was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1964.

Tomlinson ended his baseball coaching career with a record of 543–439, having brought Arkansas State up to the university playing level when it was granted university status in 1967. That year, his team finished in the top three at the NCAA playoffs with a 26–8–1 record, and he was named 1967's Associated Press National Coach of the Year. Under his leadership, the ASU team was selected to compete in the 1968 College World Series.

In addition to coaching, Tomlinson also served as ASU's athletic director from 1945 through 1976. When he was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, he was lauded for his coaching of numerous sports and for his long tenure as athletic director.

In 1957, Tomlinson served as president of the ABCA.