West Virginia University has its first new head baseball coach in 18 years.
On Wednesday, WVU athletic director Oliver Luck announced that the school had hired Randy Mazey to take over for the position left vacant when Greg Van Zant was fired in May.
"We are delighted to welcome Randy into our Mountaineer family," Luck said. "He is a blue-collar guy whose father was a coal miner and he was raised in Johnstown, Pa. He understands the work ethic that all Mountaineers share and in that regard he is one of us."
Mazey becomes the 19th head baseball coach in WVU history. The job is his third as a head coach following stints at Charleston Southern in the mid-90s and East Carolina from 2004-06.
Since leaving the Pirates, Mazey has served as an assistant to head coach Jim Schlossnagle at TCU, including the past three seasons as the associate head coach.
In his six seasons at TCU, the Horned Frogs won at least 40 games each year and have advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round in three of the past four years.
"I am extremely thankful to Oliver Luck and West Virginia University for giving me this opportunity," Mazey said. "I am excited to be the head baseball coach at such a fine university and look forward to the journey into the Big 12 Conference and the challenge that lies ahead. I also look forward to becoming part of the Mountaineer family, and I am anxious to work with WVU's administration, alumni, fans and the Morgantown community to take this baseball program to new levels."
Mazey has quite a task on his hand with West Virginia's baseball program, which is looking for new facilities and an increase in on-field success.
When Van Zant coached his final game for the Mountaineers, he said it would take a renewed focus on the program to get WVU where it could compete in the Big 12, but he remained confident that those pieces to the puzzle did exist in Morgantown.
Luck has made it clear he believes Hawley Field is not suitable to host Big 12 games and so the university continues to search for both a short- and long-term home for its baseball team.
He also believes Mazey is the right fit to move the program forward in terms of what it needs to accomplish on the diamond.
"He knows our regional recruiting area, as well as the traditional Big 12 recruiting areas," says Luck. "He's a pitching coach who understands the importance of pitching in a top-flight conference like the Big 12, and I know he will bring in an excellent group of assistant coaches. Randy is smart, very well respected in the college baseball community and understands the challenges that we will face in the Big 12."
Mazey is scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday afternoon in Morgantown. You can view his introduction right here on wvillustrated.com.