West Virginia University Athletic Director Oliver Luck wants the baseball program to achieve more than it has. So he looked for and believe he found the man to lead the program to new heights when he hired TCU Associate Head Coach Randy Mazey.
Mazey stopped in Morgantown earlier this week to be introduced as West Virginia's newest Head Coach before finishing his job at TCU.
TCU is set to meet UCLA in the NCAA Super Regional. Should TCU win the series, the Horned Frogs would advance to the College World Series. Those are three words that have not been used around Morgantown. However, that is something that Mazey expects to change.
"My vision for this program in the month of June in the future is to be on the practice field and not to be holding press conferences," Mazey said.
Mazey did not come to WVU for its baseball facilities, at least not in its current state. There are plans to build a new stadium as WVU prepares to upgrade its competition moving from the Big East to the Big 12. Oliver Luck is clearly trying to build a successful athletic program in everything from Football and Basketball to its olympic sports. That dedication to success appears to be what helped Mazey decide to come to Morgantown.
"This wasn't an interview where you look around and wonder if you want to be a part of this," Mazey stated. "It wasn't very long before we realized that this is a great opportunity. I would like to take this program to places it hasn't been before."
Those places include where he currently is, helping TCU in an NCAA Super Regional. Since Mazey joined TCU's staff, the Horned Frogs are 269-104. TCU has also made six NCAA Regional appearances, three NCAA Super Regional appearances and one trip to the College World Series.
Turning a program around rarely happens overnight. Don't tell that to Randy Mazey, who believes he can have this program on track as early as next season.
"I am kind of crazy in that way," Mazey smiled. "I am expecting big strides right away. I am guilty of saying that you can win anywhere if you just get after it."
Mazey's formula for success clearly focuses on having a good pitching staff. He discussed a few reasons for that, which included the NCAA's rule change on bats. That change occurred three years ago and has dropped offensive numbers around the country.
"With college baseball the way it is today, you have to pitch," Mazey said. "It is a different game than it was three years ago. If you look at all of the Big 12 teams, they can all pitch. If you put quality pitchers on the mound, you have a chance to win games."
Mazey further illustrated his point by arguing that TCU would not be where it is this postseason without consistent pitching.
"At TCU, we didn't swing the bats well all year, but now, we are in the position to put ourselves in the College World Series," Mazey said. "Pitching can keep you in every game."
Mazey will try and turn around a team that went 23-32, 9-18 in the Big East this season. It's a challenge he understands and a challenge he is excited to pursue.
"All of these guys are just names on a stat sheet to me," Mazey said. "When I walk into that locker room, each player on this team has a fresh start. They will have an opportunity to play just as much as the guy sitting next to them does. To me, it comes back to attitude and effort. The guys that are committed to the same things as my staff are going to be the guys that have success. If they want to jump on board and ride this train as far as we can drive it, then I am happy to have them on board."
Mazey will begin the process of meeting with the WVU players once TCU's season is over. Until then, he is still focused on helping the Horned Frogs win the College World Series.