Gregg Ritchie Named Atlantic 10 Baseball Coach of the Year
First-Year Skipper Becomes Third GW Coach in Program History to Receive Honor
May 21, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - First-year George Washington baseball Head Coach Gregg Ritchie was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in voting conducted among the league's head coaches.
Ritchie, a 1986 graduate and former Major League Baseball hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates, returned to his alma mater after a 25-year career in professional baseball and led the Colonials to their first Atlantic 10 Championship berth since 2006.
GW was picked to finish last in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll but responded by finishing fifth in the final regular-season standings.
After opening the season with nine consecutive losses, the Colonials rebounded to win 15 league games, a nine-game swing from last season's record. GW won nine of its last 10 games to earn the No. 5 seed in this week's Atlantic 10 Championship.
Under Ritchie's tutelage the Colonials finished second in the Atlantic 10 and 17th in Division I with 104 stolen bases, the most pilfered sacks by a Colonials' squad since the team stole 123 bases in 2005. The Colonials also posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.55-to-1 (238 strikeouts, 154 walks), their best ratio since 1.37:1 in 2001. GW's 238 strikeouts against tally is also the fewest among the 15 teams in the Atlantic 10 this season.
A 1986 graduate, Ritchie was inducted into the George Washington Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 after an outstanding four-year career. Ritchie was named an All-Atlantic 10 outfielder on three occasions, the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year in 1986 and garnered All-American Third-Team honors from the National Baseball Coaches Association following his senior season.
GW opens the Atlantic 10 Championship against No. 4 Xavier on Wednesday morning at Charlotte's Hayes Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.