ASHLAND, Va. - Ray Hedrick, head baseball coach at Randolph-Macon College, has announced the hiring of M.L. Morgan and James Walsh as assistant coaches for the Yellow Jackets.
“We couldn’t be more fortunate to have M.L. and James join our staff for this upcoming academic year," Hedrick said. "Thanks in large part to the work of CJ Rhodes and Austin McGowan, we have created a remarkable environment for our players to develop under quality young coaches. That is not only evident to our student-athletes, it is also well noted in the coaching community.”
Rhodes remains on staff, while McGowan has departed to pursue other interests.
Morgan was an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University for the past three seasons after serving as Director of Baseball Operations for one year. Morgan worked with the outfielders, coached the bunting game, served as first base coach and coordinated all Rams Baseball Camps. During Morgan's time at VCU, the Rams were nationally ranked in two separate seasons (2014 & 2015), won the 2015 Atlantic 10 Tournament, won the 2015 Coral Gables Regional and earned a berth in the Super Regionals, and captured the Atlantic 10 regular season crown in 2017. VCU won at least 35 games in each of his seasons with the Rams. Morgan coached eight players who signed professional contracts, two Atlantic 10 Rookies of the Year and one Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.
"With Austin’s departure," Hedrick said, "we were extremely fortunate to attract someone with the qualifications of M.L. Austin’s tireless work over three plus years has made this position on our staff highly coveted. That is why you see someone with M.L.’s D-I background eager to be a part of our program. Needless to say we share in his enthusiasm and know that ultimately our players will benefit from having him around.”
A native of Dinwiddie, Va., Morgan earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from VCU in 2010. As a member of the Rams' baseball team, Morgan was part of two conference championships and two NCAA regional appearances as an outfielder.
Morgan received his Master of Education in Sports Leadership from VCU in 2014. Morgan lives in Richmond with his wife, Sernarra Archie, who was a student-athlete in track and field at VCU.
Walsh was a three-year member of the R-MC baseball program. The left-handed pitcher posted a 10-0 record in 14 starts in 2016 with an ERA of 1.98. He was fourth in the nation with 10 wins, the top mark in program history. Walsh was fifth in the country with 14 starts. His 14 starts and 95.1 innings pitched were also Yellow Jacket program records. Walsh recorded 102 strikeouts, the fourth-highest total in the nation and second in program history, six away from the school record. Walsh was All-America First Team by D3baseball.com, American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Hero Sports. He was Pitcher of the Year in the South Region, in the state of Virginia and in the ODAC.
A native of Mechanicsville, Va., Walsh helped R-MC go 35-8-1 in 2016 and reach the regional finals for the first time in program history. The Yellow Jackets were nationally-ranked the entire season, rising as high as No. 2.
During his three-year career with the Yellow Jackets, Walsh had a record of 20-5 with an ERA of 2.46. He is first in program history with 227 career strikeouts, third with 20 career victories, fourth with 34 career starts and fifth with a career winning percentage of .800.
After earning a degree in Environmental Studies from R-MC in 2016, Walsh pitched professionally with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
“We are excited to have the chance to help James get started with his coaching career," Hedrick said. "His success as a student-athlete at our level is unparalleled, and I am certain he will draw from his experiences as an amateur and professional player to make our program better.”
R-MC went 26-15 this past season, including 13-7 in ODAC play. The Yellow Jackets were nationally ranked throughout the regular season.
Randolph-Macon is scheduled to open the 2018 season on Saturday, Feb. 17 at home against RPI.