June 8, 2012


Nine Innings with Randy Mazey

By Phil Stanton and Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founders


Randy Mazey, associate head coach at TCU, was recently named head coach at West Virginia.


Mazey is in his sixth season with the Horned Frogs. TCU is 269-104 over the past six years with at least 40 victories each season and six NCAA Regional appearances. Mazey has helped guide TCU to the Super Regionals in three of the past four seasons, including a trip to the College World Series in 2010. The Frogs will play at UCLA this weekend in the Los Angeles Super Regional.


This will be Mazey’s third term as a head coach. He led Charleston Southern from 1994-96 (66-84-1, Big South Champs 1996) and East Carolina from 2004-06 (120-66-1, 3 NCAA Regionals). In six seasons as a head coach, Mazey is 186-159-2 (.536).


A native of Johnstown, Pa., Mazey played four seasons at Clemson. The outfielder/pitcher had a career batting average of .331 and a pitching record of 8-1. Mazey was drafted in the 28th round of the 1988 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians and played two seasons of minor league baseball before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in administrative management in 1988 and MBA in 1993, both from Clemson.


Mazey recently took time to answer our questions.

First Inning – After being a head coach, how did your experience as an assistant help you for your next head coaching opportunity?
Any time you have the opportunity to look at the same thing from a different perspective, you learn from it. There are also a lot of things that head coaches have to deal with that assistants don't, so it was a great opportunity to get back to the pure basics of the profession, coaching and recruiting.

Second Inning – What interested you most about the West Virginia position?
It didn't take me long once I got to Morgantown to realize that this could be a great opportunity. The commitment to baseball from [Director of Athletics] Oliver Luck and the administration was obvious, and I've always said that anytime there is a conference that stretches north to south, the northernmost team in that league should have a great opportunity to attract some really good players from some northern states. If you look at the success that Kentucky, Oregon State, Louisville, Boston College and Maryland are having, they are all examples of northernmost schools in southern leagues. With West Virginia entering the Big 12, I see it as an opportunity for northern kids to play in one of the best leagues in the country but still stay close to home.

Third Inning – Will you recruit more regionally or nationally for the Mountaineers?
I really don't like to set any recruiting boundaries. Good players are good players no matter where they are from. We are obviously going to try and sign the best players from West Virginia and the neighboring states up north, but with the success that the football and basketball teams are having, that brings some national attention to the school and enables you to attract kids from all over the country.

Fourth Inning – You've coached in Big 12 country - and TCU played a host of Big 12 schools this year - how do you compare it to your previous stops?
I have been extremely fortunate in my coaching career to have coached in the ACC, SEC, Conference USA, the Mountain West, the Big South, the Colonial, and now the Big 12, so I have seen more different conferences than most coaches get to see in their entire careers. I really believe that Big 12 baseball is as good as any of them. The baseball tradition at schools like Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State, and with schools such as TCU and Baylor having so much success right now, makes me believe that the Big 12 is one of the best leagues in the country.

Fifth Inning – How does West Virginia, coming from the Big East, get up to speed for Big 12 play?
That's a great question. I think the answer is pretty obvious though. As long as the school and the administration is committed to being able to compete and gives you the resources necessary to win, the answer lies in the players. It will be very hard to win in the Big 12 unless you sign the type of players that the other schools in the Big 12 would have recruited. We are going to have to sign the type of players that had opportunities to play at some great schools but sees the opportunity he has to play at West Virginia. With the advent of showcases and travel teams, it's a lot harder to dig good players out of the cracks. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to sign a good player from West Virginia, you actually had to go to West Virginia to see him play. These days, you can see the best players from each state at a national showcase in Florida or a national tournament in Atlanta for example. Now everyone is recruiting the same kids, so we will have to bang heads recruiting with a lot of really good schools, and we are willing to do that.

Sixth Inning – The facilities at West Virginia are a far cry from those in the Big 12. What plans are there to upgrade?
We have excellent plans of upgrading the facilities at WVU. I can't release any details yet, but suffice it to say that West Virginia has a vision to build a state-of-the-art baseball stadium that will rank as one of the best in the nation. That was another thing that was really exciting to me when I chose to go to WVU. Kids want to play in nice facilities, and if you look back at college baseball over the past 15-20 years, any time a program has built a facility like the one we have plans for, the program immediately got better. I'm extremely excited about what West Virginia baseball is doing right now.


Seventh Inning – How concerned are you about conference travel for the Mountaineers?
Not concerned at all. As a matter of fact, I am excited about it. I really believe that education is not just in a classroom, it is all around you. Traveling the country is part of learning, it's exciting, and it gives kids an opportunity to see different things.

Eighth Inning – How valuable to the TCU program was the appearance in the 2010 College World Series?
There is no way to put into words what a trip to the College World Series does for a baseball program, especially the first trip. From increased enrollment to the university, recruiting, to the attitude in the clubhouse, everything changes. Along with that comes higher expectations. Once you go to the World Series, anything short of that is disappointing.

Ninth Inning – What will be TCU’s biggest challenge in defeating UCLA in the Los Angeles Super Regional this weekend?
UCLA is such a good team and is so talented, and they are also playing at home. Like us, they have players on their team that have played in the College World Series, and that experience really comes to the forefront in the postseason. You've seen that in TCU's team this year as well. We are playing our best baseball right now, and that is because when you have guys that have been to Omaha before, when you get to the postseason, they realize how close you are, and that experience leads the team.

(photo courtesy of TCU Media Relations Office)