Furman Paladins head baseball coach Ron Smith has announced the hiring of Mike Ranson as assistant baseball coach. Ranson, who will serve as pitching coach for the Paladins, comes to Furman after serving two seasons as pitching coach/recruiting coordinator at the University of Delaware. He takes over for Chris Edwards, who recently resigned
to pursue a law career.
"We are thrilled with the addition of Mike Ranson to our staff," said Smith in making the announcement. "Mike has quality experience and an impressive track record of success at the Division I level. He's also a great teacher of the game and top notch recruiter. It's an exciting day for Furman baseball."
In two seasons at Delaware Ranson helped guide the Blue Hens to winning campaigns, going 27-26 and finishing fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 2011 before posting a 31-27 mark and third place regular season finish this past spring. The 2012 campaign saw the Blue Hens win four games in the CAA Tournament and advance to the championship game before dropping a 10-8 decision to top-seed UNC Wilmington.
Three Delaware pitchers garnered CAA Pitcher of the Week accolades in 2012, two earned all-conference honors, and another, senior right-hander Eric Young, collected CAA All-Tournament honors. Prior to going to Delaware, Ranson spent four seasons (2007-10) at Division II Limestone (S.C.) College, where he served as both pitching coach and recruiting coordinator and helped the Saints produce four All-Carolinas Conference selections. Ranson worked the 2006 season as pitching coach at Wingate (N.C.) University.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Lynchburg (Va.) College, his alma mater, and while there helped the 2004 squad pace the nation in batting average (.380) and runs scored (10.8). In all Lynchburg had four All-Americans, six all-region picks, and 11 all-conference selections in his two seasons. Ranson completed his stellar playing career at Lynchburg in 2003, tying the school record for wins (23) and ranking highly in several other categories, including innings pitched (313), strikeouts (250), single-season strikeouts (92) and innings pitched (91). He captured team rookie of the year honors in 2000 and squad pitcher of the year laurels in 2002 and 2003, his junior and senior seasons.
He completed his master's degree in education from Lynchburg. The young coach boasts an impressive summer ball coaching resume, having worked in the Cal Ripken, Valley, and Coastal Plains baseball leagues. He served as pitching coach of the Fauquier Gators in the Clark Griffith League from 2004-06, directing staffs to league best ERAs in 2004 (2.59) and '06 (2.54), and later directed the Valley League Harrisonburg Turks to a 28-18 record and league best 2.37 ERA.
In 2009 he helped guide the Forest City Owls to a 51-9 record, Coastal Plains League (CPL) Championship and No. 1 summer team ranking by Perfect Game. The following year the Owls claimed a second straight CPL crown with a 43-21 record and No. 4 ranking by Perfect Game, again leading the CPL in nearly every pitching statistic. A native of Bristol, Tenn., Ranson played high school ball in Columbus, Ohio.
Photo Courtesy: Mike Ranson, Furman Athletics