Lovelady pegged as Raiders manager
Wright State Director of Athletics Bob Grant announced Wednesday afternoon that former associate coach Greg Lovelady has been promoted to the position of head coach for the 2014 season.
Lovelady, a former University of Miami catcher, served as previous manager Rob Cooper’s right-hand man for the last nine years before Cooper was hired by Penn State to serve as its manager.
Lovelady has worked mainly with the squad’s pitching staff and catchers as an assistant for Cooper. During Cooper’s tenure, WSU installed FieldTurf at Nischwitz Stadium in what was already a modern college ballpark.
“I think that the infrastructure is definitely a huge plus being a head coach knowing that coach Cooper, we had to get all of these things,” Lovelady said. “I have already gotten them, so I am at a definite advantage knowing that I can step right into a program that already has a great infrastructure.”
Lovelady twice won NCAA College World Series titles with Miami. His first title came in 1999 and he won again as team captain in 2001. At Miami, legendary manager Jim Morris coached him.
“He is on the Mount Rushmore of college baseball,” Lovelady said. “I think there is a lot I take from him in terms of how to coach, how to recruit, how to deal with media and boosters.”
As an assistant for Cooper, the Raiders reached three NCAA tournaments. The squad came a game away from qualifying for the tournament last season but lost in the Horizon League title game.
“Greg has had as much to do with our success in the last nine years than anyone,” Cooper said. “He will do a great job and he is the right man to lead the program.”
Working with pitchers and catchers, Lovelady has had the opportunity to coach a number of future professionals including current Cleveland Indians reliever Joe Smith. Smith was a standout at WSU before leaving following his junior season in 2006.
“Greg truly knows how to bring out the best in his players,” Smith said. “I have no doubt he will continue to lead the program into an even brighter future as the new head coach of Wright State.”