“I’m telling you, West Virginia hit more than a home run. They got a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth in Omaha hiring him.” — Jim Schlossnagle, TCU baseball coach, on new WVU baseball coach Randy Mazey.
I spent some time Saturday in Fort Worth for the TCU alumni baseball game and, welp, I’m ready to book my trip to Omaha for the College World Series. WVU will be there and win it and then win it again next year and that’s before Randy Mazey has a roster full of his players playing his way in his new ball park. It’s going to be epic.
This is the urge you have to fight when you talk to people here about Mazey, who was a TCU assistant for six years and sent 12 pitchers to the pros. It was like keg stands of Kool Aid.
People really like Mazey and they even call themselves on it.
I know it sounds cliche, but he’s really an unbelievable guy.
I’m sorry, but I can’t say enough about him.
Jim Schlossnagle, the TCU coach, believes Mazey will excel. This is his 10th season. TCU’s baseball stadium is 11 years old. He’s seen the facilities overhauled and improved and Mazey was there for much of it.
Schlossnagle figures Mazey, who saw a stadium built at East Carolina, too, will be quite adept at doing whatever it is WVU is going to do about a home field. They’ve talked about plans and how things happened at TCU so they can happen at WVU — and there’s no BCS money at TCU. It’s a private school where things are built with donor dollars.
Mazey’s teams will be smart and prepared and assertive. They’ll be sharp on the base paths and typically the benefactor of Mazey’s in-game decisions. And they’ll be able to pitch.
That’s his forte and that, so far, looks like the foundation at WVU. He brought in 15 new players this season. Seven are pitchers. He’ll get through to them because that, above all else, seems to be his best trait.
There’s a relationship, almost immediately, and the players know that he cares. Then they care what he knows. The partnership can then blossom from there, sometimes with unusual tactics, often with great results.
“He asks a lot out of you, but he knows that through relationships with the players he’s going to get that out of you,” Holle said. “It’s like any coach. If he stops yelling at you, that means he doesn’t care. It sounds cliché, but he’s really an unbelievable guy.”
Mazey literally stopped talking to Winkler before his sophomore year.
Mazey spent much of the 2010 preseason pleading with Winkler to put his pitches down in the strike zone. Winkler, who was 7-1 with a 4.15 ERA as a freshman, wouldn’t play along.
“He’d always talk to you right after you got done throwing, whether it was good or bad,” Winkler said. “He didn’t say one word to me for two weeks.”
Once he realized what was happening, Winkler took Mazey’s advice.
“I wanted him to be proud of me when I threw, but it was something I could tell he was upset about,” Winkler said. “Instead of trying to be stubborn about it and trying to do it my way, I determined I was going to be better off if I did it his way.”
He was 12-3 with a 3.39 ERA in 2010 and 8-2 with a 1.39 ERA a year later. Winkler ended up being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th round in 2011.