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Randy Ford
Randy Ford
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Western Michigan
Graduating Year: 1979
Phone: (269) 276-3205
Email: randy.ford@wmich.edu

Randy Ford is entering his 26th season of coaching and his sixth at the helm of the Western Michigan University baseball program after being named the seventh head baseball coach in WMU history in July of 2004. Ford’s goals for the program are simple, to produce quality students and highly-competitive ball clubs on a yearly basis, while helping his student-athletes mature on and off the field.

Six players have been selected to the All-MAC First Team and four members of the Brown & Gold have been named to the all-conference second team druing Ford's first five years.

Eight Broncos have also been drafted in Ford’s first five seasons, and WMU produced the 2006 and 2008 MAC Freshman of the Year, in right-handed pitchers Ethan Hollingsworth and Brian Stroud. Both were also named Louisville Slugger All-Americans.

WMU compiled a 29-23-1 record in 2008 with a MAC record of 12-12. Ford recorded his 100th career win with 12-11 extra inning victory over Illinois Stat. The Broncos started the season hot with a 12-4-1 record in tournaments in Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky, before traveling back to Kalamazoo, where they posted a 10-5 record at Hyames Field.

Western Michigan advanced to the MAC Tournament for the third time in Ford’s four seasons and boasted five All-MAC performers, including the Broncos’ entire starting rotation. WMU’s five honorees were the most for the university since the 1995 season, when the Brown & Gold had six players named All-MAC.

Western Michigan did not go unnoticed in the Major League Draft, as three players were selected in 2008, the most ever in a season under Ford. Hollingsworth (4th round - Colorado), Billy Morrison (9th - Seattle) and Zach Gentile (47th - Boston) were all summoned and two of the three signed with their respective clubs.

The Broncos have produced a MLB selection every year during Ford's tenure, as Kevan Hess was selected in the 2009 draft by the Detroit Tigers in the 14th round. In four of those five years, WMU has had at least one pitcher drafted.

In his first year as head coach, Ford managed to take a team that had won only seven conference games prior to his arrival to the 2005 Mid-American Conference Tournament. WMU earned the fourth seed after starting the season with a 9-0 record. It was the first time since 1999 that the Broncos had participated at the MAC Tournament.

Ford also improved the Broncos’ numbers on the mound, as they went from a 5.71 ERA in 2004 to a 4.44 ERA in 2005, and dropped that number to a 3.30 ERA in MAC play, which ranked third best in the conference. Western Michigan continued its strides on the mound in 2006, posting the second best ERA in the MAC with a 4.07 and remained fairly consistent, despite a young staff in 2007, compiling a 4.87 ERA. In 2008, the Broncos had the second best ERA in the conference at 5.09 and all three starting pitchers ranked in the top 16 in the league. During MAC play, Hollingsworth and Stroud ranked third and fourth, respectively, with ERA’s of 3.74 and 3.95.

In his second season at Western Michigan, the Broncos finished tied for second in the MAC West, with a 16-9 conference record. Two players, Dan O’Brien and Kyle Maunus, were drafted at the conclusion of the season. In 2007, right-handed pitcher Derek Schlecker was a draft selection of the LA Angels.

Before his arrival, Ford spent 16 seasons at Penn State, serving as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. During his tenure, the Nittany Lions made the postseason seven times (1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004) – advancing to the Super Regional in 2000. While at University Park, Ford helped PSU capture the 1996 Big Ten regular-season championship and coached 56 players who were either drafted or signed by Major League Baseball. In addition to his baseball duties, he also served as a faculty member with the department of kinesiology.

Other draftees Ford has had an opportunity to coach include John VanderWal, Matt Mieske, Joe Humphries and Adam Rosales, all of whom are former WMU standouts, along with Penn State notables David Aardsma and Nate Bump. Bump was drafted in the first round from Penn State and played in the 2003 season for the World Series Champion Florida Marlins.

The hiring of Ford marked the return of the Morenci, Mich., native to Western Michigan University. Ford spent four years as an assistant under former Bronco head coach Fred Decker from 1985-88. Ford began his association with the Brown & Gold as a three-year letterwinner (1977-79). A walk-on, left-handed pitcher, Ford compiled a career record of 17-4 and a 2.91 ERA. He earned All-Mid-American Conference First Team honors and all-district recognition as a junior in 1979, registering an 8-0 record and a 2.04 ERA.

In 1979, Ford was selected in the 11th-round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. During a four-year professional career (1979-82), Ford advanced as high as Double A ball, earning team MVP honors with the Kingston Blue Jays of the Class A Carolina League in 1981. After his career was cut short by shoulder problems, Ford returned to WMU to complete a degree in physical education with minors in biology and coaching in 1985.

Randy, 52, and his wife Lynn have two children, Jeremy (23) and Katie (20). The Ford family resides in Schoolcraft, Mich.

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