RICHMOND, Va.— With one new face coming in and a few familiar faces changing roles, there were definitely some changes that took place over the offseason for the VCU baseball team.
Externally, head baseball coach Shawn Stiffler brought on Steve Hay (pictured, top right) to serve as the Rams' pitching coach. Internally, he promoted both Kurt Elbin (pictured, bottom right) and ML Morgan (pictured, left) to new positions.
"This is a great opportunity to continue my growth as a pitching coach with a program that is well respected and contains a rich history nationally," Hay said. "VCU has a name brand that incorporates winning and developing outstanding baseball players, on and off the field. I can't wait to get started helping this team win Atlantic 10 Championships in the near future."
Hay comes to VCU with a long and impressive coaching resume in the college ranks. Most recently he served as an assistant coach at George Mason for seven seasons, where he helped his pitching staffs set new single-season school records in walks per nine innings, home runs allowed, and team ERA. He also coached multiple All-CAA players, as well as a CAA Rookie of the Year and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
"I am thrilled to welcome Steve and his family to our program," Stiffler said. "He is widely thought of as one of the best pitching coaches and baseball minds in our business."
Prior to coaching at George Mason, Hay spent time at the NAIA level with Webber International University for five seasons where he was also the team's pitching coach. In his career, he has helped mentor 14 different pitchers who have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.
"His track record for developing pitchers speaks for itself, but beyond that Steve is a man of high character," said Stiffler. "His ideas and values will have a lasting impact on our players on and off the field. We're very fortunate to be in a place with our program where we can attract such great baseball minds to our coaching staff."
In addition to the hiring of Hay, Stiffler has also promoted former Director of Operations ML Morgan to an on-field coaching position. Morgan, a former player and a member of two championship teams, will have the official title of volunteer assistant coach.
"I'm extremely proud and excited to move ML onto the field as our volunteer coach," said Stiffler. "ML represents the highest character and he's exactly what we look for, not only in our student-athletes, but in our coaching staff and in the other people in our program, who are going to be leading our student athletes."
Morgan's coaching responsibilities will include overseeing outfield defense, coaching first base and assisting Coach Elbin with the team's offensive game plan.
Last season, the Rams finished with a record of 37-20 and a second place finish in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.