Winthrop baseball coach Tom Riginos announced the hiring of Rich Witten as an assistant coach for the upcoming season.
Witten, who will work primarily with catchers, first basemen and hitters, joins the Eagles after coaching stints at the University of Miami and Central Florida, and a successful playing career at Coastal Carolina University.
“During the interviewing process it became obvious that Rich was the right fit for this program,” Riginos said. “Rich will bring energy, professionalism and a great knowledge of baseball to this staff. There is no doubt in my mind that the student-athletes will enjoy working with him on a daily basis.”
Witten coached the 2013 season as a volunteer assistant at Miami as the Hurricanes won the ACC regular season title. He was responsible for coaching the catchers and assisted in coaching hitters in addition to handling logistics for on-campus recruiting.
Prior to Miami, Witten spent a year at Central Florida as the Director of Baseball Operations. In addition to coordinating the day-to-day operations of the baseball program, Witten was also involved in on-campus recruiting efforts.
Witten graduated in December 2011 from Coastal Carolina with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science. He played five seasons for the Chanticleers under the director of head coach Gary Gilmore. He was a 2012 selection to the Big South All-Conference First Team and three times was named to the Big South All-Tournament Team. Witten finished his career with a .316 batting average, 50 doubles and 158 RBIs. He notched a career-high 66 RBIs in 2012, which ranked him 12th in Division I that season.
“I believe that Rich will be one of the top assistant coaches in the country in a short period of time,” Gilmore said. “His passion, determination and relentlessness that he played with has now been refocused in his coaching career. From Coastal to UCF to U of Miami, Rich has absorbed great knowledge about what it takes to be a winner and I am sure he will use all if this to promote Winthrop baseball back into the collegiate national picture.”
Winthrop’s women’s squad has achieved this honor in eight of the past nine years and was among 208 female teams that earned the distinction, while the Eagles men’s team was one of 116 schools recognized. To be eligible for the award, the team must achieve at least a 3.0 grade point average for the academic year. Winthrop’s women compiled a 3.16 GPA while the men’s team had a 3.04 average.
The Catamounts and Eagles played three 30 minute halves. This gave the coaching staffs, from both teams, a chance at two 10 minute half-times used for instruction.