Baseball, Sports

Coach considered a pioneer for UM baseball program

Ron Fraser, the former Miami coach who was dubbed “the wizard of college baseball,” passed away Sunday morning. He was 79.

Fraser, who coached the Hurricanes for 30 years between 1963-1992 and compiled a record of 1,271-438-9, battled Alzheimer’s disease after receiving the diagnosis two years ago.

He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Coach Fraser was like a father to me,” current Miami baseball coach Jim Morris said in a statement. “He was the most influential man in my career and a great friend who I knew I could always rely on. He played such a significant role in the history of college baseball and of this program, and we will always be a tribute to him.”

Taking over a program that did not give scholarships for baseball at the time of his hiring, Fraser established himself as a pioneer not only for the Hurricanes, but also for collegiate baseball in general. A team that was once in danger of being cut from the athletic program, Fraser was at the forefront of building the legacy of a Miami baseball powerhouse.

The Hurricanes own the NCAA’s all-time best streak of 40 consecutive postseason appearances, which began under Fraser and is still alive today.

Fraser’s eccentricity led to several new traditions, including the Sugar Canes – Miami’s own bat girls – and the creation of the team’s mascot, the Miami Maniac.

The legendary coach was responsible for the development of Mark Light Field, the Hurricanes’ very own on-campus stadium that was considered the best in the nation. In fact, the stadium served as a model for future construction around college baseball.

“Coach Fraser had a tremendous impact on the baseball program at the University of Miami at a pivotal point in our history,” UM President Donna E. Shalala said in a statement. “His love of the sport and the program can be felt years after his legendary tenure at ‘The U.’”

Fraser pushed for ESPN to broadcast Miami baseball games and eventually host a number of collegiate games during the regular season and postseason, which the network continues to employ to this day.

During his time with Miami, Fraser led the Hurricanes to 12 College World Series, including national championship triumphs in 1982 and 1985.

He was the NCAA Coach of the Year four times, and was honored as Coach of the Decade by Collegiate Baseball for his work in the 1980s.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Coach Fraser,” acting UM athletic director Blake James said. “The impact he had on our university, on college baseball and on the game itself worldwide is immeasurable. His legacy will live on through the lives of those whom he touched and through the innovations he incorporated into America’s pastime.”

January 20, 2013

Reporters

Ernesto Suarez

Sports Editor


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Coach considered a pioneer for UM baseball program”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami football great Cortez Kennedy, a Pro Football Hall of Famer remembered for his w ...

The Hurricanes are still alive in their quest to make it to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. ...

When Edgar Michelangeli stepped up to bat on Saturday, there was pressure. So much pressure. There w ...

On a day when the newest University of Miami football players – including heralded prep quarterback ...

How much does 44 years of history weigh? That is what these Miami Hurricanes baseball players carry ...

Victor Oquendo, BSC ’09, is following in his parents’ footsteps. ...

The Rosenstiel School’s final lecture of the 2017 Sea Secrets series focused on using science diplom ...

Researchers believe they have found a new way to monitor the intensity and location of hurricanes fr ...

The University of Miami welcomed nearly 3,800 new graduates into the UM alumni family during six cer ...

Speakers urge UM’s graduating students to use their skills and talents to make a difference. ...

Joe Gomez drove in the winning run after Andrew Cabezas pitched 6.1 no-hit innings of relief. ...

University of Miami women's golf sophomore Dewi Weber was selected as a Second Team All-America ...

Miami's Estela Perez-Somarriba will take on fourth-ranked and third-seeded Astra Sharma Wednesd ...

Dee Delaney is eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer from The Citadel, where he was na ...

Joe Gomez played the role of Hurricane hero Tuesday , lifting sixth-seeded Miami to a 6-5 win over 1 ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.