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


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes found new life Saturday — despite so much seemingly going wrong. Big plays on o ...

At least in terms of their bowl situation, the Miami Hurricanes can take a deep, collective breath. ...

Thoughts, notes, reaction and postscripts after UM’s 38-14 win on Saturday at Virginia Tech, making ...

There wasn’t much energy in the Watsco Center stands on Saturday afternoon as most University of Mia ...

View photos from the Bethune-Cookman wildcats at Miami Hurricanes in a NCAA college basketball game ...

UM Libraries is presenting an extraordinary exhibit that immerses the audience in an emotional journ ...

A UM researcher is helping to lead a study on how smoke interacts with clouds and its impact on the ...

People are bombarded with news and information these days, providing opportunities for discourse tha ...

Students, faculty and staff stopped by the School of Architecture’s Korach Gallery to learn what Mag ...

The On Campus event featured innovative National Geographic Explorers—photographers, scientists, sto ...

The Canes got back to their winning ways with an impressive 38-14 victory at Virginia Tech. ...

20-point performances from Chris Lykes and DJ Vasiljevic led Miami past Bethune-Cookman. ...

Seniors Kolby Bird and Haley Templeton will play in their final match at the James L. Knight Sports ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team is headed to Iowa State for the Preseason WNIT champio ...

The Canes hit the road for the final time in the 2018 regular season and it is to a familiar and hos ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.