Randy Mazey leaves West Virginia baseball in a good place

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It's hard not to be thankful as a member of West Virginia fandom for where Randy Mazey has left the Mountaineer baseball program.

As Mazey officially retired following the end of the 2024 season, the program is riding high on the momentum of it's best postseason finish ever as Mazey led WVU to their first-ever NCAA Super Regional appearance for his swan song as a coach.

The appearance brought a number of new eyes to a baseball program that has languished behind sports such as football, basketball, and soccer in terms of prominence on the national scene.. Their fierce battle to the last at-bat against a highly-ranked North Carolina team also earned some respect from fans of the sport. The Mountaineers' impressive 2024 campaign also earned Top-20 rankings in five different polls following the close of the season, including a No. 13 ranking in three separate polls.

Mazey also announced his retirement ahead of the season, allowing plenty of time to plan for his successor. Now, top Mazey assistant Steve Sabins is the new head coach, a man who has been with WVU since the 2016 season and the associate head coach since 2022. It is likely there is no one outside of Mazey that could understand the program and the culture that has been established within the program over the past decade like Sabins does, who said Mazey helped move him in on plenty of the ins-and-outs of running the WVU program throughout his tenure in Morgantown.

"Scheduling, recruiting, scholarships, the hiring processes, interviews...basically he and I saw each other every day for nine straight years, and I was a part of every decision that got made in this program at one point," Sabins said.

"He's given me so much responsibility throughout the years and I've been able to grow in those other areas, this year especially. I knew that I needed to be ready in a lot of areas if we wanted to have a seamless transition and so it's been a learning year and we've been able to win on top of it, which is just unbelievable. That was the cherry on top."

Finally, Mazey having returned the program to a bit of success and prominence also paid off in more ways than wins on the field and him being able to groom his successor for the job. Under his purview, what is now known as Kendrick Family Ballpark was brought into existence as one of the finest collegiate stadiums in the sport.

Now, thanks in large part to Mazey's tenure with the program, WVU alumni with an interest in baseball are turning their attention and donations towards the program. For future Mountaineers on the diamond, one benefit of this will be a new state-of-the art indoor hitting and pitching facility planned to be functional by next season. It will be paid for by WVU alum and owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks of the MLB, Ken Kendrick. Suddenly, it will be hard to find better college baseball facilities than what will be available in Morgantown.

Thanks to Mazey tenure in Morgantown, WVU baseball is now a program that can compete with the best in college baseball. And though he is stepping away from the helm of the team, fans can rest assured that WVU baseball is in a good place in large part to his contributions to the program.