George Washington's coaching hire was worth the long wait.
The Colonials made a splash Thursday, hiring GW alum Gregg Ritchie as their new head coach. Ritchie has spent the last two years as the major league hitting coach for the Pirates, following a five-year stint as the organization's minor league hitting coordinator. It's one thing for minor league instructors to leave for college coaching jobs, but big league coaches very seldom leave for the college ranks.
"Coming back to George Washington brings my career full circle, as in many ways this is where it all started for me," said Ritchie, a 1999 inductee into the school's athletic hall of fame. "I met my wife here at GW, and we both made a lifetime of extraordinary memories going to school and competing in the heart of the nation's capital. To have this opportunity to coach at my alma mater and play our home games in the premier facility in the conference at Barcroft Park is extremely special."
An outfielder and pitcher at GW in the mid-1980s, Ritchie played seven years in the Giants system and another with the Rangers before concluding his playing career in 1995. He began coaching in the White Sox system the following year.
Tom Sheridan, who was leading the program on an interim basis since August 10, will remain on Ritchie's staff as associate head coach. Dave Lorber, who spent last year on the staff at Stony Brook, was hired in September to fill the other full-time assistant role.
With Ritchie's hire, the coaching carousel appears finally to have stopped spinning in 2012. Yesterday, new Western Illinois head coach Ryan Brownlee filled out his coaching staff, hiring former Iowa assistant Dusty Napoleon and retaining WIU pitching coach/recruiting coordinator Shane Davis. The Leathernecks hired Brownlee (who had spent 15 years as an assistant at Iowa) on Sept. 28.
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