Baseball Head Coach Rob McDonald will not return to coach his 12th season at Murray State, announced today by Director of Athletics Allen Ward.
McDonald’s overall record throughout his tenure at Murray State is 247-347-2, with a 123-160-2 conference record.
During his most successful season in 2009, McDonald led the ’Breds to finish 34-27-1 and was named OVC Coach of the Year.
McDonald has also coached the only three All-Americans in the history of the program.
“This was a very difficult decision as I think the world of Rob and his family,” Ward said in a GoRacers.com press release. “He’s a class act and I appreciate his service and dedication to the University.”
According to GoRacers.com, Ward said he made it a point to be patient with the baseball program. During his recent evaluation, he concluded that this change will help the program generate momentum and energy to become more competitive within the conference and realize success in its fundraising initiatives for facility upgrades.
The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.
Ward also announced that beginning in the 2014-15 season, the baseball team will no longer be known as the ’Breds. They will join the rest of Murray State athletics as Racers in order to improve the program in the areas of marketing, licensing, media relations, merchandising, social media and brand identity.
“For the few programs across the country that have a specific team with a different nickname, there is usually a very strong brand identity already associated with the name that it provides immediate and lasting benefit,” Ward said. “In our case, from what I heard over and over again, being called Breds often lacks that relatable quality and causes confusion on a number of fronts. It also detaches the sport, although unintentionally, from the rest of the Murray State identity.”