RICHMOND – The VCU Baseball program and Head Coach Shawn Stiffler have announced the hiring of Rich Witten as the new Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for the Black & Gold. Witten will also focus on the offense and infield defense in his coaching duties.

"Rich is a emerging star in our profession. His energy for the game and passion for developing relationships is contagious," said Stiffler. "Rich has played and worked at some of the best programs in the country, and those experience will continue to keep our program excelling at the national level." 

Witten joins the Rams from Winthrop University, where he led the Eagles to 102 total wins over the last three seasons, including a number one seed in the Big South tournament in 2017 and a 40-win season in 2015. He led the Eagles to one of the best offenses in the Big South, leading them from worst in 2014 before his arrival, to the top of the conference after his arrival in 2015 with a team average of .299. Each year under his watch, Winthrop had a Johnny Bench Award nominee, given to the best catcher in college baseball. 

"I am very excited to join the VCU Baseball Staff. VCU Baseball and Coach Stiffler have an outstanding reputation nationwide and I am looking forward to being a part of this program," said Witten. "I want to continue to build on the foundation that is VCU Baseball and I am very honored to have the opportunity to develop these young men, build relationships with recruits and their families, and bring more championships to VCU." 

Before his arrival at Winthrop, Witten served one year as the Volunteer Assistant Coach at the University of Miami in 2014. The Hurricanes won the 2014 ACC Regular Season Championship, were ranked as high as fourth in the country during the season, and hosted a regional. He also served one season as the Director of Baseball Operations at the University of Central Florida in 2013. 

Witten spent his playing days at Coastal Carolina from 2008 through 2012, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Psychology. He put together a .316 career batting average, notching 50 career doubles that stands seventh on the CCU's all-time list, and 158 RBI that sits sixth all-time. He earned First Team All-Big South honors as a senior in 2012, and made three Big South All-Tournament teams from 2010 through 2012. As a Chanticleer, he played in five regionals and two Super Regionals, putting together 230 career wins. That number ties him for the top spot all-time in program history for most career wins. 

Witten is a native of Danville, KY, where he was a five-year letter winner, two-year captain, and a Louisville Slugger All-American at Danville High School.

February 13, 2017 2017 BASEBALL PREVIEW