Franciscan University Director of athletics, Mike Holmes, announced today the hiring of Rick Carver as the head coach for the newly revitalized baseball program. Carver joins Franciscan after a prolific 29-year career at nearby Bethany College.
Carver, no stranger to the Ohio Valley and DIII athletics, served as the head coach at Bethany College since 1990. With the Bison, Carver amassed 448 wins, the most wins for a coach in school and Presidents' Athletic Conference history, and was named the PAC Coach of the Year five times, most recently in 2014. Carver led the Bison to four outright PAC titles and eight first-place regular season finishes in his time at Bethany. In addition, the Bison appeared in five ECAC championship tournaments under Carver.
Carver recruited and coached the first All-America honoree for the Bison and has guided 105 players to All-PAC honors including seven MVP selections. Nine players under Carver have been inducted into Bethany's Hall of Fame and 60 Bison have earned national recognition by Collegiate Baseball Magazine.
Personally, Carver has received numerous awards from coaching organizations for his excellence in coaching, the most recent being the Louisville Silver Slugger Award for Championship Level Coaching in 2004.
Carver comes to Franciscan to revitalize its baseball program that took a hiatus after the 2011 season. Baseball was one of the original varsity sports at Franciscan from the 1950s -1980s and one of the original varsity teams in 2006 when Franciscan entered the NCAA Division III as provisional members. In its final season before the hiatus, the Barons went 6-25 and 4-14 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
Holmes announced the return of baseball and the addition of women's golf in July 2018. The two sports will bring Franciscan's varsity sports sponsorship to 18 with 10 women's sports and 8 men's sports.
Carver, a Wintersville, Ohio, resident, will begin his duties as head baseball coach on October 1 and spend the 2018-19 academic year recruiting and scheduling. The Barons will take the field for the first time under Carver in the spring of 2020.