Former Kansas Standout Ritchie Price Named Assistant Coach
June 30, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Former South Dakota State head coach – and Jayhawk standout – Ritchie Price has been named an assistant coach for the Jayhawk baseball program. Price will work with the team’s offense, infielders, handle recruiting duties and also be the team’s third base coach.
Price has spent the last three seasons as the head coach at South Dakota State University. In his time at SDSU, Price has led the Jackrabbits to a 102-71 career record, with signature wins over Arkansas, Minnesota, Iowa and Creighton. He helped SDSU appear in the Summit League Championship game for a third consecutive year in 2011, falling to eventual NCAA Tournament participant Oral Roberts this season.
Price’s 2011 team become the first team in Summit League history, outside of Oral Roberts, to record 20 league victories. The Jackrabbits finished 15th in the country in team batting average (.315), 20th in runs per game (6.9) and had seven regulars finish with batting averages above .300.
Price’s 2010 team won the Summit League regular season title with a 39-21 overall record, which helped Price earn Coach of the Year honors. SDSU finished fourth in the country, scoring 9.67 runs per game and fifth with a .350 team batting average. In his first full season as head coach, Price’s team finished 17-10 in conference play, placing third in the Summit League.
“I’m fired up to have Ritchie back with the Jayhawk baseball program,” Associate Athletic Director Sean Lester said. “His accomplishments as a coach at South Dakota State and as a player at Kansas speak for themselves. We expect him to help us get our program back to where we need to be.”
Price came to SDSU as a graduate assistant in 2008, serving as the team’s infield coach and recruiting coordinator for one season. During his time as an assistant, he signed players from 11 different states and had two of them earn all-conference honors in their careers.
Ritchie Price was a four-year starter at shortstop, for his father, head coach Ritch Price, at the University of Kansas, where he eclipsed 24 school records and was named the best shortstop in the Big 12 by Baseball America in 2004. He served as the team’s captain in 2005 and 2006, helping the Jayhawks win the Big 12 Tournament title in 2006.
“I’m thrilled to have Ritchie returning to our program,” said Kansas head coach Ritch Price. “As the youngest Division I head coach in the country, his accomplishments at South Dakota State were amazing. I’m thrilled to have him return to the University of Kansas baseball program as an assistant coach.”
Following his senior season, he was selected by the New York Mets in the 18th round of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He played one full season in the Mets organization, before joining the staff at SDSU.
“I’m excited to see Ritchie return to the Jayhawk baseball program,” former Kansas teammate and current Philadelphia Phillie Mike Zagurski said. “He is the finest young coach in the country with a proven track record for recruiting great players. I’m really excited about the future of Kansas baseball.”
Price will replace former Kansas assistant coach Jay Uhlman, who left to pursue other opportunities earlier this week.