Known for being a tireless worker and enthusiastic recruiter, Ritch Price enters his 17th season directing the Kansas baseball program. Price has instilled an atmosphere of closeness and competitiveness between his players during his tenure that pushes the Jayhawks to challenge each other every day, creating a roster ready to compete – and win – in the Big 12 Conference.
That unprecedented work ethic by the Jayhawks’ skipper, since being hired on July 1, 2002, has rewarded the program with three trips to the NCAA Tournament (2006, 2009 and 2014), which is more than the combined number of appearances the program achieved nearly 100 years before Price.
Because of that, the 33rd head baseball coach at Kansas has propelled himself to the top of the record books, becoming the all-time winningest coach in the history of the program on March 4, 2017, with an 11-7 win over Northwestern State. That 439th win on that day broke a record that stood 35 years, nine months and 27 days by legendary head coach Floyd Temple (438).
Price’s 492 wins at Kansas account for 26 percent of the program’s 1,912 victories spanning 126 seasons. He enters the 2019 campaign as the longest-tenured coach in the Big 12 Conference and has managed in more league games than any of the other eight skippers.
In his 16 seasons holding the reins at KU, Price has mentored players to 103 all-conference selections, 97 academic all-conference honorees, 70 professional contracts, two Big 12 Newcomers of the Year (Jordan Piché in 2013 & Ben Krauth in 2015), two All-Americans (Don Czyz in 2006 & Tony Thompson in 2009) and one National Stopper of the Year (Czyz in 2006).
Price has amassed 709 wins during his 24 years coaching at the Division I level and has coached in more than 1,300 games. He earned his 700th win April 8, 2018 with a 17-3 drubbing of then-No. 5 Texas Tech. His 600th-career victory came on April 26, 2014, with a 10-2 win at Baylor, before following up the next day with an 8-5 win over the Bears to pick up the 1,000th-career win among all his stops in his 41 years of being a head coach.
In addition to 16 seasons at Kansas, Price was the head coach at Cal Poly (1994-2002) where he transitioned the Mustangs into a Division I program; at De Anza Community College (1987-94) where he was also the director of athletics; at Menlo College (1983-86); and got his start both at Phoenix High School (1978-81) and at Jasper High School (1982-83).
A Sweet Home, Oregon, native and 1978 graduate of Willamette University (Salem, Oregon), Price was inducted into the NWCAA Hall of Fame (Oregon & Washington Community Colleges) in 1998. He received his master’s degree in physical education from Cal State Hayward in 1987.
In addition, Price was inducted into the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in May, 2008. He earned the Hall of Fame honor for his eight seasons spent at De Anza Community College in Cupertino, California.
Price and his wife, Cindy, have three sons: Ritchie, Ryne and Robby. All three sons played four seasons for their father at Kansas, and were drafted by major league organizations. Ritchie is in his seventh season as an assistant coach at KU, while Robby just finished up his stint in the minor leagues in the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization and is now pursuing a career as a firefighter in the Kansas City area. Ryne played two seasons in the San Francisco Giants’ organization and resides in Lawrence.
|The Price File|
|Alma Mater||Williamette, 1978
CSU Hayward, 1987
|Cal Poly (8)||217||228||1||.487|
|Division I (24)||709||688||4||.506|
|Junior College (11)||284||175||0||.619|
|High School (5)||117||46||.718|
|1||02/02/1995||Cal Poly 8, Cal Lutheran 6|
|100||04/07/1998||Cal Poly 14, Santa Clara 6|
|200||03/15/2002||Cal Poly 12, Sac. State 4|
|300||03/16/2005||Kansas 16, Baker 6|
|~317||05/14/2005||Kansas 9, #20 Missouri 3|
|400||03/12/2008||Kansas 11, Missouri State 7|
|!417||05/02/2008||Kansas 17, Oklahoma 15|
|500||03/22/2011||Kansas 5, Little Rock 3|
|#517||02/17/2012||Kansas 7, Middle Tenn. 3|
|600||04/27/2014||Kansas 8, Baylor 5|
|*617||03/15/2015||Kansas 8, Michigan 4|
|^656||03/04/2017||Kansas 11, Northwestern State 7|
|700||04/08/2018||Kansas 17, #5 Texas Tech, 3|
|+717||03/02/2019||Kansas 3, Northern Illinois 1|
|~100th win at KU; !200th win at KU; #300th win at KU; *400th win at KU; ^439th win at KU to become all-time winningest coach; +500th win at KU.|