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Local Sports

June 29, 2013

Keuka hires former O-State baseball coach

Staff Report

Former Oneonta State baseball coach Rick Ferchen has taken over Keuka College’s Division III program, the Storm announced via email Thursday.

Ferchen will coach a Keuka team that rebounded from an 0-11 start last season to finish 12-19. The Storm’s 12 victories marked their most in a season since 2006.

“Keuka was exactly what I was looking for in a coaching position,” Ferchen said in a media release prepared by Keuka. “I enjoy the competition of Division III athletics, the philosophy and what it means to be a student-athlete. ... I wanted the opportunity to develop another program into a winner. That’s been the story of my career: Turning programs that may be struggling and transforming them into winners.”

Ferchen, 56, spent 16 seasons as the head coach at O-State, going 400-240-4 from 1995-2011. The Red Dragons dismissed Ferchen on Jan. 4, 2012, but refused to comment on why the two-time SUNY Athletic Conference Coach of the Year was let go. Citing a no-comment policy on personnel matters, O-State Director of Communications Hal Legg wrote in a January 2012 email to The Daily Star that Ferchen “no longer is affiliated with SUNY Oneonta.”

At the time, Ferchen said he had been advised by a union representative to avoid discussing the specifics of his departure from O-State. Neither the college nor Ferchen referred to his dismissal as a firing, although Ferchen did say in January 2012 that he did not leave O-State on his own.

The Red Dragons went 21-17 in Ferchen’s final season. Benjamin Grimm was appointed as Oneonta’s interim head coach shortly after Ferchen was relieved of his duties. Grimm officially became O-State’s head coach in July 2012 and has held the position since.

Ferchen’s 30-year career record of 715-497-17 includes six seasons at D-I Valparaiso — his alma mater — and eight at D-III Hobart College. Valparaiso went 147-137-8 under Ferchen, who had a 168-120-5 record at Hobart. Ferchen won conference Coach of the Year honors twice at each college.

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