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Randy Mazey Discusses Decision to Retire as HC of WVU Baseball



WVU Baseball HC Randy Mazey

It came as something of a surprise when WVU Baseball head coach Randy Mazey announced that he would retire at the end of the 2024 season last July. 

At 57, he isn’t particularly old—although coaching is a notoriously demanding profession—and the Mountaineers were fresh off one of the best seasons in the history of their program, climbing as high as No. 6 in the nation and finishing with a share of the Big 12 regular season championship.

Mazey spoke to the media about his decision to retire during his preseason press conference, highlighting the exact moment when he realized it was time to hang them up. It was a Saturday afternoon, and his kids were playing baseball and softball games as the Mountaineers dominated a conference matchup against Texas Tech, a game they eventually won 17-2.

“We were in the seventh or eighth inning and the game was pretty much in hand,” Mazey said. 

“I thought to myself ‘I’d rather be there [watching his kids play] right now.’ And when that thought occurred to me, I thought it’s not fair to them. To my team, to the community, to the state, for me to want to be somewhere else at that moment. I think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me… in this profession you miss so much of life. You miss so much of your family, and I wanted to spend more time with them than I’ve ever been able to do.”

Player’s Coach

Randy Mazey also said that while he’d relish the opportunity to coach his son Weston, a 2025 WVU Baseball commit, he doesn’t want Weston to have to play for him.

“I didn’t want him to spend four years on a college baseball team and go back to the dorm and listen to his teammates telling everybody what a rotten piece of crap his daddy is,” Mazey said. “That’s tough on a kid, to be coached by your dad. I wouldn’t have done what I did [retired] had I not felt good about the people that are going to coach him when he got here.”

Given how the Mountaineers players talk about their head coach—superstar shortstop JJ Wetherholt referred to him as like a second father—Mazey probably intended some humor in that anecdote, but it’s yet another example of his ability and tact as a leader. 

“Coach Mazey has just been pretty much everything you can dream of at the head coach position. He’s been like another father to me and taught me so much stuff,” Wetherholt said. “You can have a funny conversation that has nothing to do with baseball, you can have a conversation that has everything to do with baseball, and it’s just a great balance. He means a lot to me, he’s just been a great mentor and he was a big reason why I came here, and it’s been everything that I’ve hoped for.”

While the Mountaineers have some question marks this year surrounding an overhauled lineup, one thing is certain: Mazey is going to motivate his players’ best effort.

“I know the guys really want to give him a good send off,” Wetherholt said. “We know it’s an important year, we have the squad to do something cool.”

Mazey’s Legacy

Randy Mazey will finish No. 3 all time in wins by a Mountaineers’ head coach, behind Dale Ramsberg and Greg Van Zant: although those two coached for 27 and 18 years, respectively, while Mazey will clock out with 12 seasons under his belt. He said he’s trying not to think about his impending retirement, knowing how hard it can be to let go after a lifetime spent in the sport.

“I’m trying not to think about it that way. My wife makes me think about it that way. Every time I get home from something she says ‘do you realize that’s the last time you’re ever gonna do that?’ I don’t think that part of it’ll hit me until probably the last home game, that type thing,” Mazey said. “Retiring is pretty easy to talk about, but when you actually pull the trigger on it then things change a little bit, so we’ll see how it goes when I get into it.”

Mazey will ease into retirement, staying on board as a senior advisor. Throughout his press conference he emphasized what the Mountaineers, the state of West Virginia and its people mean to him: particularly how he wants to continue to bring the program and the fan base together.

“The community has been so good to me and my family, we’ve kind of ingrained ourselves in this community,” Mazey said. “All I’ll tell you about my decision is that I did it in the best interest of this baseball program, this university, this state, all the things that I’ve grown to love so much.”

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