Former Dallas Baptist University pitching coach Rick McCarty was introduced as the new head coach of the Wildcats' baseball program on June 12, 2018, and will officially begin his duties June 20.
McCarty is just the fourth head baseball coach at ACU since the university re-instated the program in 1991, following Bill Gilbreth, Jimmy Shankle and Bonneau, who resigned May 19, 2018 after 22 seasons as the head coach. McCarty takes over a program that in 2019 will be in its sixth season of NCAA Division I play and second season of full eligibility for Southland Conference and NCAA postseason play.
A 2003 graduate of Murray State (B.S. Health and Physical Education), McCarty began his distinguished coaching career with the Racers before joining the 2004 Delta State staff as a graduate assistant pitching coach. He was met with immediate success in this role as the Statesmen (54-11) won the NCAA D2 National Championship over Grand Valley State.
McCarty went on to earn his Master's in Education from Delta State in 2005, and again was part of a 50-win team that qualified for the D2 College World Series. He would spend three more seasons in Cleveland, Miss., before receiving the call to D1 and Southeast Missouri State.
His two seasons (2009-10) in Cape Girardeau, Mo., were followed by a four-year revitalization of the Campbell program (2011-14), a one-year stay at Louisiana Tech (2015), and three NCAA postseason campaigns at Dallas Baptist (2016-18).
Under McCarty's guidance, the 2018 Patriots once again were at or near the top of the Missouri Valley Conference rankings in several pitching categories. Led by Collegiate Baseball Third Team All-America and MVC Pitcher of the Year Trevor Conn, DBU ranked first in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.49) and walks allowed per nine innings (3.64), was second in WHIP (1.39) and third in ERA (4.53) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.87). The team's K-to-BB ratio also was 42nd among all 297 D1 schools.
Conn (8-2, 3.15 ERA, 57K) additionally was one of four Patriot pitchers to make an all-conference team. He and relief pitcher Kragen Kechely (7-1, 3.76, 53K) each were tabbed to the first team, while second team honors were awarded to freshman Luke Eldred (7-3, 3.28 ERA, 43K) and Jarod Bayless (3-3, 3.12, 71K, 4SV).
Eldred later was named to Collegiate Baseball's Freshman All-America Team, and 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete First Team nods went to Bayless and Kechely.
Over a three-year span as the DBU pitching coach, McCarty has helped produce eight pitchers selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including a pair of top 10 round selections in 2017 in Seth Elledge (4th round - Seattle Mariners) and Dalton Higgins (7th round - New York Yankees). Gavin Fritz was also taken in the 2017 MLB Draft when the Miami Marlins selected him in the 16th round.
Earlier this month, DBU recorded the sixth-most draft picks in the nation with seven selections, including junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman Kody Funderburk (15th round – Minnesota Twins), senior RHP Sean Boyle (25th round – New York Yankees) and junior RHP Parker Towns (37th round – Seattle Mariners).
DBU's Colin Poche and Darick Hall were each selected in the 14th round of the 2016 Major League Draft, as Poche was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Hall went to the Philadelphia Phillies. Senior left-hander Sean Stutzman also signed a professional contract as a free agent with the Houston Astros in 2016.
A native of Campbellsville, Ky., McCarty is known for his recruiting and player development. During his coaching stints at Campbell, Southeast Missouri State, and Delta State, McCarty helped develop four pitchers who made the major leagues: Campbell's Matt Marksberry (Atlanta Braves), Southeast Missouri State's Shae Simmons (Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners), Delta State's Brent Leach (Los Angeles Dodgers), and Louisiana Tech's Phil Maton (San Diego Padres).
While at Campbell, McCarty recruited and coached the first Big South Pitcher of the Year in school history in Ryan Thompson. In 2013, Thompson's school record 0.88 ERA ranked tops in the nation and also established a new single-season record in the Big South Conference. Thompson went on to become the school's first All-American pitcher, as he broke the school's single-season saves record in both 2013 and 2014. The Houston Astros drafted Thompson in the 23rd round following the 2014 season.
McCarty also saw two other pitchers selected in the MLB Draft during his tenure at Campbell. Marksberry was a 15th round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2013 and Jacob Smith went on to become a 48th round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2011. McCarty recruited all four of Campbell's All-Americans plus three academic All-Americans. He also coached 17 All-Big South Conference performers, including a school record nine All-Conference selections in 2013.
During his two years at Southeast Missouri State, McCarty helped develop Simmons, who was a 22nd round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2012. Simmons would break into the Big Leagues with the Braves just two years later.
While coaching at Delta State, McCarty helped develop six pitchers who signed professional contracts, including Leach, who would go on to make his Big League debut with the Dodgers in 2009 after being drafted in the sixth round.
On the diamond, McCarty starred as a pitcher for two seasons as the closer for Murray State, where he notched eight saves in 2001, tying a single-season school record. Prior to his two years at Murray State, McCarty played at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois.
McCarty is married to the former Rayna Netherland of Campbellsville, Kentucky. They have three children: Mya, Myles and Mia.
Assistant Coach (Hitting)
Former Arkansas first-base coach Craig Parry is at the start of his first year as the Wildcats' hitting coach. He was named to this position by head coach Rick McCarty in July 2018.
Parry additionally works with the Wildcat infielders.
A veteran coach with eight years experience through five previous assignments, Parry’s success stories include Trevor Rucker (Southern Arkansas) and Daniel Salters (DBU). Rucker was named the 2016-17 GAC Male Athlete of the Year and First Team All-America by the National College Baseball Writers’ Association (NCBWA) and Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA). A four-time All-GAC selection, Rucker also was a finalist for the Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year.
Salters threw out 23-of-49 would-be base stealers in 2015 and was selected in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians following that season.
DBU won a school-record 46 games and hosted its first NCAA Regional with Salters behind the plate, and the following season Parry coached Matt Duce, who was a Second Team All-Missouri Valley and MVC All-Defensive selection. Duce batted .320 or higher in each of his last two seasons and tied for second on the team with 55 RBI as a junior prior to being selected in the 14th round by the New York Mets.
While working with Rucker at Southern Arkansas, Parry was part of a team that finished 39-16 in 2017 and hit .309 to advance to the NCAA Central Regional for the 11th time in program history. The offense led the GAC in all major offensive categories including average, slugging (.505), doubles (125), triples (19), home runs (66), runs scored (408), and hits (568).
Parry later worked extensively with Arkansas backstop Grant Koch (.245/.375/.358 / 1 error / 9 caught stealing), who was Pittsburgh’s fifth-round draft pick in 2018.
A native of Colstrip, Mont., Parry began his coaching career at Miles (Montana) Community College and later coached a Sacramento State before starting his three-year tenure at DBU (2014-16). He then moved on to Southern Arkansas for the 2017 season and reached the 2018 College World Series Finals with the Razorbacks.
Parry's collegiate playing career began at Miles (Miles City, Mont.) Community College, where he was a two-time all-conference selection and all-region honoree. He then transferred to South Dakota State and was both a First Team All-Summit League selection and Second Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America. He was then selected in the 50th round of the 2008 MLB draft by Pittsburgh, and played two seasons (2008-09) as a catcher and outfielder in the Pirates' minor league system.
Parry earned his Bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in 2010, and later picked up his Master’s degree in Sports Management from American Public University (2012).
He and his wife, Morgan, are expecting their first child in November.
Assistant Coach (Recruiting)
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Former University of Montevallo (Ala.) all-conference selection and associate head coach Daniel Furuto is in his first year as a volunteer assistant coach at Abilene Christian. His responsibilities including coaching outfielders, baserunning, assist with hitting, and coaching first base. The Birmingham, Ala., native also will be charged with on-campus recruiting and camp coordination.
Furuto and ACU head coach Rick McCarty previously worked together on the staff at Campbell from 2011 to 2012. Their 2012 team finished 41-18, which broke the school record for wins and finished just shy of breaking the NCAA's single-season record for biggest turnaround (Campbell's 2011 record was 17-38).
ACU is Furuto's fourth collegiate coaching stop and fifth overall. His coaching career started as in 2009 as an assistant coach for the Lima (Ohio) Locos of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, and in 2011 he landed his first collegiate assignment with Goff and McCarty at Campbell.
Furuto later helped guide Union (Ky.) College to 30 wins in each of his two seasons (2013-14) prior to returning to his alma mater in time for the 2014-15 school year.
Furuto first served Montevallo as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator before being promoted to associate head coach following the 2016 season. The Falcons additionally are coming off a fantastic 2018 campaign (35-19), which was its best in more than a decade complete with a No. 20 national ranking in the final Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II poll and appearance in the NCAA DII South Region Championship.
A four-year starter for Montevallo and two-time All-Gulf South Conference honoree, Furuto was a key member on some of the Falcons' best teams, finishing his career with a .330 batting average and ranking among the school's all-time leaders in several offensive categories (51 HBP, 637 at-bats).
He led the Falcons (43-18) to the 2006 NCAA DII College World Series semifinals and a No. 3 national ranking, and was named the South Central Regional Championship's Most Valuable Player.
Furuto helped Montevallo break the school record for wins (47-17) the following season en route to the 2007 NCAA DII South Central Region Championship Game, and during his senior year he tied a program single-game record with three home runs vs. West Alabama (13 total bases).
Furuto has been part of all three Montevallo regional postseason appearances in school history. In recent years he's had a hand in coaching 2018 All-American honorable mention Alex Pondick, 2017 Peach Belt Freshman of the Year Sebastian Samuels, 2016 Minnesota Twins draft pick Dane Hutcheon and Tino Martinez Award (DII Player of the Year) semifinalist Taylor Walker. He also coached his younger brother, Matthew, who earned Academic All-America status in 2017.