Former Major Leaguer, Cougar and Pepperdine graduate Wally Ritchie. (Photo by Kylea Knecht)
Former Major League pitcher Wally Ritchie has been named the new pitching coach for BYU baseball.
Ritchie, 46, replaces Bobby Applegate, who had been with BYU for the past eight years before joining the staff at Cal-Riverside last month.
“I appreciate the years and the hard work that Bobby gave to our program in developing our young men into pitchers and solid citizens,” said BYU coach Vance Law. “Now I look forward to having Wally join our staff and help our young players develop utilizing his many years of experience in the professional ranks.
“Wally is an exceptional person who will also lead by example and promote the unique mission of the university and our baseball program. He is excited to be here and we are excited to have him.”
Ritchie was drafted in the fourth round of MLB 1985 by the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in 1987-88 and 1991-92 on the Major League level, tallying a 6-5 record with a 3.14 ERA in 177.2 innings. The lefthander pitched in the minor league farm system in Oregon, Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee and California where he combined for a 46-25 record and a 4.12 ERA.
From 2008 until he resigned this month, Ritchie has served as city manager for Santa Clara, Utah. The past five years he has also served as a volunteer pitching coach at Snow Canyon High School, taught private pitching lessons and worked at baseball camps
The native of Glendale, Calif., Ritchie had a 2-1 record in 31.2 innings with four starts and one complete game as a BYU freshman in 1984 before transferring to Glendale Community College and then being drafted.
After retiring from pro baseball in 1998, Ritchie earned his bachelor of science degree in business management in 2000 at Pepperdine University. He also earned a MBA in finance and strategic planning from Pepperdine in 2002.
Ritchie has been married since 1988 to Jennie von Speierman and they have three children: Megan, Ryan and Rachel.