Head coach Wayne Riser enters his seventh season at the helm at UMW as one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history. Riser, who gained his 600th career victory on April 16, 2016, has won 127 games in six seasons at UMW after winning more than 500 at Division II Shelpherd College. Riser led the 2013 team to 22 wins and the second seed in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, and then finishing 27-7 and ranked regionally in 2015. The Eagles returned to the CAC Championship in 2017. He is one of 21 active coaches in Division III to attain 600-plus wins.
Riser came to Fredericksburg from Shepherd University, where he served as head coach for 22 years, winning 512 games and ranking as the all-time winningest coach in any sport in Rams’ history. He was inducted as a 2008 member of the Shepherd Athletic Hall of Fame.
In his brief time at UMW, Riser has gone 127-95-1, including a 90-58-1 mark the past four seasons. The Eagles were nationally ranked in both 2015 and 2016, and defeated nationally ranked opponents each year.
In his tenure at Shepherd, Riser guided 15 teams to winning seasons, including three 30-win campaigns in the past seven years. His 2012 team won 33 games en route to an NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearance. Riser’s first baseman, Nathan Minnich, was named as the Division II National Player of the Year, and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the eighth round.
In all, Riser led five teams to NCAA Tournament play, and saw 16 teams win 20 or more games. His teams won numerous WVIAC Northern Division titles, and he was recognized as WVIAC Coach of the Year four times.
Under Riser's guidance, the Rams became a force on the national scene as their 39-7 record in 1997 brought with it the highest NCAA II ranking in school history plus the first-ever trip to the NCAA North Atlantic Regionals. Shepherd's banner year earned Riser WVIAC Coach of the Year and Mid Atlantic Major League Scouts Association College Coach of the Year honors.
In his 22 seasons at Shepherd, Riser coached 45 First Team All-WVIAC and 32 All-Region selections. He has also coached nine All-Americans, six Regional Players of the Year, three Academic All-Americans, a Regional Pitcher of the Year and a Tino Martinez Player of the Year winner. Numerous players have gone on to play professionally.
After serving as a member of the NCAA Division II Baseball Committee and chair of the North Atlantic Regional Committee for two years, Riser recently completed a stint as chair of the NCAA Division II Baseball Committee. Riser graduated from Shepherd in 1989 with a bachelor of arts degree in secondary education. He earned his master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Shepherd in December 2007.
Riser and his wife Missy reside in Fredericksburg.
Coach Riser Year by Year
|1994||Shepherd||22-14||WVIAC Division Title|
|1997||Shepherd||39-7||NCAA Regionals, WVIAC Division Title|
|1998||Shepherd||23-15||WVIAC Division Title|
|1999||Shepherd||24-19||WVIAC Division Title|
|2001||Shepherd||25-19||WVIAC Division Title|
|2002||Shepherd||37-12-1||NCAA Regionals, WVIAC Division Title|
|2003||Shepherd||25-18||WVIAC Division Title|
|2005||Shepherd||19-20||WVIAC Division Title|
|2006||Shepherd||34-18||NCAA Regionals, WVIAC Division Title|
|2009||Shepherd||33-18||NCAA Regionals, WVIAC Champions|
|2012||Shepherd||33-19||NCAA Regionals, WVIAC Champions|
|2015||UMW||27-7||ranked as high as #20|
|2016||UMW||24-15||ranked as high as #12|
|2017||UMW||20-19||CAC Tournament Finalist|