Folmar excited to take helm for ORU baseball
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 10, 2013
2/10/13 at 7:10 AM
Ryan Folmar won't forget the initial thrill when he was promoted to Oral Roberts' new baseball coach.
"I don't know if it's settled in yet," Folmar said about his introduction last June as ORU's ninth baseball coach. "I think that feeling is something maybe you want to hang around as long as possible. It motivates you and keeps you going on a regular basis.
"I think if you get too settled at what you are at, you have a chance to fall behind. I hope that edge stays on there as long as I can hold on to it."
ORU baseball will face plenty of changes in 2013.
In addition to Folmar, who replaced Rob Walton, the Golden Eagles welcomed a new pitching coach (Sean Snedeker) and will play in a new conference (Southland).
Despite the change, expectations will remain the same, Folmar promised. The tradition-rich program has won 15 consecutive conference championships and keeps producing top-notch talent.
Eight months after Walton's departure, Folmar gave thanks to his former mentor and plans to keep a similar blueprint.
"We were very fortunate to be with Rob," said Folmar, who kept the coaching staff intact. "He gave us a lot of room to grow and build a program in a way we all wanted to. Regardless of your job title, you also had a piece of it and a part of it. My title never meant a whole lot to me, and I hope it gets to the point where the assistants feel the same way."
Folmar, who is from Chambersburg, Pa., grew up in a sports-oriented family. His father is Chambersburg High School's athletic director after a long career as a head football coach. All four Folmar boys played for him, and Ryan Folmar's three younger brothers are all either baseball or football coaches.
Folmar, who played at OSU between 1993-97, didn't have plans to be a head baseball coach.
But after spending nine years as an ORU assistant, he was a perfect fit when the Golden Eagles needed a new coach last summer.
"In my five years here, he's been the vocal coach around here and the one that's been good with the guys and easy to talk to," ORU ace Drew Bowen said. "The transition wasn't hard at all. There's not that big a difference between last year and this year."
Folmar won't be eased into his first season. The nonconference schedule is challenging, with games against eight schools ranked in the top 30. The season starts Friday with a three-game homestand against Saint Louis. Also visiting Johnson Stadium this season will be schools like Cal State Fullerton, Oklahoma, Wichita State and Dallas Baptist.
"It's an outstanding schedule, but again, we've never backed down from playing anybody, anywhere," Folmar said.
Folmar is also looking forward to joining the Southland. ORU was picked third in a preseason poll behind Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana.
"It's a big step up (from the Summit League)," Folmar said. "When you look at the way you recruit guys, one thing you want to sell is your program, the education and the university. The other thing we have to sell is an outstanding baseball conference. Every week, we're gong to play good people."
The Golden Eagles' strength early will be its pitching. The team will be led by Bowen and Alex Gonzalez.
Offensively, ORU will depend on All-American Jose Trevino and Logan Domenico. Newcomers to watch, the coach said, include Matt Brandy and Audie Afenir.
"Early on, we'll be carried by our pitching staff," Folmar said. "By the end of the year, I want to be able to say our strength is balanced across the board with offense, defense and outstanding pitching."
Original Print Headline: Coach excited to take helm
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
Baseball coach Ryan Folmar says ORU's tradition-rich program has high expectations heading to a new conference. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World