|Organization:||Wright State University (OH)|
In 30 years as the Wright State's head coach, Ron Nischwitz collected 866 wins, four regular-season conference titles, two conference tournament championships, a runner-up finish in the NCAA Division II College World Series and a trip to the NCAA Division I Regionals. He led the Raiders to 20 winning seasons, including a trio of 40-win seasons.
Nischwitz did not wait long to begin his milestones at Wright State. In his first season, he secured Wright State's first winning season in its five years of varsity competition and a trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1975. The following three seasons, the Raiders returned to tournament play and claimed second place in the 1976 NCAA Division II Mideast Regional.
In 1980, WSU reached post-season play again and posted an impressive 16-8 record versus Division I opponents. Sweeping through the NCAA Division II North Central Regional, the Raiders earned a bid to the 1987 College World Series in Montgomery, Alabama, where they finished in a tie for second place. Honored for his dedication to collegiate baseball, Nischwitz received the 1987 NCAA Division II District Coach of the Year Award and served as the chairman of the NCAA Div. II baseball committee in 1986 and 1987.
By 1988, Wright State's first season in Division I, Nischwitz had built the baseball program into one of national prominence. The 1989 squad set the school record for wins with 45 and boasts five team records at WSU. Nischwitz proved his reputation as a top evaluator of college talent as eight players from the 1990 roster reached the professional level. Keith Gordon, the starting shortstop that season, became the first Raider to play in the majors as he was called up by the Cincinnati Reds in July of 1993.
Wright State entered the Mid-Continent Conference in 1991, enabling Nischwitz to coach his club for the first time in conference action. Taking the Mid-Con by storm, Nischwitz compiled three consecutive regular-season titles and was named the 1992 Mid-Continent Coach of the Year, as well as WSU's Coach of the Year for the 1993-94 year.
Nischwitz made his first impact upon the Division I national ranks in 1994 when the club swept the United States Naval Academy, the Patriot League champion, in a three-game NCAA play-in hosted at Wright State. The Raiders opened up NCAA tournament play with a 14-12 win over North Carolina State and finished fourth out of six teams at the Mideast Regional.
The 1995 team made the most of its first year in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference by stunning Notre Dame on its home field to take the MCC Tournament title and then hosting a pair of NCAA play-in games with Troy State. The 1997 squad won the MCC regular-season crown and advanced to the championship game before losing to Detroit.
The 2000 season saw the opening of Nischwitz Stadium, considered to be one of the finest baseball facilities in the Midwest. Nischwitz then picked up his 800th career win in 2001 as the Raiders beat UW-Milwaukee.
More than 30 of Nischwitz's players have followed the footsteps of their coach to the professional ranks of baseball. Nischwitz spent four seasons in the major leagues pitching for the Detroit Tigers (1961-62, 1965), the Cleveland Indians (1963) and the New York Mets (1966). As a relief pitcher, his finest season was in 1962 with the Tigers, when he posted a 3.90 ERA.
Nischwitz played AAA ball in Denver in 1961 and moved to Detroit in August of 1962. He returned to AAA in mid-season 1963, playing for Jacksonville that year and Toronto the next. Nischwitz pitched in Cleveland and ended his career as a player and coach with the New York Mets.
Nischwitz was inducted into the Wright State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.