Oneonta alumni earn college baseball head coaching positions | Local Sports


A pair of Oneonta High alumni recently earned head baseball coach positions at the college level.

Lance Ratchford was named the new head coach at Division I Marist College, while Lane Potter will serve as the head coach of Herkimer College, which is coming off winning its first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship in 2022.

Ratchford will be returning to Marist after serving as an assistant coach there from 2016-2018.

“This is a dream come true for me and my family and I’m so grateful to be the next head baseball coach at Marist College,” Ratchford said in a Monday media release. “This is an incredible opportunity and I would like to thank Athletic Director Tim Murray, President Kevin Weinman, and Executive Vice President Geoffrey Brackett for choosing me to be their next leader. I’m excited to get to work and continue the long tradition of success this program is known for. During my time here at Marist we were able to build and do some special things, and I’m so grateful to be back. This is a special campus and we are so happy to be part of this family. Thank you.”

Ratchford was previously the head coach at SUNY Cobleskill, where he amassed an overall record of 60-56 after taking over a program that went 3-28 the year before his arrival. He helped lead the Fighting Tigers to back-to-back North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Western Division titles in 2021 and 2022.

Ratchford has also served as an assistant coach for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he won a league championship in 2021, and with the Oneonta Outlaws of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

Potter will be taking over the head job at Herkimer after spending six seasons in various program roles, most recently as assistant coach, hitting coach, and recruiting coordinator.

“It’s a very proud moment for my family and me to be chosen to lead the Herkimer baseball program,” Potter said in an Aug. 1 media release. “Herkimer College has always embodied the ‘student first’ mentality, which certainly rings true today. I want to thank Jason Rathbun for his loyalty and service over the past 17 years. We wish him and his family all the best in the transition. We’re excited to get back to work and can’t wait to get our guys back on campus on August 27th.”

During Potter’s time at Herkimer, the Generals have made three NJCAA World Series appearances, including winning the 2022 title to cap off a 41-7 campaign. Potter was named the NJCAA Division III Assistant Coach of the Year in 2019 by Baseball America. He has coached 10 players who have received All-America recognition and 30 who have earned All-Region honors in his time at Herkimer.

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