WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW SPORTS) — Longtime assistant and associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Randy Hood, who has played a significant role in UNCW’s emergence on the national stage in baseball, has been named head coach of the UNCW program following the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Hood, 50, joined the Seahawks in the fall of 2001 and becomes only the fourth head coach in the program’s 63-year history. He takes over following the retirement of Mark Scalf, UNCW’s 28-year skipper, who announced he is stepping down back on Feb. 13.
“We’re thrilled to have Randy continue as our head coach,” said Jimmy Bass, UNCW’s Director of Athletics. “We conducted a national search that drew the interest of many fine coaches and Randy’s credentials and record of success made him the clear choice.
“We’re confident that Randy will continue the upward trend of our program and look forward to many championships and national appearances in the years to come.”
During Hood’s tenure on the coaching staff, UNCW has won seven Colonial Athletic Association regular season championships, five CAA tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament on nine occasions, including last year’s trip to the Greenville Regional. The Seahawks have finished in the top-3 in the CAA in 14 of Hood’s 17 years with the program.
“I’d like to thank Chancellor Sartarelli, the Board of Trustees, Athletic Director Jimmy Bass, and the Search Committee for the incredible opportunity to be the head baseball coach at UNCW,” said Hood. “I’m truly honored and extremely excited to lead this program. My family and I love being members of this community. Wilmington is our home and we appreciate everyone’s support.
“We have one of the top baseball programs in the country. I’d like to thank Coach Scalf and all the young men who have played here since I started 18 years ago. I can’t wait to continue working with our student-athletes in the classroom, on the field, and in the community. My goal is for each of our players to have a remarkable and memorable collegiate experience, become young men that UNCW is proud to call alums, and win a lot of ball games.”
The Seahawks made their first NCAA tournament as an at-large selection in 2003 and battled national power LSU for the regional championship. It marked the first of six regional championship appearances for the Seahawks.
In 2004, UNCW captured its first CAA tournament title, winning consecutive elimination games against Delaware in dramatic fashion at Brooks Field.
Fifty-five players have been drafted and 66 have played professionally during Hood’s tenure. In 2018, catcher Ryan Jeffers became UNCW’s highest position player draft pick when he was selected in the second round with the 59th pick overall by the Minnesota Twins.
Hood has helped to develop 21 All-Americans and 106 All-Conference selections. Fourteen players have been selected in the top-10 rounds, with five reaching the Major League level.
Hood’s abilities have been widely recognized by college baseball observers. He was named the CAA’s top recruiter in a 2016 D1baseball.com poll conducted by the league’s coaches and was selected one of the top-20 assistant coaches in the nation by Baseball America in December of 2017. He has been consistently ranked by CollegeBaseballInsider.com as the CAA assistant coach most ready for a head coaching position.
In addition, Hood was one of 30 elite assistant coaches selected to attend the Surefire Baseball Forum in San Diego in January of 2019.
As a player, Hood was a baseball standout at Campbell from 1987-90 and led the Camels to their first NCAA Regional appearance in his senior season. In his final campaign, Hood paced the Big South Conference in batting with a .366 average and finished second in stolen bases with a school-record 26 thefts. He earned Big South All-Tournament honors in 1988 and 1990 and was named to the league’s All-Decade Team for the 80s.
He compiled a .320 career batting average, with 209 hits, 35 doubles, 14 home runs and 86 RBI. He set 13 school records with the Camels, earning All-Big South Conference honors in 1989 and All-Big South Tournament accolades in 1990.
Following graduation, Hood played five seasons on the professional level as an infielder and outfielder. His professional highlights as a player include an Arizona Rookie League championship with the Peoria Brewers and a AA Southern League championship with the 1993 Birmingham (Ala.) Barons in the White Sox organization. He was a teammate of sports legend Michael Jordan during the 1994 season in Birmingham.
Hood batted .315 with Helena in 1990 and was voted “Player of the Month” in July for the Barons in 1994.
After spending spring training with the California Angels in 1995, Hood moved into the coaching ranks. He coached at Campbell from 1995-2001 and mentored 11 All-Conference selections and 12 professional signees.
Hood spent two summers as a head coach in the Coastal Plain League with the Raleigh Red Wolves (1997) and Durham Braves (1999) during his time as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Campbell. With Hood at the helm, the Red Wolves won the CPL championship and he was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
Hood and his wife, Patricia, reside in Wilmington with their daughter, Mackenzie.