Marc Rardin was named the WKU baseball head coach on June 15, 2022.
In his first season in Bowling Green, Coach Rardin led the Hilltoppers to a 33-26 record, including the first C-USA tournament semifinal appearance ever. The team also topped 30 wins for the first time since 2011, and won 5 consecutive conference series for the first time since 2009. The Tops won 14 of their final 18 league games to finish 4th in the C-USA standings.
Prior to WKU, Coach Rardin spent the previous 20 seasons as the skipper at Iowa Western Community College, while making 12 JUCO World Series appearances and winning three NJCAA Division I National Championships.
Rardin and the Reivers accumulated numerous notable accomplishments during his time at the helm. During his 20 seasons at Iowa Western, the program won 15 Regional Championships and 12 District Championships while making 12 JUCO College World Series appearances and earning three NJCAA D1 National Championships. Rardin compiled a remarkable 934-252 (.788) record over that span while averaging more than 46 wins per season, including a 452-69 (.868) conference/regional record and 122-43 (.739) record in postseason play. Over the past 20 years, no other Division I junior college baseball program has won more games or more postseason championships than Iowa Western.
That success has resulted in Rardin earning three National Coach of the Year honors, 10 District Coach of the Year awards and 12 Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year accolades. He was also a 2015 inductee into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
Rardin’s tutelage has led to student-athlete success both on the field and in the classroom. Since Rardin’s arrival to Iowa Western, the Reivers have seen 142 players sign with NCAA Division I programs while 101 student-athletes have earned First Team All-Region honors, 44 have received First Team All-Northern District recognition, 21 have been named NJCAA All-Americans and two have been tabbed NJCAA National Players of the Year.
Academically, the program was named the NJCAA Spring National Academic Team of the Year nine times, with numerous student-athletes earning individual honors as well. The Reivers also had 58 NJCAA Academic All-Americans, 15 NJCAA Distinguished Academic All-Americans and one NJCAA Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year during Rardin’s time at Iowa Western.
Rardin and the Reivers’ three NJCAA D1 National Championships came in 2010, 2012 and 2014, with the team also earning national runner-up status in 2019. Iowa Western made NJCAA Division I baseball history by becoming the first Northern District team to win the World Series in 2010 while also leading the country with a .398 team batting average, with Brent Seifert recording a program-record .485 average at the plate. During the Reivers’ 2012 championship run, the team set a program record with 62 wins to go along with a nation-leading .403 batting average, while Tanner Krietemeier posted a program-best 1.78 ERA. The 2014 championship team compiled a 56-11 record en route to its 10th consecutive Regional Tournament Championship, finishing the season ranked second in the nation with a .354 batting average while seeing six players named as All-Region Performers.
Rardin has also accumulated experience in the national coaching circuit, serving as the assistant coach on the NJCAA/USA National Team in 2008 and 2010 while also spending the summer of 2014 as the head coach of the USA Junior College Team that participated in the 80th year of the NBC Tournament – earning a third-place finish in the tournament after being together as a team for only three weeks. In that same summer of 2014, Rardin was also invited to coach and instruct for the USA Baseball Organization. In both 2014 and 2015, he was selected to manage one of the teams while also helping to organize practices and evaluations with the 18U tryouts for the Tournament of Stars.
Before his time at Iowa Western, Rardin made stops at Lamar Community College, Yavapai College, Baylor University and Bluefield College in assistant roles. In the fall of 2003, he worked under Scott Crampton at Lamar Community College. From 2000-02, Rardin was an assistant for Sky Smeltzer at Yavapai College. He came to Yavapai from Baylor University, where he spent two years as the volunteer coach. Rardin’s first job in college baseball was at Bluefield College, where he served as the pitching coach. He has also accumulated five summers of coaching experience in the Jayhawk and Northwoods summer collegiate leagues.
Rardin began his collegiate playing career with a two-year stint at Indian Hills Community College before finishing out his eligibility at Iowa Wesleyan. He graduated from Starmont High School where he enjoyed a successful athletic career, lettering 14 times in four different sports.
Rardin and his wife, Dawn, have two sons – Tyler Maddux and Griffin Hill.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
Tim Corbin (Vanderbilt Head Coach)
“Marc is one of the finest baseball coaches and teachers anywhere… and I mean anywhere. You meet certain people in this profession who naturally can build and sustain winning environments and Marc is this person. He has taken on a very comprehensive approach to his programs, where academic, social and athletic success are fostered and celebrated. He will lead with his passion and energy and the student-athletes will feed off of it. He will be a tremendous extension of Western Kentucky and the learning environment that the University cultivates.”
Dan McDonnell (Louisville Head Coach)
“Marc has been a very successful coach for a long time, as the numbers show. I’ve been fortunate to coach several of his players and they know how to work hard, compete and win. I’m sure that’s the culture he will create at Western Kentucky.”
Rick Heller (Iowa Head Coach)
“I’ve known Marc since he was a player. I recruited him at Upper Iowa, so our relationship goes back a long way. Marc is a tough, hard-working, great baseball coach that cares about his players. This is a great hire for Western Kentucky. Marc is going to do great things there and they’re going to be thankful that they made this decision. He’s a winner.”
Jim Schlossnagle (Texas A&M Head Coach)
“I congratulate Western Kentucky on a great hire. I have known and respected Marc for many years. He is a high character individual who identifies good players and then develops them into winners on and off the field. I am surprised he has not gotten a Division I head coaching position until now because he is more than qualified and ready, but Western Kentucky is now in very good hands with a very good man leading their program.”
Tim Tadlock (Texas Tech Head Coach)
“Marc has been one of the better baseball guys that I have known in the Midwest for some time now. I’m really excited that he’s been given the opportunity to keep doing it at Western Kentucky University.”