Wake Hires New Baseball Coach

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest University Director of Athletics Ron Wellman announced today that Rick Rembielak, the all-time winningest coach of any sport in Kent State University history, has been named head baseball coach.

"Rick has all the characteristics that were important for us in the search for our new head baseball coach," Wellman said. "He has been a head coach for many years and been tremendously successful in that position. He is as high-quality as they come in the development of collegiate players."

"He is not only recognized as an excellent recruiter, but understands the importance of top-caliber student-athletes, both on the field and in the classroom," Wellman said. "He has an outstanding record in terms of graduating his student-athletes, as well as winning numerous conference championships."

"What attracted me to Wake Forest was the university's excellent reputation," Rembielak said. "It is the perfect combination of academics and athletics. I can not think of a better place to further my career than at Wake Forest. It is an ideal position. My excitement and enthusiasm to start the recruiting process and spread Wake Forest's name is immediate."

Rembielak arrives in Winston-Salem after an 11-year stint with Kent State of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). He is the all-time winningest coach of any sport in Golden Flashes history with a career record of 373-251-1 (.597). Against other MAC teams, Rembielak sports an even more impressive record of 200-100 (.667).

Rembielak won four Mid-American Conference regular season championships and three MAC tournament titles, including this past season's 2004 Mid-American Conference Tournament. The Golden Flashes have made 12 consecutive appearances in the MAC Tournament. Dating back to 1992, when postseason play was reinstated, Kent State is the only MAC team to appear in every tournament.

Rembielak was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year three times (1996, 2000 and 2003). In 1996, the Golden Flashes won the conference regular-season title with a 21-7 league record and a 30-20-1 overall mark.

In 2001, Kent State won three games on the final day of the MAC Tournament to claim the title. The Golden Flashes then advanced to the NCAA Regional where they knocked off Ohio State and Delaware to as finish runner-up to Mississippi State University -- just one game shy of the NCAA Super Regionals.

In 2002, Rembielak reached the 300-win plateau for his career when Kent State knocked off Central Michigan, 2-0, on May 24, 2002, in the MAC Tournament semifinals. The Golden Flashes went on to win their third MAC Tournament title.

Rembielak surpassed Danny Hall (current head coach at Georgia Tech) for the most wins in Golden Flashes baseball history when he picked up his 209th win against Toledo on April 9, 2000. In 1996, he recorded his 100th career win in only his 154th game, becoming the fastest Kent State coach to reach the 100-victory mark.

In 2002, Rembielak guided the Flashes to the MAC Tournament crown for the second straight year. KSU dropped two straight games at the South Bend Regional, but recorded 37 victories -- third most in his tenure.

His first team in 1994 team advanced to the NCAA Regional Quarterfinals after the Flashes earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. In 1995, the Kent State's overall record improved to 40-18.

During the 1997 campaign, Rembielak's squad advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament and tallied a 29-28 overall record -- winning 20 of its final 29 contests.

The Golden Flashes finished the 1998 season at 27-28 overall and advanced to the MAC Tournament for the seventh time in as many years.

The 1999 squad again finished with 30-plus wins by ending the season at 33-25 overall and 19-12 in Mid-American Conference play.

The 2000 team claimed the regular-season MAC title and finished 40-18 overall. It was the second time in Rembielak's seven years and sixth time in the program's history that a Kent State team hit the 40-win plateau.

From 1988-93, Rembielak was an assistant coach for the Flashes under Hall. Kent State teams posted a 208-117 (.640) record during that stretch and won MAC titles in 1992 and 1993 -- the program's first since 1964.

Since Rembielak came to Kent State, 51 Golden Flashes have signed pro contracts, including 30 pitchers. A total of 13 former Flashes were active at some level of professional baseball during 2002.

During Rembielak's coaching tenure, Kent State hurlers have been named MAC Pitcher of the Year seven times (1990, 1992-96, 2003), and MAC Player of the Year and MAC Freshman of the Year twice. In 2001, standout John VanBenschoten became the Golden Flashes' second MAC Player of the Year following Mike Gulan, who won the award in 1992. VanBenschoten was selected eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2001 MLB Amateur Draft.

A former Miami (Ohio) University standout, Rembielak was a three-year letterwinner at shortstop for the Redskins from 1979 to 1981. He helped lead the Redskins to a 36-13-1 conference record, a MAC title in 1979 and a berth in the conference playoffs in 1981.

In 1981, Rembielak was drafted in the 13th round by the Baltimore Orioles. He played with teams affiliated with the Orioles, Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. His best professional season was in 1985 with Winston-Salem, a Cubs affiliate. Rembielak helped lead the team to the Carolina League title and was named Most Valuable Infielder.

A Cleveland native who graduated from Central Catholic High School, Rembielak earned a bachelor's degree in business education from the University of Akron in 1988 and earned a master's degree in sports administration from Kent State in 1992. He is a member of the Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame and the Stark County Hall of Fame.

Rembielak, 43, and his wife of 19 years, Sharon have two daughters, Nicole (17) and Megan (14) and a son Matthew (11).

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