New Mineral Wells head baseball coach Brett Ray is offensive minded and has a reputation for rebuilding programs and the culture surrounding them.
“I’m excited to be coming to Mineral Wells, and I am looking forward meeting the kids,” Ray said.
Rumors of Ray’s potential hiring began circulating early in the week, and it is the kind of news sports fans want to hear. Ray’s three-year stint (2013-2015) at Woodrow Wilson High School produced a 45-15 record that resulted in multiple playoff wins and district titles.
Ray suffered through a tough time at his last stop at Haltom with a very tough schedule and limited talent. Ray did manage to change the culture of the program, and when the opportunity opened in Mineral Wells, he was quick to submit his resume´.
Ray’s resume´ includes stops at Longview, North Garland, and Lewisville, where he was a special education teacher while volunteer coaching at Marcus. Reaching farther back into his career will reveal Ray was the TAPPS coach of the year in 2005 when his team at Dallas Christian made it to the state finals losing to Liberty Christian 5-4 in a nine-inning game.
In his first season as a head coach at Como-Pickton Ray turned around their program to win district and advance to the regional quarterfinals.
Ray graduated from Lewisville High School where he played second base and took his baseball career to the next level playing under Mike Campbell at Austin College. Ray was a four-year letterman as a second baseman and earned all-conference honors from 1999-2001.
Majoring in psychology because he likes “the studying of the mind” Ray continued his education and worked as a graduate assistant at Abilene Christian University where the Wildcats won the conference and conference tournament before advancing to regionals.
Ray is expecting to hit the ground running when he comes to campus this week, and he already has the keys to Pratt Field.
“Mineral Wells has a rich baseball tradition, and I want to to be a part of that,” Ray said. “I’m not that guy who wants to come in and put his stamp and iron foot down on the program. I want to come in and see what kind of talent we have here in town.”
While he may not be looking to put “his stamp” on the Rams baseball program, he will be looking to immediately change the “culture” which means a belief in winning ball games and taking pride in pitching and defensive play.
“You have to put an offensive philosophy in and get out there and win baseball games,” Ray said. “Before you do that you have to look at your players and see where you are at offensively. Then you put a game plan together and play to their strengths.”
Ray believes playing toward the strengths the Rams currently have available will lead toward winning ball games as he also slowly implements his style of play.
As he integrates himself into the school system and Mineral Wells’ community, Ray also hopes to be involved with youth baseball because he knows the importance of developing young talent. In his free time, Ray also coaches select baseball and recommends players start early and that they play often.
“You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars sending a kid to camp when you can get them involved with local sports teams,” Ray said. “Getting better at baseball is about repetition and getting in innings. During the off-season, it’s about getting out there working out and if nothing else just playing catch with the kids in your neighborhood.”