Oregon State baseball head coach Mitch Canham announced Friday that Rich Dorman has joined the program as the team’s pitching coach. His appointment as an assistant coach is contingent on the completion of all university hiring processes.
“We are getting a very special man who genuinely cares about people,” Canham said. “Rich not only is phenomenal about communicating with both student-athletes and staff, but he is an elite pitching coach. I have seen his passion first-hand, and believe Rich is going to do amazing things here at Oregon State.”
Dorman replaces Nate Yeskie, now the pitching coach at the University of Arizona.
Dorman comes to Oregon State after three seasons as the pitching coach at Grand Canyon, where he helped lead the Antelopes to a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles. Grand Canyon sported the program’s second-best earned-run average (4.16) in 2019 since moving to Division I play 14 seasons ago.
The Antelopes also posted a 3.02 ERA in conference play last season, which led the WAC and was the third-best mark in league play over a five-year stretch.
Dorman helped Grand Canyon improve its win totals all three seasons, going from 29 in 2017 to 33 in 2018 and 36 last season. The club went 57-18 in conference play during his tenure, and won 21 of its 25 series.
The announcement is a return to Corvallis for Dorman, who pitched in three games for the Beavers in 1999. He transferred to Western Baptist (now Corban) in 2000 and was taken in the 13th round of that year’s MLB Draft by Tampa Bay. He was the first player ever selected out of Corban.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to come home and work with great people and be a part of an amazing university with an outstanding baseball tradition,” Dorman said. “It’s exciting to be a part of something special in Corvallis. I’m ready to help our players develop and do great things.
“Mitch is an amazing human being. I owe him my gratitude for this opportunity and I’m excited to continue what has been built at Oregon State.”
Dorman, who hails from Medford, spent eight seasons as a coach in the Seattle Mariners’ organization before making the move to Grand Canyon. Eight pitchers who worked with him have since competed at the Major League level, including Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Pablo Lopez.
His teams made the postseason in seven of eight seasons from 2009-16. Seven of the eight teams he coached with also had winning records.
He served as the pitching coach at Single-A Clinton in 2016, Canham’s first season as a manager. Dorman left during the season to join Grand Canyon, but helped mold the team’s pitching staff that eventually won 86 games and posted a 3.13 ERA.
The LumberKings made it to the Midwest League Championship Series that season. The 2016 season was a return for Dorman, who served as Clinton’s pitching coach in 2011 and mentored the staff to a 3.78 ERA. Walker and Paxton both starred for the Single-A team that season.
Dorman spent four seasons at the pitching coach at Single-A Everett – in 2009 and 2010 and then 2012 and 2013. Everett won the 2010 Northwest League title after posting a 3.24 ERA. Everett later sported a 3.85 ERA in Dorman’s return in 2012.
A two-year stop as the pitching coach at the Mariners’ Arizona League club, in 2014 and 2015, saw him mentor future major leaguers Freddy Peralta and Ryan Yarbrough. Former Oregon State hurler Sam Gaviglio also threw two games for the Arizona League club in 2015.
Dorman moved to the coaching ranks after a nine-year professional pitching career. He appeared in 217 games, making 128 starts, and went 52-43 with a 3.80 ERA. He spent two seasons at the Single-A level with Tampa Bay before playing five seasons in the Mariners’ organization, reaching as high as Triple-A Tacoma in 2005.
Dorman pitched within the Florida Marlins’ organization in 2007, then concluded his playing career back with the Mariners in 2008. He pitched for Double-A West Tennessee and Triple-A Tacoma that season. He ended his career having pitched in 60 games at the Triple-A level.
He and his wife, Cathy, and have two children, Alexa Anne and Blake William.