(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) – After an extensive search, Ray Skjold has been named the new head coach of the Lake Erie baseball team as announced by Director of Athletics Kelley Kish on Wednesday morning. Skjold (pronounced Skold) comes to the Storm after serving as an assistant coach with Division I Ball State since 2016.
Skjold takes over for Cameron Castro who was hired earlier this month by the Milwaukee Brewers to serve as a pitching coach in their minor league system.
"I am pumped to be joining Lake Erie College as its baseball head coach," said Skjold on his appointment. "My vision for the program is to make it an elite experience for the student-athletes. Through my experiences in collegiate baseball, I have developed a successful system of player development. My system utilizes modern technology to increase performance. I'm looking forward to implementing my system and building the program here at Lake Erie."
"This is a great day for Storm Baseball," added Kish. "Ray's experience as a DII baseball student-athlete and coach will continue the culture of our student-athletes reaching their academic and athletic goals at Lake Erie."
Skjold has had experience at all three divisions in the NCAA. Prior to his stint with the Cardinals, he served as an assistant at his alma mater and Division II school Post University in Waterbury, Conn., from October 2015 until December the following year. Before that, he spent four years with another Division I program at Fairleigh Dickinson. His first coaching position came at Division III Arcadia in 2010-2011.
During that time, 10 players he has coached have gone on to play professionally inlcuding four currently in the minor league system of Major League Baseball.
Success has followed Skjold wherever he goes. The last two seasons saw Ball State record 30-win seasons with six wins over that time against teams in Power Five conferences including two against Ohio State and Purdue. As a result, the Cardinals qualified for the MAC Tournament both seasons, first as the No. 4 seed in 2017 and then the No. 3 seed the following year. His teams have excelled offensively as the Cardinals led the MAC in runs scored in 2017 and were second in the league in 2018.
At Fairleigh Dickinson, he helped the Knights move from last place in the NEC to the championship game in 2016. His 2015 recruiting class produced three freshmen pitchers that finished the season with ERA's under 4.00.
"Ray's proven track record of team success and player development is a perfect fit to lead us into our second year in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference," added Kish. "We look forward to Ray's leadership and vast experience having an immediate positive impact on Storm Baseball starting with our upcoming season."
Skjold will start immediately and start prepping the Storm for the season opener in a little over two weeks. Lake Erie's first test will come against the defending NCAA Division II national champion Augustana (S.D.) on the neutral grounds of Lindenwood University in Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 16.