Jan. 20, 2013
The Associated Press contributed to this article
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Ron Fraser, a Florida State Hall of Famer and former relief pitcher on the Seminole baseball team, passed away Sunday morning, January 20. Fraser was a member of the Seminole baseball team from 1954-57 and played for both Ralph Matherly and Danny Litwhiler.
The longtime University of Miami baseball coach who won two national championships with the Hurricanes and whose innovative marketing ideas helped spark a surge in the college game’s popularity was inducted into the FSU Hall of Fame in 1981. He was one of three Seminole baseball players named to the Hall of Fame that year joining Litwhiler and Woody Woodward.
“He really was a guy who shared his knowledge with younger coaches,” said Florida State head coach Mike Martin. “I’m going to miss him. He was a good man.”
Fraser, known as “the wizard of college baseball,” had battled Alzheimer’s disease for many years. It was believed that Fraser was 79, though his family’s statement did not release his age or other private matters, including a cause of death.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Fraser took over at Miami in 1963 and led the Hurricanes to national titles in 1982 and 1985. He took the `Canes to the College World Series 12 times over his 30 years at the school. He retired in 1992 with 1,271 wins, never having a losing season in his three decades overseeing the program.
Fraser also played a key role in getting baseball on national television. And now, the College World Series — the entire NCAA tournament, really — is a mainstay on TV, as are hundreds of regular-season games annually.
He was named NCAA coach of the year three times and coached numerous national teams, including the 1992 Olympic team.
Fraser was involved with many community and charity organizations after his retirement.
Miami officials said he had three children and five grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.