BROOMFIELD — Holy Family High School is proud to announce the hiring of John Ray as its next baseball coach.
Ray, who was on the Tigers staff last year as a pitching coach, takes over for the retired Marc Cowell.
Ray comes to Holy Family with a wealth of experience on the diamond. After graduating from Monarch High School in Lafayette in 2003, he played four years of college baseball in Greeley at the University of Northern Colorado and then spent several years in the San Francisco Giants minor league system.
With his family having been locked into the Lafayette-area for quite some time, it was just a natural fit to come to Holy Family to begin his coaching career.
“It was the perfect combination of religious beliefs and centering my life around baseball,” he said. “Those are the things that I am passionate about.
“I thought I’d throw my name in there and if the school thought it was the best choice, then that would be great and if not, I would be happy to be involved in any way possible.”
Like many around what has been a very successful program at Holy Family, Ray was sad to see coach Cowell go, but knew “I had to make a decision on what was best for the program. And I knew if I was that person, and I don’t apply, I would have failed the boys that we do have.”
Out of high school, he was drafted in the 41st round by the Atlanta Braves before opting to head to Greeley instead.
During his final season at UNC, Ray — who was the school’s all-time leader in total bases when he graduated — hits 14 home runs (he finished with 42 for his career) and had a team-high .351 batting average with 18 doubles and 35 RBIs, all while grinding it out defensively behind the plate as the Bears everyday catcher.
He is eager to put his own stamp on the Tigers program, that is coming off of a season that saw them make it all the way to the Class 4A Final Four last spring in Colorado Springs.
“It’s kind of a double-edged sword. The program has been really successful,” he said, “And it is sort of intimidating that everybody in the program expects to be solid contenders every year.”
So what are the expectations with the 2020 version of the Tigers?
“I know we have a lot of kids coming back and I look forward to centering around a lot of those returners and building a team that can contend again,” he said. “The Holy Family program is expected to be a contender for a championship and that is what we are going after.
“In addition, I think building the boys’ future in whatever realm that is a part of that success too.”