River Ridge High School has announced that Jeff Runion will be its next head coach baseball coach.
Runion has also been on staff with the Knights’ program since the 2011 season, serving as the pitching coach. During his 10-years, he has assisted many players in preparation for their next level in baseball. Runion has had several All-Region and All-State selections develop under his guidance. He has been part of two final four appearances, two sweet 16 appearances.
He takes over for former coach Scott Bradley, who led the Knights to a 27-7 record, including 19-2 in Region 7AAAAAA, bringing home the first region championship in program history.
Runion has been part of the faculty at River Ridge for 10 years, serving the last six years as lead APEX facilitator. This role has involved him working closely with counselors, teachers and administration in assisting at-risk students with navigating their way through their academics. Runion has been an integral part of the successful graduation efforts at River Ridge serving as a de facto graduation coach.
Runion, a graduate of Riverdale High School in Clayton County, was a seventh round selection of the Texas Rangers in the 1992 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. As a right-handed pitcher, he was a part of the Rangers organization for six years, where he learned from legendary pitching coach Tom House.
A series of shoulder surgeries plagued Runion, but his rehab stints allowed him to work with and learn from House, gaining knowledge in the art of pitching until he ultimately ended his professional baseball career in the Independent Northern League.
Once Runion’s professional career ended, he completed his degree from Auburn University in Accounting. He spent several years away from the game, but always felt a desire to re-engage and help young men pursue their baseball dreams. He ultimately decided to leave his career in taxation to pursue a coaching and teaching opportunity.
Runion enrolled at Liberty University and earned his Masters degree in education in 2012.
River Ridge athletic director David Dyer said he believes Runion is the perfect candidate to lead the baseball program.
The decision allows the knights to keep continuity within program and the coaching staff.
Runion will continue to build on the success the program has experienced and more importantly, impact the lives of the young men in the program in a meaningful way,” Dyer said in a release.