Montgomery College graduate Morgan Wootten, one of the winningest coaches in high school basketball history, once said, “The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins.” Like Wootten, MC’s baseball coach Dan Rascher is most proud of his players’ efforts, which include nine trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series, 36 All-Americans, seven Rawlings Gold Glove winners, and three Marucci Elite Hitter Award winners. In spite of his attempts to downplay his role, Rascher added an impressive accolade to his coaching resume this year, topping the 400-win mark.
“No coach can win that many games without having tremendous support from school administration, talented players, great assistant coaches—and from home,” says Rascher, now in his 13th season at the College. He says the 400 wins validate all the hard work everyone puts into the program.
Rascher, who took over the baseball team in 2006, is a five-time American Baseball Coaches Association NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year. His teams average 31 wins per year, playing a majority of games against teams in higher divisions.
Rascher says coaching at a junior college has been very rewarding. “Every year we face different challenges in the classroom and on the field because we have such a wide range of personalities,” he says. “We work tirelessly with our players throughout the year—at practice and with academics—hoping we’ll create a cohesive unit with a common goal.” Rascher says the challenge is coaching his players for only two years.
No coach can win that many games without having tremendous support from school administration, talented players, great assistant coaches—and from home.
“I discovered many of our athletes are looking for a new beginning, both in the classroom and on the field. Many of them have been overlooked in the recruiting process,” he says. Rascher enjoys getting texts from his players who include pictures of math tests they passed. He also likes seeing other players, who never started on their high school teams, earning All-America honors. Many of his players continue their baseball careers and earn degrees at top-notch four-year schools around the country.
Although he sees many of his alumni at games or reunions, he enjoys getting phone calls from former players telling him about earning a bachelor’s degree, landing their first job, getting married, or sharing family news. “We’ve given these players an opportunity to be the best they can be,” he said, “and so many of them have taken full advantage.”
Rascher, always self-effacing, believes he benefited from having five outstanding assistant coaches—or role models, as he says, throughout the years. He credits their leadership for the many successes the teams achieved throughout the years. Stalwart assistant John Silk, who has been with Rascher since the beginning, says, “It has been a pleasure to help Dan achieve this milestone of 400 wins. He is a good friend, a good coach, and most importantly, a good family man. Montgomery College is lucky to have him.”