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Adam Skonieczki
Adam Skonieczki has been with Lenoir-Rhyne since 2019.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Announces Coaching Change

Following a successful five years at the helm of the Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball program, Chris Ramirez has announced he will be departing to take the head coaching job at the University of Southern Indiana. With the departure of Coach Ramirez, Vice President for Athletics Kim Pate has announced the promotion of Adam Skonieczki as the next Head Coach of the Bears. Skonieczki becomes the 21st Head Coach in the 97-season history of the Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball program.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to work alongside Coach Chris Ramirez at two different Universities and experience the positive impact he has had on the baseball programs, the student-athlete’s experience, and the broader campus and community,” said Pate. “Chris is a tremendous leader, coach, mentor, colleague, and an even better person. I’m excited for this new opportunity for him to coach at the next level and wish he and his family the very best.”

Chris Ramirez was vital in leading the Bears to five consecutive winning seasons, including winning the 2022 SAC Tournament Championship and advancing to the NCAA regionals for the first time since 2001. That 2022 season saw the Bears finish with a record of 46-13, the most wins in a single season in school history. He built LR into a top-25 program, with that 2022 team finishing the season ranked No. 15 in the country, and his 2023 team being ranked as high as No. 7 throughout the year. During his time at the helm, Ramirez coached 27 all-conference honorees, six all-region performers, three members of the SAC all-defense team, one SAC Tournament MVP, and one All-American. His Bears won four games over No. 1 ranked teams, including a big victory last season over North Greenville. In addition to the on-field performance, he was instrumental in adding new field turf to Durham Field in 2021, and a new videoboard and grandstands in 2023.

Ramirez states “My time at Lenoir-Rhyne has been a blessing to our family. We are grateful to all the players that trusted in our vision and all the time they committed to turning LR Baseball into the program it is today. We are thankful for the lifetime friendships we have created in the Hickory community and Bear Family. Hickory will always feel like home to Me, Lindsay, Layla, Mia and Stryker! GO BEARS!”

Adam Skonieczki, who spent four seasons as an assistant with the Bears and was promoted to Associate Head Coach last season, helped lead LR to their most successful five-year campaign in school history. In addition to his roles as Associate Head Coach, Skonieczki was also LR’s recruiting coordinator, and he was responsible for recruiting multiple all-conference performers. This includes the likes of Sal Carricato, Tyler McPeak, Blake Bean, and Wade Cuda.

Lenoir-Rhyne has had a winning season every year Skonieczki has been in the dugout, their first stretch of five straight winning seasons since 1950-54.

“I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to retain and promote Adam Skonieczki as our next head baseball coach,” said Pate. “Adam brings tremendous coaching and proven leadership experience having served on our staff for the past five years and previously in a head coach role. We have an extremely talented and veteran baseball staff that have been a big part of our success in recent years, and I feel confident that Coach Skonieczki and his staff will continue to build on the foundation and take our program to new heights.”

Skonieczki’s offenses have historically been some of the best in school history. His four teams from 2021-2024 all rank in the top four in school history in home runs, and this past season the Bears set a new school record with 481 runs scored. He coached Khi Holiday this season to a new school record 68 runs scored, and his players hold seven of the 10 Lenoir-Rhyne single-season home run marks.Adam Skon

“I am really excited to be taking over the Lenoir-Rhyne baseball program. My family and I are extremely grateful to be staying in the Hickory community,” said Skonieczki. “I want to thank Vice President for Athletics, Kim Pate and President Fred Whitt for entrusting me with this opportunity. Lenoir-Rhyne is a special place with outstanding people and I am eager to continue to grow the program”

Prior to joining the Lenoir-Rhyne coaching staff, Skonieczki was the head coach at Southern Vermont College during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. There he led the Mountaineers to the NECC playoffs for just the second time in eight seasons. While at Southern Vermont, Skonieczki coached six All-Conference performers and one National Player of the Week. The Mountaineers excelled in the classroom as well, posting a team GPA of 3.3.

Before his time at Southern Vermont, he served as the Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at the University of Buffalo for two years. Skonieczki coached two All-MAC First Team players and helped four players get drafted or sign MLB contracts. It was the second stint in Buffalo for Skonieczki, who was a standout outfielder for the Bulls and graduated in 2010. The Binghamton, N.Y. native has his name peppered throughout the program’s record book. Upon graduating, he had registered the second-most games played (193), the third-most hits (231), and the third-most total bases (320). He still owns the team’s top mark of the most runs scored in a game (6) and had the most runs scored in a single season (50) before that was eclipsed in 2010 and then again in 2012. For his career, he was a four-year outfielder for the Bulls, starting in 186 of the 193 games in which he appeared.

Skonieczki also held Assistant Coaching positions at Georgetown College (Ky.) and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. At TAMUCC, he helped the squad to a school-record 37 wins and a top-100 finish in the Division I national poll. Three players from that team were selected in the Major League Baseball draft.

This will be Skonieczki’s 15th year coaching, and his sixth season in Hickory.

What they are saying:

Chris Ramirez – Southern Indiana Head Coach

“Adam is not only a great coach and leader but also a great friend! He is truly passionate about the Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball program and LR Bears sports. He is the perfect person to continue to lead the baseball program into the future and onto Cary.”

Scott Malone – Texas A&M Corpus Christi Head Coach

“I am so excited for Coach Skonieczki to become a head coach again. He is a great recruiter and a mastermind of offense. I can’t think of a better couple to be a part of the future of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics than Adam and his wife Shayna.”

Jim Koerner – USA Baseball Director of Player Development

“Lenoir-Rhyne made a slam dunk decision by promoting Coach Skonieczki. He is one of the top young coaches in our game. His understanding of baseball is cutting edge and he possesses an ability to teach it at the highest of levels. He has a proven track record of recruiting and developing the highest quality of student-athlete. Under his leadership, it’s going to be exciting watching LR Baseball take another step into NCAA Division II national prominence.”

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}