Recognized as one of the most successful college baseball recruiters and pitching coaches in the nation, Bobby Moranda spent six seasons at Georgia Tech. During that time, Moranda has developed a deep and talented pitching staff that has helped rewrite the Yellow Jackets' record books.
Moranda was introduced as the new head coach at Western Carolina on July 19, 2007.
Moranda's coaching expertise was especially evident on the 2005 pitching staff, taking a group that returned just 31% of its wins and 35% of its innings from the previous season and turning it into a deep and reliable unit. The depth of Tech staff could be seen during the Yellow Jackets' run to the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship when the bullpen worked 16.2 innings and allowed just one earned run while recording a 4-0 record in four games.
Moranda tutored Blake Wood, who earned second-team all-ACC honors while posting a 10-1 record, and Matt Wieters, who was named the ACC Rookie of the Year after recording a team-best 2.85 ERA and a team-high six saves. Two of Moranda's pitchers, Jason Neighborgall and Jordan Crews, signed professional contracts following the season.
The 2004 pitching staff was arguably the deepest in school history. Fifteen pitchers made at least nine appearances, including 12 who made 15 or more appearances, and eight different pitchers started at least one game.
Two of Tech's pitchers earned all-ACC honors while a school-record five pitchers were selected in the Major League Baseball draft. Andrew Kown, who was undrafted out of high school, was a fifth round selection of the Detroit Tigers after posting a 10-1 record and a 3.46 ERA. Micah Owings was drafted in the 19th round by the Chicago Cubs, Brian Burks was a 25th round pick of the San Diego Padres, and Nick Wagner (28th round) and Aaron Walker (30th round) were selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Moranda's 2006 staff was comprised of an experienced group of starters and a deep bullpen, which carried Georgia Tech to its third College World Series appearance. In Tech's five NCAA Regional and Super Regional games, the Yellow Jacket bullpen held its opponents to just one unearned run in 8.1 innings of work, while the Georgia Tech starters of Lee Hyde, Blake Wood and Ryan Turner combined for a 5-0 record and a 2.95 ERA, holding their opponents to a .254 average in 36.2 innings of work.
There were 10 pitchers during the 2006 season that made at least 15 appearances, including five that earned at least five wins during the year. Four members of Moranda's pitching staff were taken in the 2006 Major League Baseball draft, including staff ace Blake Wood, who was a third round selection by the Kansas City Royals after posting an 11-4 record in his junior season, and talented left-hander Lee Hyde, who was taken in the fourth round by the Atlanta Braves after going 6-0 with a 3.02 ERA in 2006. Tim Gustafson was drafted in the ninth round by Atlanta, while John Goodman was a 45th-round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Moranda's first season on the Flats was ultra-successful, directing a record setting Tech pitching staff that helped the Yellow Jackets win a school-record 52 games and advance to the College World Series in 2002.
Under the direction of Moranda, the Yellow Jacket pitching staff set school records for fewest walks per nine innings (2.54 per 9 IP) and best strikeout to walk ratio (2.90 to 1). Tech had its best team ERA (4.06) since 1994 and recorded its most shutouts (6) since 1997.
Tech's 2002 staff was led by All-America Kyle Bakker, who posted a 13-2 record and a 3.12 ERA in 134.2 innings, while Jeff Watchko (11 wins) and Brian Burks (10 wins) also reached double-figures in victories. Tech had three pitchers reach double-figure wins for only the second time in school history.
Individually, Tech pitchers posted four of the top nine best single season walks per nine inning ratios in school history - Bakker (1st, 1.60 per 9 IP), Chris Goodman (3rd, 1.76), Watchko (4th, 1.91) and Burks (9th, 2.19).
Moranda's work with the Tech pitching staff was more evident than ever in the Yellow Jackets' run to the 2002 College World Series. The starting rotation of Bakker, Goodman and Burks combined for a 5-0 record and 0.77 ERA in NCAA regional play, while the entire staff combined for a 2.40 ERA and held opponents to a .208 batting average.
In 2003, Moranda's pitching staff helped Tech win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship by sweeping the first triple-header in conference history. The Yellow Jackets defeated North Carolina, Florida State and NC State on the final day of the tournament to capture the league title.
Tech's 2003 pitching staff again ranked as one of the better staffs in recent school history. The Yellow Jackets allowed the fewest hits per nine innings in the last 10 years, while posting the second best ERA in that span.
In a three-game series at Virginia in May, 2003, the Yellow Jackets turned in the best pitching weekend in school history. Tech's pitchers held the Cavaliers to just two runs in three games.
Three of Moranda's pitchers were selected in the first 20 rounds of the 2003 Major League draft - Chris Goodman (5th round, Kansas City), Jeff Watchko (14th, Colorado) and Kyle Bakker (20th, Atlanta).
Moranda tutored freshman Micah Owings, a two-way star who was the ACC Rookie of the Year, a second-team All-American and a first-team Freshman All-American. Tech reliever Brian Burks was named the MVP of the ACC Tournament after posting a win and a save in two appearances, Bakker earned second-team All-ACC honors, while Goodman finished his career as the school's all-time leader in fewest walks per nine innings (1.92).
Moranda, who has 17 years experience coaching in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Wake Forest and Virginia, joined the Georgia Tech staff in July, 2001, as Associate Head Coach. A 19-year veteran of coaching at the collegiate level, Moranda is directly responsible for the Yellow Jacket pitching staff in addition to his role in recruiting.
Prior to coming to Georgia Tech, the 42-year old Moranda spent the previous six years at Wake Forest where he helped lead the Demon Deacons to three ACC Championships in his last four years.
For his work, Moranda was recognized by Baseball America magazine in January 2001 as one of the country's "Rising Stars" in the college baseball coaching ranks.
After helping lay the groundwork for his first two seasons at Wake Forest as head assistant Coach, Moranda helped the Demon Deacons to back-to-back ACC Championships in 1998 and 1999, and a third title in 2001.
Moranda helped build the Demon Deacon program into one of the best in the nation through his recruiting efforts and his on-field work with the Wake Forest pitching staff and defense. His pitchers tossed two no-hitters, the school's first in 60 years.
Moranda's recruiting classes were annually ranked among the nation's top classes, while his pitching staffs have attracted national attention from both collegiate baseball experts and professional scouts.
Moranda's recruiting efforts at Wake Forest resulted in six Freshman All-Americans, including the 2001 National Freshman of the Year, the 2003 ACC Player of the Year, and the first collegiate draft pick in 2003.
In 1998 his Demon Deacon pitching staff attracted national attention by throwing five complete games in the six-game ACC tournament. The feat helped Wake Forest win the 1998 ACC Championship and advance to the NCAA South I Regional, the Deacons' first NCAA appearance in 21 years. Moranda and the Deacons followed that 1998 performance with a five game sweep through the 1999 ACC Tournament, a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals and a top-10 national ranking.
His 1999 pitching staff boasted three 10-game winners, only the third staff to accomplish that feat in the 50-year history of the ACC. Moranda's pitching staffs have boasted at least one pitcher who led the ACC in either victories, ERA, saves or innings pitched in six of the last seven years.
Moranda has been a part of eight conference championships and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances as either a player or a coach.
In his six years at Wake Forest, Moranda consistently developed outstanding pitchers. Ten of his pitchers were selected in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, including two players - Sean DePaula of the Indians and Mike MacDougal of the Royals, who reached the big leagues. Five pitchers earned All-America honors, while his pitchers earned all-ACC accolades seven times in his last five years.
His experience with top pitchers extends back to his days at the University of Virginia, where from 1990 to 1995 Moranda helped lay the groundwork as recruiting coordinator that led to the Cavaliers 1996 ACC Championship team.
During his six years in Charlottesville as Virginia's assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, the Cavs produced more professional players than the program's previous 100 years combined.
Prior to Moranda's arrival, Virginia had never produced a first-round draft pick or a first-team All-American. By 1996, however, the Cavaliers had two first round picks and two first-team All-Americans.
Moranda's star pupils and recruits were outfielder Brian Buchannan and pitcher Seth Greisinger. Buchannan has played with the San Diego Padres and Greisinger, who starred on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, reached the Major Leagues in 1998 with the Detroit Tigers.
The other top pitchers that Moranda has recruited or coached includes Major Leaguers Doug Johns, Frank Lankford, and Pat Danaker.
Buchannan, Johns and Lankford were all undrafted out of high school. Greisinger (6th round out of high school) and Danaker (40th round) both significantly improved their Major League draft status after working with Moranda. In all, Moranda has coached 26 players who have been selected in the baseball draft, 20 of which were undrafted out of high school.
As a player, Moranda was an All-Region performer at Harper CC in Illinois and was part of back-to-back championship teams before accepting a scholarship to Eastern Kentucky. He batted .307 with 20 home runs and 86 RBI in two seasons at Eastern Kentucky, helping the Colonels win two consecutive Ohio Valley Conference championships and a top-30 national ranking.
The Colonels made two consecutive NCAA Regional appearances during Moranda's playing career. The Colonels were two games away from advancing to Omaha for the College World Series in 1985.
After gaining his undergraduate degree in broadcast management, Moranda stayed at Eastern Kentucky as an assistant coach for three years while working toward his master's degree in recreation administration, and EKU made another NCAA Regional appearance during his tenure.
During that time, Moranda also coached an American Legion summer team in Palatine that featured Major League catcher Todd Hundley.
More than a decade later, Moranda is excited about developing other potential Major League players and building a National Championship contender at Georgia Tech while maintaining the Institute's highest academic standards.
Moranda and his wife Pamela have been married for 12 years.
The couple has two children, daughter Taylor Jade, who will be nine in the spring, and son Breyson Kade, age five.