Furman’s two-year pitching coach Brett Harker was named the team’s new head coach Wednesday.
Harker will replace head coach Ron Smith, who resigned in June after leading the program for 23 years. He will take over a Furman team that finished fourth place in the SoCon with a 29-30 overall record in 2016.
While Harker is excited to continue to take the program forward, he said he isn’t looking to fill Smith’s shoes.
“I have the utmost respect for coach Smith,” Harker said. “He’s a father figure to me and I have his blessing. He’s excited about me taking over the program. I’m not looking to fill his shoes. I’m just looking to make a brand of my own.”
Before beginning his coaching tenure at Furman in 2015, Harker coached pitchers at Newberry and North Greenville for two years. He played college baseball at College of Charleston from 2003-05, where he finished with a 14-6 career record and was the SoCon Pitcher of the Year in 2005.
As a Greenville native and former Hillcrest High School pitcher, Harker is very familiar with the local baseball teams in South Carolina. He said seeing Coastal Carolina win the College World Series this year made him hopeful for the future of Furman’s program.
“I think we have all the pieces to win now,” Harker said. “Listen, there are some other schools here in South Carolina that have proved you don’t have to be the biggest name in the country to win some really big rings.”
For more of Harker’s thoughts on his new coaching position, check out his interview on SportsTalk from Thursday night.