PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Prescott is a historically baseball friendly city and there will be a new program in town when Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Launches its program in the fall of 2020. In addition, it is with great pleasure to announce that the Eagles have brought on Geoff Fox to become the program's first head coach.
"I want to humbly thank Jaime (Long), the committee, and Embry-Riddle for this amazing opportunity. From the moment I arrived in Prescott and stepped foot onto campus I felt at home," Fox commented. "After meeting members of the faculty, administration, and athletic staff, I was blown away with the family atmosphere that has been created and developed on this campus. There is an authentic sense of community here where each arena of this institution is supportive of one another. This creates a truly special environment, not only for faculty and staff, but for the students and student-athletes who walk inside these walls."
Fox will bring with him close to 20 years of experience in collegiate athletics and a championship pedigree after winning the NCAA DIII National Championship in 2019 with his former institution, Chapman University. As the Panthers recruiting coordinator, Fox helped create a winning culture going 187-84 in his six seasons and broke numerous school records during his tenure. While Fox was at Chapman, the team had a batting average over .320, fielding percentage above .970 and ERA just over 3.00.
"Not only is Geoff a terrific coach, he is an amazing husband, father, mentor and friend," Chapman baseball head coach Scott Laverty praised. "The baseball program and the entire athletic department will be thrilled to have him as a member of the department. I knew it was only a matter of time until he was given this opportunity and I could not be more proud of him."
Chapman much like ERAU faced tough academic standards but that did not affect the level of play as the Panthers excelled with Fox as the recruiting coordinator. Not only did he help in the development of four All-Americans he brought in and retained every student athlete that he brought in. Six of his former players signed professional baseball contracts upon completion of their degree programs.
"At Embry-Riddle we will instill in our young men a "forward moving" philosophy, one built on our four pillars of success. Through the commitment of our staff, who will carry out a "teaching first" attitude, our players will be given all the resources possible to allow them the ability to reach their full potential," Fox continued. "But not just as players on a baseball field, but as students in the classroom, active young men in our community, and leaders in their field once they graduate."
Before his tenure with Chapman, the Mesa-State College alumnus served as the assistant head baseball coach at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. In seven seasons, Fox led the team to six winning seasons and broke six team records in the process. Over the course of his stints with Chapman and Saddleback, Fox served as the head coach for two Orange County Collegiate League summer baseball clubs.
"I want to also thank my wife, Valerie, who has been my rock, and our two sons, Gavin and Liam. Without their support, love, and patience through the long weekends and travel of a baseball coach I wouldn't be in the position I am today," praised Fox. "Finally, I want to thank all the mentors and players who have helped shape me into the coach I have become. From my days at Saddleback with Jack and Sommer, to my most recent stint with Chapman and Scott, I have been able to learn so much from such great men and teachers of the game. I will forever be grateful to everyone who has been an influence to me over my career."
During his time with Chapman, Fox also served as the West Region Lead Camp Coordinator with Baseball America Clinics Series. He helped in the coordination of two-day high school prospect camps and provided recruiting seminars to the parents in attendance.
"Geoff is a leader and a tireless recruiter, dedicated to the development of the student-athletes he brings on campus. His ability to connect with quality players with high academic standards is evident by the success that has followed Coach Fox throughout his coaching career," Los Angeles Dodgers minor league player developer Tony Cappuccilli said. "He is a proven winner who truly cares about the success of his players on and off the field. Embry-Riddle has shown their commitment to the future of their baseball program by choosing Geoff as their head coach."
His collegiate playing days started at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. He was a two-time first team All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference selection and set the school record with a 33 game hitting streak. After his time with the Cougars, Fox transferred to Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado to finish his career. He was a two-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference champion and helped his team make two regional appearances. Fox is married to Valerie with whom he has two sons, Gavin and Liam.
"Geoff is a stand up human being. ERAU landed a wonderful person and coach to begin their baseball program. There is no doubt in my mind they will be competing for championships quickly in the NAIA landscape, " Hope International University baseball head coach Erich Pfohl commented. "But most importantly it will become a destination spot for baseball based on the experience Geoff is going to provide these young men."
Fox will have the entirety of the 2019-2020 academic year to recruit and fill his roster for the 2021 spring season. Having been a recruiting coordinator at each of his previous institutions this should present an exciting challenge.
"I am excited for Geoff and his family respectful to his appointment as head coach of baseball at Embry-Riddle," Harvard University baseball head coach Bill Decker said. "The past six years at Chapman University under the direction and leadership of Scott Laverty has served Geoff well and I am confident he will create an environment where student-athletes can flourish and succeed on, off the playing field, and in the community. Geoff is a good baseball coach and teacher who invests in people; I wish him well."
ERAU will compete in the NAIA's California Pacific Conference in which the department has been extremely successful winning the last five commissioners cups and all the programs in the conference qualified for the conference championships. .
"With Jaime's vision for the baseball program, I am very confident we will create and develop a program that will consistently be at the top of the Cal-Pac Conference as well as regionally and nationally, all while maintaining a 100% graduation rate for our student-athletes," Fox concluded. "My staff and I are beyond ready and excited to hit the ground running bringing in not just great players, but great people into this program and institution. This is truly a special time to be at Embry-Riddle!"