Austin Peay State University announces Roland Fanning as 12th Head Baseball Coach
Clarksville, TN – Roland Fanning, an Oklahoma State baseball staff member for the past three seasons, has been named the Austin Peay State University (APSU) 12th head baseball coach, Vice President and Athletics Director Gerald Harrison announced Sunday.
Harrison will officially introduce Fanning during a Thursday event on the Austin Peay State University campus. The time and location of that press conference will be announced following the Memorial Day holiday.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Coach Fanning, his wife Beverly, and daughters Emery Jo and Eastyn to Stacheville,” said Harrison. “I am confident Coach Fanning will relentlessly reignite the energy and passion around Austin Peay baseball that once led us to 15 Ohio Valley Conference championship seasons and six NCAA tournament appearances. He is an evaluator, a recruiter, and a developer of talent. Those skills will be key to our success as we regain our competitive edge and level up to the ASUN Conference.”
“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity,” said Fanning. “I want to thank (Austin Peay president) Dr. Licari, Gerald Harrison, and (Senior Director of Athletics) Jordan Harmon for all their hard work during this process. Austin Peay has a great tradition, with great alumni and a fan base that is excited about our baseball program. My wife Beverly and I and our daughters Emery and Eastyn are thrilled to be part of the Clarksville and Austin Peay community!”
Fanning brings 15 seasons as an assistant coach, including eight combined seasons at Oklahoma State and Kentucky, to Austin Peay State University. While he was on the Cowboys and Wildcats staffs those programs posted three 40-plus win campaigns, with this season’s OSU squad a win away from another 40-win season.
He also has developed top-caliber athletes, with two conference player of the year award winners and 21 All-American Selections. He has seen 56 athletes selected in the MLB Draft, with three chosen in the first round and seven reaching the major leagues.
And yet, the athletes Fanning has coached also have excelled off the field. Over 300 athletes have earned academic honors during Fanning’s coaching career.
The Coalgate, Oklahoma native is completing his third season in his second turn as an Oklahoma State baseball staff member. In his current tenure, he is the Cowboys’ Director of Player Development. In 2021, the Cowboys posted 36 wins and appeared in the NCAA Baseball Tournament at the Tuscon Regional. OSU has 39 wins this season and is positioned to receive an at-large bid in this season’s NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma State is led by starting pitcher Justin Campbell, who was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Tuesday. Campbell was one of five Cowboys to earn First Team All-Big 12 honors, Tuesday. Last season, three Oklahoma State baseball student-athletes were named to All-American squads and two were named Freshman All-America.
Off the field, Oklahoma State received the American Baseball Coaches Association’s Team Academic Excellence award in both 2021 and 2022.
Before rejoining the Oklahoma State staff, Fanning was an assistant coach at Kentucky for three seasons (2017-19) and served as the Wildcats recruiting coordinator. He helped lead UK to its first NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2017 to cap a 43-win season in Lexington. In his three seasons in Lexington, Fanning was on a staff that amassed a program-record 103 wins over three years.
Fanning also was responsible for the Wildcats’ Top 20 recruiting classes in both 2017 and 2018. He also helped develop a program-record 13 players selected in the 2018 MLB Draft and saw two UK athletes selected in the First Round of the MLB Draft in 2017 (Evan White) and 2019 (Zack Thompson).
His turn in the Southeastern Conference was preceded by two seasons (2015-16) at Little Rock, where he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the first time. During the 2016 season, the Trojans posted a then-program record 17-win Sun Belt Conference campaign – their first winning record in SBC play since 2000.
While at Little Rock, Fanning coached Ryan Scott, the 2016 NCAA Batting Champion who posted a .435 batting average that season, and Greg Taylor, the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-American.
Fanning began his coaching career at Southeastern Oklahoma State, his alma mater, in 2007 and served in that role for five seasons. The Savage Storm posted five consecutive winning seasons while he was on the staff and saw four athletes named Division II All-Americans.
After five seasons in Durant, Fanning joined Oklahoma State as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Cowboys notched back-to-back 40-win seasons, reached the NCAA Tournament both seasons, and hosted and won a regional in 2014.
Fanning’s collegiate playing career included stops at Carl Albert State College, Northern Oklahoma-Enid, and Southeastern Oklahoma. He was inducted into the Coalgate High School Hall of fame in 2019.
Fanning and his wife, Beverly, have two daughters, Emery Jo and Eastyn Rowe.
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