Hays native Jerod Goodale is headed back home to take the reins of the Fort Hays State University baseball program.

FHSU announced Thursday the hiring of the former Hays High and Fort Hays standout as head coach of the Tigers. 

Goodale has spent the last seven seasons as the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines. He led the program to its best season last year, with the Orediggers going 37-18 and earning the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth.

"Today is a special day for myself and my family. I am truly honored and grateful to lead the baseball program at Fort Hays State University and would like to thank (FHSU Athletics Director) Curtis Hammeke for providing me this opportunity,"  Goodale said in an FHSU release. "I am proud of what we accomplished at Colorado School of Mines during the past seven years, but Hays is home. It's where I grew up, went to school, met my wife, and started my coaching career.

"My hope is that I can give back to FHSU and the community of Hays as much as its given to me and my family. I am excited to start the process of bringing our program back to a championship caliber level and look forward to putting in the work to make that happen."

He replaces Steve Johnson, who resigned after eight seasons as Tiger head coach, compiling a 162-228 record.  The Tigers are 23-76 over the last two seasons, including a 13-37 (5-31 MIAA) mark this past year.

Goodale had success turning around a Colorado Mines program that had suffered 12 straight losing seasons before his arrival in 2011. He broke the skid of losing seasons by guiding the Orediggers to a 24-23 mark in his third season, and the team has averaged 33 wins per season over the last three years. 

Colorado Mines has reached the RMAC Tournament Championship finals the last two years and was one win shy of playing for the South Central Regional championship in 2018. Goodale was named RMAC Coach of the Year in 2016.

"Jerod has established himself as a successful baseball coach and draws from several experiences that have led to his growth," Hammeke said. "We look forward to Jerod continuing on his path of success here at Fort Hays State University."

Goodale spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Fort Hays then served as an assistant at Wichita State for three years from 2007-09. He spent two seasons as the top assistant at Angelo State before accepting the head coaching position at Colorado Mines.

As a player, Goodale was a two-time all-conference selection at catcher for Fort Hays and helped lead the Tigers to the RMAC regular season title and the conference tournament championship in 2003.

He was part of the last two Tiger teams to play in the NCAA Tournament, as a player in 2003 and as an assistant coach in 2006.

Goodale holds two degrees from Fort Hays State University. He earned his bachelor's degree in health and human performance in 2004 and his master’s in 2006.

Goodale and his wife, Jessica, have two daughters, Riley and Lauryn, and one son, Andy.