Mike Raynor--Head Coach
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Mike Raynor faced a daunting challenge heading into the 2007 season – assuming the reigns of the Mercer softball program just two weeks before the Bears’ first game of the campaign. But with a year under his belt, the Fitzgerald, Ga., native has settled in and looks to lead Mercer back to the conference tournament and beyond in his second season. Raynor is the fifth head coach in school history and led the Bears to a conference tournament appearance in just his first season at Mercer.
During the 2007 season, Raynor’s squad faced a grueling non-conference schedule with nine opponents who advanced to the NCAA Regionals. The Bears struggled early on, but Raynor was able to rally his team late in the season and qualify for a conference tournament berth. Under Raynor’s direction, Jamie Madruga earned all-conference honors and continued making her mark on the Mercer record books. Madruga tied the single-season record for home runs (15) and maintained her number one position as the career batting average leader (.361).
Prior to his time at Mercer, Raynor coached travel teams in Cobb County for 14 years, most recently serving as coach for the East Cobb Bullets Gold team. His teams won two national championships and five state championships. In 2006, he served as a community coach at Sequoyah High School, which went on to win the AAAA State Championship.
Along with coaching travel teams, Raynor served as a collegiate umpire for 15 years. He served as the president of the Southeastern Collegiate Umpires Association, along with acting as the co-coordinator of umpires for the Atlantic Coast Conference and the coordinator of umpires for the Peach Belt Conference. He also served on umpire staffs with the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Southern Conference and Conference USA. In 2006, he umpired in the NCAA Division I Regional at Fresno State and has officiated in numerous NCAA conference championship tournaments. He was named the 2005 Official of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Officials Association.
In 1974, Raynor earned his bachelor's degree in education from Georgia Southern and went on to serve as the head baseball coach at Cook County High School. During his time at Cook County, he also assumed the responsibilities of Athletics Director and Head Football Coach.
Raynor and his wife, Brenda, reside in Tifton, Ga., and have three daughters, Page, Molly, and Alison.