FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – The Fresno City baseball program is turning to Mitch Karraker, a former Buchanan High star with experience coaching at several major college programs, to follow in the footsteps of a couple coaching legends.

Over the last 64 years, the Rams program has had two permanent head baseball coaches, Len Bourdet, who retired in 1988, and Ron Scott, who retired after this past season in 2022.

Both coaches were the all-time winningest head coach in California community college baseball history, at the time of their retirement.

Karraker was officially introduced Wednesday as the Rams new leader.

As a player, Karraker won a Valley championship with Buchanan in 2006, and played for Scott at Fresno City in 2008.

He went on to play at Oregon, and then later helped coach the Ducks program, before making other coaching stops at Baylor and Loyola Marymount.

“I knew Coach Scott was kind of nearing the end, and right before he retired, he called me and said, ‘I’m probably gonna retire,'” said Karraker. “It had crossed my mind a little bit, but it was a little bit after that, that I was like ‘okay, this is something I’m really serious about,’ and I think thinking about it, and talking about it with my family, and praying about it, I thought it was just something that I couldn’t pass up, at least take my shot at it.”

At the same press conference, Gracie Figueroa, a former four-time wrestling state champion at Selma High School, was officially introduced as an assistant coach for the new women’s wrestling program at Fresno City.

Figueroa says the program will begin competition in the spring.

She says there are 12 wrestlers in the women’s program right now, and Figueroa hopes to get that number up to 20 by the start of the season.