|Office:||163 Alumni Arena|
Ron Torgalski begins his seventh season as the head coach of the University at Buffalo baseball team, his 13th season overall with the program. Torgalski spent seven seasons as an assistant coach with the team before being named head coach in July, 2006. In his first season as head coach, Buffalo set a new school record for conference wins, with 11 and narrowly missed out on the school’s first trip to the MAC Tournament.
In his time at UB, Torgalski has established a respective program with many notable accomplishments including the program’s first-ever appearance in the Mid-American Conference tournament in 2012, where the team won two games and made the semifinal round before bowing out to eventual champion Kent State. It was also the third 20-win season for the team under Torgalski’s leadership, and with a 6-2 win over Toledo on May 6, he passed the 100-win mark for his career as a head coach.
After the season ended, a pair of UB players received an opportunity to continue their careers on the professional level, with Tom Murphy and Cameron Copping joining the farm systems of the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners, respectively. Also in the postseason, Jason Kanzler was awarded a Rawlings Gold Glove and Pollock and Murphy made the Mideast Region Teams.
Under Torgalski’s guidance in 2011, sophomore catcher Tom Murphy was named the Mid-American Conference’s Player of the Year, the highest award earned by a Buffalo player in the modern era of the program. In 2012, the program put four player on the postseason All-Conference teams, nearly doubling its total. Tom Murphy and Matt Pollock were first teamers, while Jason Kanzler and Cameron Copping made the second team.
In Torgalski’s tenure, 11 players have signed contracts with Major League Baseball teams, most recently in 2012 with Tom Murphy and Cameron Copping. Murphy was drafted in the third round by the Colorado Rockies, making him the highest UB player drafted in the modern era of the program. With his selection, Murphy becomes the fourth player drafted since UB reinstated baseball for the 2000 season. In 2009, Zach Anderson was drafted in the 29th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2007, Mike Folli was drafted in the 42nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals and former Bull Joe Mihalics was drafted in the 34th round of the 2005 draft by the New York Mets. Copping signed with the Mariners just a week after his battery mate Murphy, becoming the 11th player to sign a MLB contract under Torgalski’s leadership.
Other past free agent signees from UB include 2008 graduate Steve Geltz, who signed a minor league contract to pitch for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and 2010 graduate Chaz Mye signed on to play for the Angels’ American League West rival Oakland A’s. Geltz was recently called up to the Angels, making him the first Bulls to reach the majors since Joe Hesketh finished his major league career in 1994.
The team had a record-breaking season in 2009, when the Bulls made tremendous strides in several offensive categories by setting all-time single team records for most hits (591), runs (424), RBI (384) and walks (253). In 2012, the team broke another program record after clubbing 56 home runs and 135 doubles in a school record 56 games, also setting the record for total bases (931).
In the past five years, Torgalski and his coaching staff have enjoyed conference success in the naming of 13 Bulls as All-MAC selections. The Bulls’ accomplishments are found not only on the diamond but in the classroom as well with another three players being named to the All-MAC academic team. The Bulls have displayed academic excellence in achieving their highest team GPA under Torgalski. These accomplishments are examples of Torgalski’s influence in motivating these young men for athletic and academic success.
Torgalski has enjoyed success in coaching baseball as he was head coach of the New Hartford American Legion team that finished as the New York State runner-up. While Torgalski seems like a baseball guys all the way, he has also served as an assistant coach in basketball at the collegiate level. He spent six seasons as an assistant coach at UB and also for three seasons at his alma mater, Hamilton College, where he helped lead the team to a No. 1 national ranking in the final poll in 1990-91.
Torgalski attended Nichols High School in Buffalo, NY, where he was an All-Western New York player in both baseball and basketball.
While at Nichols, Torgalski teamed up with former NBA star Christian Laettner and guided the team to a New York State Class ‘C’ title and was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player. In recognition of his accomplishments, Torgalski was named to the Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
From there, he went on to letter in both sports at Hamilton College. As a basketball player, his 10.6 assists per game average in 1989 still ranks as the third-best ever in NCAA Division III history. After graduation from Hamilton in 1989, Torgalski went to Sweden and played professionally with the Monstreas Club basketball team before coming back to his alma mater to coach.
Torgalski’s heart took him back to baseball and when UB decided to bring the sport back to Division I status in 1999-2000, it was Torgalski that former head coach Bill Breene wanted as his right-hand man. The goal in 2000 is the same as it is now, which is to keep the best players in New York State close to home and there is no better way to do that than to have three coaches who know New York, especially Western New York.
Torgalski, who earned his masters of science in education from Canisius in 2003, is a member of the National Baseball Coaches Association and the New York State Coaches Association. He resides in Williamsville with his wife, Lisa and their two sons, Nicholas and Tyler.
• One MAC Player of the Year
• 36 MAC weekly honorees
• Four Freshman All-Americans
• 13 All-MAC selections
• Four MLB draft picks
• 11 pro contract signees
• Three Academic All-MAC honoree