By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Needham High School Athletic Director Dan Lee announced via press release on December 30 that the school has hired Rich Raymond to be the new varsity baseball coach.
Lee announced the news via press release on the Needham High athletics Twitter account.
Raymond, a native of Tolland, Connecticut and a graduate of Tolland High School (2007), takes over a program that has thrived in recent years under former skipper Matt Howard. In 2018, Howard helped lead the Rockets to the school’s first-ever Division I state championship in baseball. Howard recently stepped down from the position and moved to Maine.
After playing at Division II powerhouse Franklin Pierce and graduating in 2011 with his degree in Mass Communications, Raymond returned to Tolland, where he began his coaching career as an assistant. Raymond has also served as an assistant coach for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League, as well as a pitching coach at Eastern Connecticut State, Monroe Junior College (New York) and Southwestern Community College (Iowa).
Needham High School varsity baseball last competed in 2019, falling 5-4 in the first round of the Division I playoffs to Xaverian. The entire 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Raymond will look to help lead the Rockets back to the state tournament in his first year at the helm in 2021.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.