CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- In recognition of his lifetime accomplishments and a distinguished legacy of helping others, the University of Miami has created the Ron Fraser Wizard Fund to honor the Hall of Fame coach with a bronze statue to be placed at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Fraser coached the Hurricanes for 30 years from 1963-92. While never posting a losing season, his teams won 1,271 games and captured the 1982 and 1985 national titles. More than a hundred of Fraser's ballplayers went on to professional baseball and many more started successful careers.
"Our entire family is deeply touched and excited about the plans for a Ron Fraser statue," said Coach Fraser's wife Karen and his daughters Cynthia Fraser Beahn, Lynda Fraser Poorman and Elizabeth Fraser Kraut on behalf of the Fraser family, "and that it will stand at the stadium that always represented his dedication, determination, pride and his deep love for not only the game, but for his players, the University of Miami, the fans and the entire South Florida community. This season will mark the 50th year that we became a part of the U Family, so the timing could not be more perfect."
Fraser statue will be located at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
"Coach Fraser's love for the South Florida community is immeasurable, which makes the establishment of a community fund even more special," said Interim Director of Athletics Blake James. "There is no doubt in my mind that - when we unveil this statue - hundreds, if not thousands, of Fraser supporters will be responsible for making this monument a reality."
Friends and fans of the man nicknamed "The Wizard of College Baseball" can make a contribution to the Ron Fraser Wizard Fund by clicking on this link: DONATE TO THE RON FRASER WIZARD FUND. All contributions are tax-deductible.
"Personally, I am very excited about this because Coach Fraser is the most influential person in my career and the man who put college baseball on the map," said University of Miami head baseball coach Jim Morris. "He is like a father to me, and I encourage Hurricane fans and college baseball fans to join me in making a contribution."
Championship baseball aside, Fraser's program was celebrated as much for its success at the box office and becoming the standard by which other programs were judged. Aggressively promoting his Hurricanes and college baseball in lockstep, Fraser's teams broke every school and national record for season tickets sold, attendance and revenue, while college baseball grew exponentially in UM's wake.
Following his retirement as a college baseball coach in 1992, Fraser coached the U.S. national baseball team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, chaired countless community and charity organizations, played a pivotal role in bringing Major League Baseball to South Florida, and reveled in quality time with his wife, three children and five grandchildren.
"On the field and off, Ron Fraser showed how one man can make a difference," said James. "The University of Miami, South Florida and college baseball are all better because of him, and we invite his friends and fans to join us in thanking Coach Ron Fraser by supporting this magnificent tribute."
Secure online contributions can be made by clicking here DONATE TO THE RON FRASER WIZARD FUND. For more information, contact Rick Remmert, UM's Director of Alumni Programs, at 305-284-9517, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After all Ron Fraser did for the University of Miami, for South Florida and for college baseball, it is now time to thank him by helping make the Ron Fraser statue a reality.