Ryan Kragh starts his 15th season as head coach of the Bethany Vikings in 2018-19 and 18th overall as part of the program.
The 2018 season was the best season in school history for the Vikings as they won a share of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) regular season title for the first time with a record of 14-2 and then went on to win the UMAC postseason tournament for the first time ever. As a result, the Vikings qualified for their first-ever NCAA Regional Tournament.
The 2018 season also brought much individual recognition for the Vikings and Coach Kragh was named UMAC Coach of the Year by his coaching peers. The Vikings also boasted the UMAC Pitcher of the Year in Cody Leitner and Rookie of the Year in Ross Beumer. Additionally, the Vikings had eight players earn All-UMAC First Team honors and two players named UMAC Honorable Mention. The recognition continued as Coach Kragh and Ross Beumer were named Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year by D3baseball.com. Ben Boran was an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA DIII Midwest All-Region Second Team member.
In fourteen seasons as head coach, Kragh boasts a 279-243 record with 13 UMAC Postseason Tournament appearances. Bethany has been part of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and NCAA DIII since 2004. Prior to taking over the reins of the program in 2005, Kragh was the Vikings' pitching coach for three years, working with squads that combined for a 71-52 record, including back-to-back NJCAA Region XIII Championships.
Kragh is entering his third season as the Mankato MoonDogs Field Manager in the summer of 2018. The previous three seasons, Kragh served as the pitching coach for the MoonDogs and helped with the development of elite athletes around the country. His dedication to the game of baseball is evident as he directs Bethany baseball camps and coaches the game throughout the year.
Kragh's baseball history is a rich one. The Minot, North Dakota, native was a four-year letter-winner at the University of North Dakota, where his name appears in the top 10 of numerous pitching categories and his school record for career pitching wins was just recently broken.
After earning his bachelor's degree in physical education and elementary education, he pitched professionally with the Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks of the Northern League. An injury cut his playing career short and he returned to his alma mater, coaching pitchers for three seasons. Under Kragh's tutelage, three pitchers were drafted and went on to play professionally. Kragh also headed up the American Legion baseball program for Jamestown, N.D., leading the Blue Jays to a fifth-place finish in the State A Tournament.