Program Spotlight: Franklin & Marshall College

Head Coach Ryan Horning of Franklin & Marshall College shared an in-depth look into his recruiting process and some valuable advice for players who want to play college baseball. The Diplomats are an NCAA Division III school that competes in the Centennial Conference. Led by a veteran coaching staff, the Diplomats have established themselves as one of the conference’s most competitive and respected programs.

“Find the school and the program that is the right fit for you regardless of division… Be honest with yourself about the experience you want to have and don’t let outside voices cloud your judgement.”

– Coach Horning, Franklin & Marshall College
courtesy of

Quick Facts

School:Franklin & Marshall College
Division:NCAA Division III
Conference:Centennial Conference
Location:Lancaster, PA
Student Population:2,400
Questionnaire:Recruit Questionnaire

Recruiting Q&A – with Head Coach Ryan Horning

What are your typical scouting methods?

We typically focus on camps geared towards high achieving academic student athletes. By attending these events, we can optimize both our time and our limited budget to see hundreds of players that qualify academically for our school all in one location. We do attend some tournaments throughout the summer but we tend to focus more on camps.

How do you recommend players contact you if they are interested in your program?

Email is the best way to begin the conversation. Include links to video, unofficial high school transcript, standardized test score, and what events you plan to attend. If you are able to include all of that information, it moves the process along and we can begin to assess if you are a good fit for our program.

If a player contacts you, what are you most interested in?

Video, transcript, events you plan to attend. Unless you go to a HS that we are very familiar with, we don’t put a lot of weight into HS stats or accolades. It’s all about if you are a good fit for our team, our program, and our college.

Any general advice for players that want to play college baseball?

Find the school and the program that is the right fit for you regardless of division. Take your time, do your research, and get comfortable with the staff. You want to end up at a place where you will thrive. Be honest with yourself about the experience you want to have and don’t let outside voices cloud your judgement.

Any other comments about your program that you’d like to share?

At F&M we are looking for players who want to commit to be a part of something bigger than themselves. We are looking for highly motivated student athletes that have a desire to be pushed by their professors in the classroom and by their coaches on the field. When you graduate from F&M after having played four years in our program, you will be ready to face life’s greatest challenges and will walk away with an experience you will cherish forever.

>> Read more: Recruiting Q&As from college coaches <<

Program Overview – Diplomats Baseball

Led by Head Coach Ryan Horning, the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats have set a high standard for athletic and academic success in their program. Coach Horning, who is entering his tenth season as head coach of the program, is the school’s all-time winningest coach.

The Diplomats compete in the Centennial Conference, comprised of colleges across Pennsylvania and Maryland. With 5 Conference Championships and 4 NCAA Tournament Appearances, the Diplomats have a storied program, which has only become stronger during Coach Horning’s tenure. Coach Horning is a four-time Centennial Conference Coach of the Year and has coached several players that have received numerous accolades, including two All-Americans.

Equally impressive as the on-field performance, the Diplomats have earned the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award for six consecutive seasons, an award that honors NCAA Division III institutions that post a 3.0 GPA or higher for the academic year. These awards don’t only speak to the culture and discipline the coaching staff has established in the program, but also represent the work ethic of the student-athletes that choose to attend Franklin & Marshall.

School Overview – Franklin & Marshall College

Located in Lancaster, PA, Franklin & Marshall College which was founded in 1787, is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning. As a liberal arts college, Franklin & Marshall provides students with a well-rounded education and offers 60 fields of study.

The campus spans 220 acres and is constantly undergoing improvements and new developments. With several major cities nearby, Franklin & Marshall is in a great location for students looking for internships and post-graduate employment.

With smaller class sizes and a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students are set up with the resources they need to succeed. This is great for students that may be looking for a close-knit community feel to their college experience.

Students interested in learning more about Franklin & Marshall’s academics, admission, and housing are encouraged to visit

Closing Remarks

First of all, we’d like to thank Coach Horning for his thoughtful answers and advice to players. The continued success of the Diplomats’ baseball program athletically and academically comes as no surprise based on Coach Horning’s emphasis on culture and finding the right student-athletes willing to buy into the program, and succeed as a team.

Coach Horning gave some really important advice about finding the right fit and taking time to get comfortable with the staff. College baseball teams spend a lot of time with each other. Between practice, games, lifting, studying, and traveling, it’s important teams create a good culture and relationships with the coaching staff. The best teams are usually ones that thrive off being around one another. Taking the time to find a college baseball program that fits a players personality and goals can be a big difference making with regards to their college experience.

Players who are interested in learning more about Franklin & Marshall’s program should follow Coach Horning’s recommendations above, and begin the introduction process. Not only do we think Franklin & Marshall is potentially a great fit for many players out there, but Coach Horning’s advice is something all players can take away and apply to their own college recruiting process.

Again, thank you to Coach Horning for the time, and best of luck to the Diplomats in their upcoming season!