Tim Esmay resigns as ASU baseball head coach after five seasons

ASU baseball coach Tim Esmay resigned Monday after five years with the team.

ASU baseball coach Tim Esmay resigned Monday after five years with the team.

Next season will certainly be a change for ASU baseball, as the Sun Devils will not only have a new stadium but a new coach to lead them.

Tim Esmay resigned Monday. He was the head coach of the Sun Devils since the 2010 season after being an assistant coach prior to the 2005 season. Esmay’s .680 winning percentage during his time as ASU head coach was the highest among active Pac-12 coaches.

Esmay’s best season was his first, when he lead the Sun Devils to a Pac-10 best 52-10 record including a College World Series appearance as the overall No. 1 seed before losing in the first round to South Carolina.

Since then, however, the Sun Devils would not return to the College World Series or finish first in the Pac-12. In 2011, the Sun Devils finished the season with a 43-18 record and a loss to Texas in the Austin Super Regional. ASU suffered a postseason ban in 2012 and ended up with a 36-20 record. The losses would keep going up every year, as ASU went 37-22-1 in 2013 and 33-24 in 2014. Each of those campaigns ended with a loss in the NCAA Regional.

ASU baseball’s 2014 season

Esmay was just the fourth head coach in ASU baseball’s storied history. It may just be that Esmay fell victim to that history, as his overall record and consistent postseason appearances may have met or exceeded expectations in just about any school but ASU.

Being head coach of the ASU baseball team means you have to live in the large shadows of all-time greats. Bobby Winkles, ASU’s first baseball head coach, went 524-173 in 11 years and led the team to three national titles. He was succeeded by Jim Brock, who coached ASU for 23 years and went 1,100-440. Brock led the Sun Devils to 13 College World Series and won two titles, as well as being National Coach of the Year four times. Pat Murphy, ASU’s third coach, went 629-284-1 in 14 years and still is the youngest collegiate coach to have reached 500 wins.

Esmay grew up watching Sun Devil baseball games at Packard Stadium and eventually played baseball for ASU from 1986-87. He served as an assistant on the coaching staff from 1988-90 and again in 1994 until he took assistant coaching positions at Grand Canyon University and Utah, eventually becoming the head coach for the Utes from 1997-04.

Esmay’s sons, Cooper and Tucker, played for ASU baseball in the 2014 season. Tucker, a redshirt junior, was a regular starter for ASU in the infield.

Esmay had met with first-year Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson following the season to discuss the program’s future. Shortly after, Anderson announced Esmay’s resignation.

 

Reach the reporter at hkossodo@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @HKossodo