ASU baseball will hire Willie Bloomquist, a former Sun Devil and current front office assistant for the Arizona Diamondbacks, as its next head coach, the program announced Friday.
Bloomquist becomes the sixth head coach in the baseball program's history, filling the vacancy left by former head coach Tracy Smith. Smith completed his seven-season career at ASU with a 201-155 record and four postseason appearances.
"Well to be honest, you know, for me, there's really only one place I would do this, and that's here," Bloomquist said at a press conference Friday. "If any other college called or any other professional managerial spot came over then I wouldn't do it. This is the only place I would do it."
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Bloomquist holds an experienced baseball resume, excelling at ASU and playing 14 seasons in the MLB with multiple teams. However, he has yet to officially hold a coaching position in his career.
Bloomquist played three years with the Sun Devils and completed his career with a .394 batting average, the third-best career mark in program history. He is also the only player in ASU baseball history to record 100 hits in consecutive seasons.
Bloomquist earned First-Team All Pac-10 honors twice and was named the conference's Player of the Year in 1999. He was inducted into the Sun Devil Hall of Fame in 2013.
"It was very clear to me that we needed to reenergize ASU baseball," Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said at the press conference. "We need to try to recapture some of that glory day swagger and belief and commitment. Willie lived it at the highest level of anyone who's ever put on this uniform."
He has served as a special assistant to the president and CEO for the Diamondbacks since 2016. In his role, Bloomquist worked with minor league players, assisted with community events and handled other various business-related tasks.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include quotes from Willie Bloomquist and Ray Anderson, who spoke at a press conference Friday.
Reporter Leo Tochterman contributed to the reporting of this story.
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Justin Spangenthal is a reporter for The State Press, currently covering Men's Golf and Track and Field. Justin transferred to ASU last January and is planning to graduate Fall '23. He is passionate about journalism and hopes to one day launch his own media outlet.