Arizona State pitching coach Jason Kelly will be remaining with the program after he was retained by new head coach Willie Bloomquist on Saturday afternoon. D1 Baseball was the first outlet to report the news.
A Tracy Smith hire, Kelly, who joined the Sun Devil staff in 2019, just worked his first full year with the program. His first full season didn’t come without its challenges too, as ASU lost three of its rotation starters for 2020 and had to make due with a limited pitching staff.
The Sun Devils team ERA was 5.28, but with a primarily young staff and limited depth, Kelly worked with what he had as ASU tried to maneuver its arms throughout games for much of the year.
Prior to his time at ASU, Kelly was an assistant coach with the Washington Huskies, helping lead Lindsay Meggs and the Dawgs to a College World Series appearance in 2018.
Both Kelly and hitting coach Michael Earley have seen an outpouring of support from current and former Sun Devil players who have been advocating for the coaches.
Mike Earley is one of us. If you have been lucky enough to be around him you know what I mean. Thank you for always rockin with us. Let’s run it back @earleybaseball https://t.co/JJfA5kIA0K— kai (@kaijmurphy) June 8, 2021
Roster turnover and coaching changes are more than common with a new head coach, but it seems plausible that the two members of the staff might stay on board.
Bloomquist spoke about the possibility of keeping both Earley and Kelly on Friday.
“There are some candidates from the previous staff that I would be foolish not to look at,” Bloomquist said.
A decision on Earley has not yet been made, but keeping the two assistants could be integral to keeping current players on the roster and out of the transfer portal.