Arizona State has decided to go into its rich history for its next head baseball coach. Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball reported on Wednesday that former Sun Devil Willie Bloomquist will be filling Tracy Smith’s vacancy in Tempe.
BREAKING: @ASU_Baseball is set to hire former #SunDevils standout Willie Bloomquist as its next head coach, sources tell @d1baseball. An announcement should come by Friday.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) June 9, 2021
Bloomquist spent the last six seasons as the Special Assistant to @Dbacks CEO.#ForksUp pic.twitter.com/Tu9IvVMXwh
In 1999, Bloomquist was the Pac-10 Player of the Year and a first-team All-American for Arizona State. In three seasons as a Sun Devil, he had a career .394 batting average that included 15 home runs, 42 doubles, 22 triples and 176 RBIs.
Bloomquist had a 14-year MLB career. His hitting never really carried over from college, but he was always a solid defender at multiple positions.
The one intriguing part of Bloomquist’s hire is his lack of coaching experience. However, he is still connected with the program. He has served as special assistant to the president and CEO for the Arizona Diamondbacks for the past six years.
Bloomquist saw his relationship with now ASU senior associate Athletic Director Graham Rossini grow while with the Diamondbacks.
Rossini also spent plenty of time around the Arizona State baseball program before joining the Diamondbacks and returning to ASU to work under Ray Anderson.
According to Rogers’ reporting, it seems likely that hitting coach Michael Earley and pitching coach Jason Kelly could return to the program.
Players past and present were vocal in support of retaining Earley. Kelly would also serve as a key asset to Bloomquist, having had over a decade of experience as an assistant between Cal Poly, Washington and Arizona State.
Anderson wanted someone that could “compete for Pac-12 titles, consistently host postseason competitions, and return us to the College World Series.”
The last time Arizona State competed for a national championship, Bloomquist was on the roster.