Following the sudden departure of pitching coach Jason Kelly this past week, new head coach Willie Bloomquist has added to his staff once again. Former Sun Devil and major leaguer Travis Buck will be returning to Arizona State in an undetermined role in 2022. Buck will join Bloomquist and hitting coach Bill Mueller as former big leaguers on the staff, which has now comprised more than 25 years of combined major league experience.
It's time to come back home to @ASU_Baseball ! I can't thank @williebloom @SunDevilRay23 @GrahamRossini enough for the opportunity of a lifetime. Maroon & Gold is what I bleed. #palmsdown #200Club #O2V pic.twitter.com/PHDMDlLf22— Travis Buck (@TBuckinHawks) July 5, 2021
Buck starred in Tempe from 2003-2005, playing under former head coach Pat Murphy. He was named a freshman All-American in 2003, earned all Pac-10 honors in 2004 and 2005, and was selected to the all College World Series team in 2005 when ASU went to Omaha. His 272 career knocks as a Sun Devil rank eighth in the program’s storied history.
As a pro, Buck was a journeyman during his relatively brief seven-year career. After being drafted 36th overall in 2005 by the Oakland A’s, he spent 5 years in the organization, and was with the big league club from 2007-10. He spent 2011 with the Cleveland Indians, before finishing his career in Houston in 2012.
Most recently, Buck was an assistant coach at Boise State in 2019 and 2020. Prior to beginning his coaching career, he owned a player development program in his hometown of Richland, Washington.
Buck’s addition to the staff enriches the experience in the dugout, but that experience hasn’t come in the form of coaching. Buck is the only coach to have spent time coaching at the college level in the last 30 years, but Bloomquist could fill the vacant pitching coach spot with a more collegiate experienced candidate.