After Jay Johnson left Tucson for LSU, the Arizona Wildcats went to a familiar face to lead their baseball program in Chip Hale.
Hale is the Wildcats’ all-time leader in games, hits and total bases when he played for the program from 1984-1987. He helped lead Arizona to a College World Series in 1986.
Wildcat legend. NCAA National Champion player. World Series Champion coach. Proud to announce Chip Hale as our next head coach!
Welcome back to Tucson, skipper! #BearDown 🌵⚾
— Arizona Baseball 🏆 (@ArizonaBaseball) July 5, 2021
He most recently coached third base for the Detroit Tigers. Hale was the Diamondbacks manager in 2015 & 2016 and has 15 years of Major League coaching experience.
“I am very honored and excited to be the new head baseball coach at the University of Arizona,” Hale said in a release. “We will work tirelessly to build on the success that has been established here and continue to coach and develop our Wildcats to be champions on the field and in the classroom. With the help and support of the University of Arizona and the Wildcat Family, we plan on making many trips to Omaha!”
Hale was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round of the 1987 draft and played a seven-year career with Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels.
The Wildcats are coming off a 45-18 season and an appearance in the College World Series.
Hale’s first matter of business will be retaining much of the talented roster that could be looking elsewhere after Johnson’s departure. Freshman catcher Jacob Berry, the team’s leader in home runs and RBI last year, has already followed Johnson to LSU. Others have entered their name into the transfer portal.
Though, Daniel Susac, who was second on the team with 12 home runs, and freshman starting pitcher TJ Nichols are among a group that has already said they are planning to stay within the program.
Transfers and recruiting will be new to Hale. Like new ASU baseball coach Willie Bloomquist, he has no college coaching experience. The two also share the fact that they both have ties to the Diamondback organization, though they did not overlap with the franchise.