Arizona State baseball hires Willie Bloomquist as head coach

Jun 11, 2021, 9:05 AM | Updated: 9:08 am
Willie Bloomquist #8 of the Seattle Mariners walks away from home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt #...
Willie Bloomquist #8 of the Seattle Mariners walks away from home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt #21 after being called out on strikes to end the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on April 25, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Four days after firing head baseball coach Tracy Smith, the Arizona State Sun Devils officially named his successor.

Former Sun Devil and Arizona Diamondback Willie Bloomquist was named as the sixth head coach in program history on Friday.

The 43 year-old Bloomquist played for ASU from 1997-99 and was honored as Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1999. He finished his career in Tempe with the school’s fourth highest batting average (.394).

Bloomquist was selected 95th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 1999 MLB Draft. He also played for the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds before signing with the Diamondbacks in 2011.

During his three years in Arizona, he posted a .289 batting average. He was the first Sun Devil to play for the local MLB club.

Bloomquist returned to Seattle and played two more seasons with the Mariners before retiring in 2016. He played 14 seasons in the major leagues.

Bloomquist was hired as the special assistant to the president and CEO for the Diamondbacks in 2016. In that role, he assisted Derrick Hall in “working on-field with players at all levels of the organization, attending community events, meeting with corporate partners, interacting with season ticket holders and visiting D-backs Minor League affiliates,” according to ASU’s press release.

Bloomquist has not held a coaching job at the college or MLB levels.

ASU athletic director Ray Anderson has made unconventional hires before, like when he hired head football coach Herm Edwards away from a long post as a television analyst.

Edwards did, however, have multiple years of coaching experience in the NFL and in 1987-89 got his coaching career started in the college ranks.

Penguin Air

Arizona State

Quarterback Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers is sacked by defensive linemen Joe Moore #58 a...
Jake Anderson

D-line has to be ‘catalyst’ if ASU wants to repeat as best defense in Pac-12

The D-line will have to be the "catalyst" for ASU if it hopes to be the best defense in the Pac-12 for a second consecutive year.
24 hours ago
Arizona State Sun Devils tight end Messiah Swinson catches a ball during ASU fall camp practice in ...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State’s offense starting to click, TE Messiah Swinson an X-factor

ASU's offense is finally starting to click as the team completes its second week of fall camp, including the first practice in full pads.
3 days ago
Arizona State running back Daniyel Ngata (4) eludes Stanford linebacker Ricky Miezan, second from l...
Arizona Sports

State of the Sun Devils podcast: Running the football

On the latest State of the Sun Devils, Jesse Morrison, Jeremy Schnell and Arizona State reporter Jake Anderson break down ASU's running game.
5 days ago
Arizona State University, President Dr. Michael Crow speaks at the 2016 Concordia Summit - Day 1 at...
Jake Anderson

Michael Crow: NCAA investigators yet to finish interviewing ASU football coaches

The NCAA investigation into ASU football has yet to finish interviewing coaches and staffers, school president Michael Crow told The Athletic.
6 days ago
The Arizona State Sun Devils football team breaks down a huddle during a fall camp practice in Augu...
Jake Anderson

ASU notebook: Offense adding new wrinkles, defense ‘pretty much set’

Things are starting to come together on both sides of the ball for the Arizona State Sun Devils ahead of their Week 1 opener on Sept. 1.
7 days ago
Emory Jones #5 of the Florida Gators throws the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field ...
Jake Anderson

Herm Edwards to announce Arizona State Sun Devils starting QB ‘shortly’

Herm Edwards is playing it close to the vest when it comes to officially naming which QB will be under center when ASU hosts NAU in Week 1.
7 days ago
Arizona State baseball hires Willie Bloomquist as head coach