Arizona State names Tim Esmay Interim Head Coach

TimEsmay Arizona State announced today that Tim Esmay will serve as the Sun Devils baseball coach for the 2010 season. Esmay had spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach in Tempe including the last three seasons as the Assistant Head Coach. He was let go after last season’s trip to the College World Series as Murphy decided to bring in some new blood to the coaching staff. Esmay has experience as a head coach directing the Utah program from 1997-2004. He accumulated a 213-235-1 record including a WAC title in the 1997 season. This move is a little bit of a surprise as I expected former Washington coach Ken Knutson to get the job for this season. You can check out the full press release from Arizona State Media Relations below.

TEMPE, Ariz.- Arizona State University baseball has named Tim Esmay as interim head coach, Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love announced today. Esmay spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach for ASU Baseball, including the last three as Assistant Head Coach. A former Sun Devil player and assistant coach, Esmay has coached a total of 10 seasons at Arizona State. He played two seasons as an infielder under Jim Brock in 1986 and 1987.

“We are pleased to announce that Tim Esmay will lead our baseball program for the 2010 season” said Vice President for University Athletics Lisa Love. “As a graduate of ASU, he offers perspective as both a Sun Devil student-athlete and as a coach. He brings a wealth of ASU familiarity to our current team as well as significant head coaching experience.”

Esmay was the head baseball coach at the University of Utah from 1997 to 2004, winning a WAC title and WAC Coach of the Year honors in 1997. In eight seasons at Utah he compiled a 213-235-1 record. Esmay had 18 of his players go on to play professional baseball, including three from his last team in 2004. He also had 27 players earn all-conference honors during his tenure.

“I’m excited at the opportunity to continue the tradition that has been established by Coach Bobby Winkles, Coach Jim Brock and Coach Pat Murphy,” Esmay said.

“We are excited about the upcoming season with Tim Esmay at the helm,” Love added.

Esmay began his coaching career following his playing days at Arizona State (1986-87). He served as an assistant coach at Arizona State under Jim Brock from 1988 to 1990, then again in Brock’s final season of 1994. He returned to Arizona State in 2005 as an assistant coach, helping the team to a third place national finish and an appearance in the College World Series. He was named the Assistant Head Coach prior to the 2007 season and served in that capacity in each of the past three seasons, winning three straight Pac-10 titles and advancing to the College World Series twice.

Over his playing and coaching career, Esmay has been a part of six teams that played in the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska (1987, 1988, 1994, 2005, 2007, 2009).

Esmay was a two-year starter for the Sun Devils following an All-American career at Scottsdale Community College. The infielder hit .305 (121-for-397) during his two years in Tempe with 23 doubles and five home runs. He was a member of ASU’s 1987 College World Series team and was named to the All-West Region team that season.

A graduate of Horizon High School, where his number 5 was retired in 1998, Esmay also coached at Brophy College Prep in Phoenix for two years (1992-93) and was an assistant at Grand Canyon University (1995) and Utah (1996) before taking over the head job in Salt Lake City in 1997.

Esmay’s eight-year career at Utah also saw his teams completely rewrite the Ute record books. In his first season directing the Utah baseball program, Esmay did what no Ute coach had done in 32 years when he led Utah to a WAC division title and a 36-21-1 record in 1997. The Utes posted a 22-8 record in the Northern Division that year. They also set nine school records as Esmay was named the 1997 Louisville Slugger WAC Coach of the Year. In 2002, Esmay guided Utah to a 33-26 overall and 16-14 conference record. The 33 wins is the second most in school history since 1963, and the second-place league finish is the Utes best since joining the MWC in `99. Senior pitcher Mitch Maio garnered 2002 MWC Co-Player of the Year honors.

All hires are pending approval by ASU’s Human Resources Department.