TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Arizona Wildcats baseball program has tapped its storied history to find its next coach.
Arizona hired Chip Hale, a former Major League player who won the 1986 NCAA championship as a player at Arizona. The program has won four national titles.
Hale replaces Jay Johnson, who was hired away by LSU after the team was eliminated from the College World Series.
Arizona's career leader in games played, hits, and total bases will become Arizona baseball’s 17th head coach.
“I am thrilled and excited to have Chip lead our iconic baseball program,” UArizona athletic director Heeke said in a statement. “Chip has long been a member of the Wildcat Family as a former student-athlete and has always remained close to our University and to our Tucson community. He has played and coached at the highest levels of the game and brings an unbridled passion and enthusiasm to his work. I have no doubt that Chip embraces the Wildcat Way mission we share at Arizona Athletics, and that he will mentor and develop future generations of Wildcat champions on the diamond, in the classroom, and in the community.”
Hale is currently the third base coach for the Detroit Tigers. He has coached baseball for 15 years. He worked as manager of the Tucson Sidewinders from 2004-2006 and the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2015 to 2016.
“I am very honored and excited to be the new head baseball coach at the University of Arizona,” Hale said in a statement. “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 and his wife, Judi, have three children and one granddaughter.