TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona State has hired alum and former big league player Willie Bloomquist as its next baseball coach.

Athletic director Ray Anderson announced Bloomquist's hiring Friday. He replaces Tracy Smith, who was fired earlier this week after seven seasons.

Bloomquist played at Arizona State from 1997-99 and still has the fourth-highest batting average in school history at .394. He was a two-time All-American before being drafted in the third round of the 1999 Major League Baseball draft by the Seattle Mariners.

Bloomquist played 14 big league seasons with Kansas City, Arizona and over two stints with Seattle. He spent five years as a special assistant to Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall after joining the front office in 2016.

Bloomquist was the first Arizona State player to play for the hometown Diamondbacks during three seasons with the franchise from 2011-13.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.