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Congratulations #SunDevil4Life Dustin Pedroia
Sun Devil Baseball alum Dustin Pedroia won his second World Series with the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night.
Pedroia played for the Sun Devils from 2002-04 and was a second round pick by the Red Sox in the 2004 MLB Draft. Read more!
Former Sun Devil player and assistant coach Tim Esmay finished his third season as Head Baseball Coach at Arizona State and 12th overall season with the program. Esmay spent five seasons as an assistant coach for ASU Baseball, including three as Assistant Head Coach. A former Sun Devil player and assistant coach, he played two seasons as an infielder under Jim Brock in 1986 and 1987 and was a member of Brock's coaching staff from 1988 to 1990 and in 1994. Esmay owns an overall coaching record of 344-283-1 following the 2012 season, including a 131-48 mark at Arizona State. Esmay's .810 winning percentage over his first 100 games at Arizona State is the second highest in school history.
Through three seasons at the helm of the Sun Devil baseball team, coach Esmay has guided ASU to the highest regular-season winning percentage in the Pac-12 since 2010 and is the second-fastest coach in ASU history to reach 100 wins after passing the century mark this year in an 11-2 win over UC Riverside on Feb. 26.He has orchestrated six three-game series sweeps twice in his three-year tenure, including in 2012, after the feat had only been accomplished 10 times in the 30 years prior to his arrival. The Sun Devils also recorded four straight Pac-12 home series sweeps in 2012 for the first time since 1988 and only the third time in program history.
Thirty-one Sun Devils have been taken in the MLB Draft in coach Esmay's three seasons at ASU, which is the most of any Div. I school in that time span and five more than the next closest team, Florida.Coach Esmay produced an NCAA-best 10 selections in the recent 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, including five in the first five rounds for the first time in program history since 1984.
Esmay turned in one of the most memorable debut seasons at a school in history in 2010. After being named interim head coach on December 3, 2009, Esmay made his debut as Arizona State's head baseball coach on February 19, 2010, an 8-0 win over Northern Illinois. That started a winning streak that would last 24 games, breaking the school record set in 1961 for most consecutive victories to open a season. Esmay and the Devils finished the regular season with a 52-10 record, including a 20-7 mark in Pac-10 play. Arizona State won another Pac-10 title and was the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils would win all five postseason games played at Packard Stadium, including two thrilling Super Regional wins over Arkansas to send Arizona State to the College World Series for the second straight year. For his efforts, Esmay was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Zack MacPhee was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and Seth Blair was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, while MacPhee was also a unanimous First Team All-American.
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. 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.
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 for three seasons.
Over his playing and coaching career, Esmay has been a part of numerous teams that played in the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, including once as a player in 1987, twice as an assistant under Jim Brock in 1988 and 1994, three times as an assistant under Pat Murphy in 2005, 2007 and 2009, and once as a head coach in 2010.
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. Esmay was inducted into the Scottsdale Community College Hall of Fame in 2011. He hit .397 during his career at SCC and is still the school's record holder for career doubles.
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.
Ken Knutson begins his fourth season as pitching coach at Arizona State. Knutson came to ASU after spending 17 seasons as the head coach at the University of Washington.
His third season with the Sun Devils featured three pitchers who earned All-Pac-10 honors (Brady Rodgers & Trevor Williams 1st Team, Jake Barrett - Honorable Mention). He was instrumental in the development of the pitching staff, which produced two 3rd round draft picks in Brady Rodgers and Jake Barrett, as well as a 22nd rounder Robert Ravago. Both Rodgers and Williams also earned All-American status in several major publications. The duo were also honored to be members of Team USA (Rodgers - 2011, Williams - 2012).
His second season with the Sun Devils featured five pitchers who earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors (Alex Blackford, Kramer Champlin, Mitchell Lambson, Brady Rodgers and Trevor Williams), as well as a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American (Williams). He was instrumental in helping Lambson become only the third Sun Devil with 20+ wins and 10+ saves, guiding him to a combined 15 wins and 12 saves in 2010 and '11, and helped a trio of Sun Devil pitchers get drafted by the MLB (Champlin, Lambson and Kyle Ottoson).
In his first season handling the Sun Devil pitchers in 2010, Knutson oversaw a staff that featured three 10-game winners (Seth Blair 12, Jake Borup 11 and Merrill Kelly 10), a closer who set a new school record for single-season saves (Jordan Swagerty, 14) and the top two ERA pitchers in the Pac-10 Conference (Brady Rodgers, 2.11, and Mitchell Lambson, 2.16). Blair earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, the third time a pitcher coaches by Knutson has received the award (Tim Lincecum, 2004 and 2006).
During Knutson's time at the helm of Washington, he compiled a career record of 584-399-2, including a 240-189 record in Pac-10 play. He is Washington's all-time leader in coaching victories and won four Pac-10 Northern Division titles and two overall Pac-10 titles during his tenure. He led the Huskies to six NCAA Tournaments and was three times named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1996, 1997 and 1998).
Knutson coached 31 All-Americans at Washington, including 2006 Golden Spikes Award winner and current San Francisco Giant Tim Lincecum, as well as closers Will Fenton and Buck Merrick. Merrick is the school's all-time leader in saves with 31, while Fenton is second with 23, including the 2003 season where he did not allow a run while recording 12 saves. While at Washington, Knutson spent much of his head coaching career as the UW's pitching coach, coaching at least one All-Pac-10 pitcher every year he served in that capacity.
Prior to being named Washington's head coach in 1993, Knutson spent nine seasons with the Huskies as both a player and an assistant. In 1981, the lefty Knutson compiled a 5-2 record with a 2.89 ERA, helping lead Washington to the Pac-10 Northern Division title, their first since 1959. He was a First Team All-Pac-10 selection that season after transferring from Seattle University, where he was an all-league performer.
From 1982 to 1986, Knutson was in charge of the Husky pitching staff, including the 1985 season when UW led the nation with a 2.80 ERA. After coaching semi-pro ball in the Seattle area, Knutson returned to Washington as the lead assistant coach and pitching coach from 1990 to 1992 before being named head coach.
Born in Sisseton, S.D., Knutson was raised in Seattle. He was an all-state pitcher at Seattle's Evergreen High School in 1976 and also quarterbacked the football team.
Former Sun Devil infielder and big leaguer Mike Benjamin returns to Arizona State for his fourth season as an assistant coach on Tim Esmay's staff. Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay has promoted Sun Devil Hall of Fame member Mike Benjamin to assistant coach. Benjamin, who has been a volunteer assistant coach at ASU for the past three seasons, will continue his role as infield and third base coach, as well as manager of the team's run game.
"Mike has done an unbelievable job of coaching this program since he joined my staff in 2010," coach Esmay said. "The fact that he will now be able to use that expertise in recruiting and evaluating talent, as well as on the diamond and in practice, is an immeasurable boost for not only the baseball team, but the university as a whole."
Benjamin, who played shortstop for the Sun Devils in 1986 and 1987, was inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 2011. During his time at ASU, Benjamin has helped mentor a number of infielders that are now in the professional leagues, including Joey DeMichele, Drew Maggi, Deven Marrero, and Raoul and Riccio Torrez.
Coach Esmay and Benjamin were teammates at Arizona State during the 1986 and 1987 seasons under head coach Jim Brock. Benjamin was inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 2011.
Benjamin played shortstop for the Sun Devils in 1986 and 1987, earning First Team All-American and First Team All-Pac-10 honors in 1987. He hit .315 in his ASU career, including .327 with 18 homers and 55 RBI during the '87 season. Benjamin also stole 30 bases, helping lead the Sun Devils to Omaha and the College World Series that year. He was a third round pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 1987 MLB Draft. Benjamin was named to the All-1980's squad for Arizona State Baseball by the East Valley Tribune as a shortstop.
Benjamin played 13 seasons of Major League Baseball, the first seven of which he spent with the San Francisco Giants. He made his Major League debut for the Giants on July 7, 1989 and played there through the 1995 season. He spent 1996 with the Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Boston Red Sox in 1997. He played two seasons in Boston, playing in the 1998 American League Divisional Series, before finishing his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Following his pro career, Benjamin was a coach for the Chandler National Little League team that advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Benjamin' son, Michael Jr., is currently a sophomore infielder on the 2012 Sun Devil baseball team.
Former Sun Devil student-athlete and graduate manager Greg Bordes has stepped into the role as an assistant coach for the Sun Devils in 2012-13.
Bordes spent six years with the Sun Devil baseball program, including four as a student-athlete and two as a graduate manager, before he became an area scout for the New York Mets last spring. He was a three-year letterwinner for the Sun Devils, and a member of two College World Series teams (2005, 2007) and a pair of Pac-10 Championship squads (2007, 2008). Bordes played two seasons of minor league baseball for the Arizona Diamondbacks, reaching AA, and is the younger brother of former Sun Devil pitcher Brett Bordes.
"Greg's professional baseball experience, both as a player and a scout, will enable him to help our current student-athletes reach their highest potential on the field," coach Esmay said. "However, he knows what it takes to be a Sun Devil and how to do things the Sun Devil way, and that is what will help him teach our guys how to succeed beyond just their playing days."