The Baker Orange

Hannon to step down as head baseball coach

Story by Sara Bell, Editor

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After 14 years of coaching his alma mater, head baseball coach Phil Hannon announced Monday that he will step down from the position following the 2014 season.

Hannon will switch to a new role in Baker’s Advancement Office, becoming the assistant director of development.

“With the transition of the new (university) president coming in, she’s going to be looking to keep advancing the university, and I thought it might be an opportunity since I’ve worked at Baker and been here for 14 years as a coach and been in the community for almost 30 years,” Hannon said. “It might be a good year to get involved in that way to help give back to the university.”

Hannon began his Baker experience in 1982 as a letterman for the football and baseball teams. The alumnus then went on to play and coach in minor league baseball before returning to BU in 1999.

Director of Athletics Theresa Yetmar acknowledged Hannon as a model alumnus in a press release, saying he “has been invested in the success of all aspects of our university.”

“Phil has been an integral member of our department for 14 years,” Yetmar wrote. “He brings a voracious energy and positive attitude to work every day. He inspires trust amongst our staff and coaches. We could not be more pleased that Phil will now be playing an active role in fundraising for our institution.”

Hannon believes his knowledge of Baker and connections with other alumni will be his greatest strengths as an employee in the university’s Advancement Office.

“I see some of the things around the university that could possibly need help. And with a university our size, how you get that help is by raising funds,” Hannon said. “I talked to my boss, I talked to Dr. Pat Long, and (with) some of the relationships I built through the alumni office, I thought maybe I could come over here and be an asset to them.”

Before Hannon enters the Advancement Office, he will continue to concentrate on the baseball team during his final season, which begins on Feb. 15.

“The focus is not on me but on them reaching their goals as a team of getting in the conference tournament and doing some great things on the field,” Hannon said.

BU hasn’t seen a winning season since 2007, a year in which it posted a 22-21 record. Since then, the Wildcats have won 98 of their last 266 games.

Junior Ryan Lasneske said the team hopes this will be the year it can turn things around.

“I kind of told the guys yesterday, ‘no matter this announcement, no matter what happens for the rest of the year, our job and our goal is to win a championship. Anything short of that and we’re not going to reach our goal,’” Lasneske said. “So it might be a past-possible dream but it’s something that you have to put your mind to and get there, and it’s something that we haven’t done, so you might as well try to go out with a bang.”

While the announcement surprised many members of the team, Hannon said the Wildcats handled it with grace.

“I know that it was unexpected and shocking to some of them, but I thought that they handled it really well, as good young men do,” Hannon said. “They took something that might have been negative in their sense, that I was leaving the program, but they made a positive out of it.”

The Wildcats have just 10 upperclassmen on their 41-man roster, so Lasneske is confident the team will experience a smooth transition as a new head coach takes over the program.

“I don’t think that transition will be huge, but I think the baseball program as a whole, it’s been coach Hannon’s for the last 14 years, so that persona that we have of being coach Hannon’s team, that will be a bigger transition than anything else. And I think that’s what most people will think about,” Lasneske said.

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