Chip Hale has been hired to be the next head coach of the Arizona baseball team. Hale, who was the third base coach for the Detroit Tigers, is the Wildcats' all-time leader in games played, hits and total bases during his time in Tucson from 1984-87.
"I am thrilled and excited to have [Hale] lead our iconic baseball program," Arizona Athletic Director Dave Heeke said in a statement. "[Hale] 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 [Hale] 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 won the national championship with Arizona in 1986 when the Wildcats defeated Florida State. He was drafted by Minnesota in the 17th round of the 1987 MLB draft, making his debut with the Twins in 1989. Hale went on to play six seasons in Minnesota and one year with the Los Angeles Dodgers before transitioning to becoming a coach, where he has helped coach the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals and most recently the Detroit Tigers. Hale was the manager of the Diamondbacks from 2015-16 and won the World Series as a coach with Washington.
"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 is expected to receive a five-year contract. He will be officially introduced in a press conference on Wednesday, July 7, at a time and location to be determined.
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