Donny Harrel Hired As Seattle University Head Baseball Coach
Courtesy: Seattle University

Seattle University athletic director Bill Hogan has announced that Donny Harrel, an assistant baseball coach at the University of Washington for the past four years, has been hired as the head baseball coach at Seattle University, which is bringing back baseball as a varsity sport beginning competition in the 2009-10 academic year.


At the University of Washington, Harrel was not only responsible for assisting in on-field coaching, but he also was responsible for the Huskies’ schedule and assisted with travel issues, budgeting, and helping student-athletes through the admissions process. He also oversaw the team’s academic performance and was named Academic Coach of the Quarter in Winter 2007 when the team broke a 14-year record for highest cumulative grade point average.


“This is an excellent situation to build a program from the ground up, and I am excited to receive this opportunity. I am thankful to everyone who made it possible for me to earn this chance, especially Bill Hogan, who has shown the ability to hire and work with successful baseball coaches during his time at USF,” Harrel said.


Before coming to Seattle, Harrel was an assistant coach at Oregon State during the 2003-04 season. His head coaching experience comes from seven seasons at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., where he compiled a 220-90 record and led the team to the NWAACC championship in 1999. Named NWAACC Southern Division Coach of the Year four times, he also led fundraising efforts to build a field, improve other facilities, buy equipment, and increase scholarship opportunities.


“We had over 80 applicants for this position, including several strong candidates that made this a challenging decision,” Hogan said. “I am confident that Donny will be successful here at Seattle University, given his many contacts within the Pacific Northwest, and he will quickly become competitive with the other area schools both in recruiting and on the field.”


Last fall, the university announced its decision to reinstate baseball as a varsity sport, planning to field a team in fall 2009. The school had a long history of baseball excellence, featuring players such as Ed and John O’Brien, John Kelly, Ernie Pastornicky, Glen Mattison, and Bill Tsoukalas, before the sport was dropped sometime during the mid-1980s. In recent years, it has re-emerged as a club sport at Seattle University, enjoying success on that level. A home field for the Seattle University varsity baseball team has not been determined.


Harrel, expected to begin in his new position on July 1, will have the next year to put together a team and a schedule for the 2009-10 campaign. Baseball will join the other Seattle University athletic teams in the reclassification process towards NCAA Division I status.

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