Tracy Smith enters his second season as head coach. He is the 5th head baseball coach in program history.
Smith earned National Coach of the Year honors and was a unanimous choice for Big Ten Coach of the Year after he led IU to the school's only College World Series appearance in 2013. The following season in 2014, Smith led the Hoosiers to the No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, the first national seed in Big Ten baseball history.
"His accomplishments and accolades on the field speak for themselves, and his career has been defined by class, dignity and integrity," Anderson said. "He will be a great fit within the ASU family, our baseball community and our current student-athletes, and we can't wait for the new era of Sun Devil Baseball to begin under Tracy's guidance."
Smith comes to Tempe with 18 years of experience as a collegiate head coach, including nine at Miami University (Ohio) and nine at IU, where he was two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year. He led both programs to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances and has more than 600 career victories.
Ben Greenspan enters his second season at Arizona State University as an Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Greenspan works primarily with the team's offense and catchers.
Greenspan spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana, including the past year as recruiting coordinator, and worked extensively with the team's catchers and hitters. The Hoosiers' offense ranked in the top 25 in the nation in batting average, slugging percentage, total hits and extra-base hits in 2014.
"In addition to being a top-notch person, Ben is a talented recruiter and a knowledgeable coach," coach Smith said. "He played for me and coached with me over the past eight years, so he knows exactly the type of players that excel in our system. I love the enthusiasm he brings to his job every day and he has a real passion for mentoring catchers and working with the team's offense. In fact, he was so enthusiastic about the chance to join the staff at ASU that I was barely able to get the offer out of my mouth before he was already packed and ready to hit the recruiting trail. It would be an understatement to say that Ben is excited to move to Tempe with his wife, Janine, and join the ASU family."
Brandon Higelin enters his second season at Arizona State University as the team's pitching coach.
Higelin joined IU at the start of the 2013-14 academic year and promptly molded the pitching staff into one of the most consistent in the nation. The Hoosiers put together a 2.33 team ERA in 2014, seventh lowest in the nation and the lowest in IU program history since 1968, and had a 2.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a conference-best seven shutouts.
"'Higgy" grew up and played collegiate baseball in California, so he probably knows far better than the rest of us on staff the influence and meaning ASU Baseball holds west of the Mississippi," coach Smith said. "Through his time as a pitching instructor, he has worked with several pitchers that have gone on to pitch and have success in the Pac-12 Conference. I know there are some who may look at his resume and point out the fact that he doesn't have years of coaching experience at the college level, but I will tell you 'Higgy' has put in his 10,000 hours (and then some) working with and developing some of the top high school, collegiate and professional arms in Southern California. I have no doubts that our student-athletes are going to not only learn from him, but love playing for him as well."
Abe Ruiz enters his first season as volunteer assistant coach at Arizona State University.
Ruiz, who served as a graduate assistant for the Sun Devils under Tim Esmay in 2014, and under Tracy Smith in 2015, was a three-year letterman at ASU from 2009, 11-12. He earned All-America and All-Pac-12 honors in 2012 after he tied for the Pac-12 lead in home runs with 13, finished second in the conference in slugging percentage at .595 and fourth in RBI with 53.
He was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round (501st overall) of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft and was also taken in the 47th round (1,401st pick overall) by the San Francisco Giants in the 2008 MLB draft.
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Jason Robbins enters his second season at Arizona State, and his eighth under head coach Tracy Smith, as the team's strength and conditioning coach.
Robbins previously worked with Coach Smith at Indiana University from 2009-14, and oversaw the strength and conditioning program for baseball, swimming, diving, and water polo.
"I'm excited for the opportunity Coach Tracy Smith and Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson have given me," Robbins said. "Sun Devil Baseball is synonymous with success, and I can't wait to start developing champions and future Major Leaguers."