There are indicators all over that Husky baseball is on its way back.
There are hulking backhoes along the western perimeter of Husky Ballpark building an overdue baseball operations facility.
There are former players pumped that dirt is actually being moved. There is momentum rising for the rest of the job: the complete renovation of Husky Ballpark.
There are NCAA rules changes that have reduced the potency of aluminum bats and bent the game more toward UW's new, small-ball ways.
Jason Kelly joined the Washington baseball staff as pitching coach in August of 2012, moving to the UW after having spent the last six seasons developing a top-notching pitching staff at Cal Poly.
Last season, Coach Kelly led the Cal Poly pitching staff to a stellar 3.48 earned run average, led by a pair of starters, Joey Wagman and Kyle Anderson. Wagman posted a 9-3 record and a 2.33 ERA with just 21 walks in 108.1 innings while Anderson was 10-1 with a 3-40 ERA, walking just 16 in 92.2 frames.
As a staff, Cal Poly pitchers surrendered just 155 bases on balls in 499 innings last season, good enough to rank No. 27 in the nation (out of 291 Division I teams) in walks per nine innings.
In 2011, under Kelly's direction, the Mustangs posted a team ERA of 3.60, with 152 walks in 460.1 innings. The 3.60 ERA was the best in Cal Poly's 17-year Division I existence to that point (and was bested by the 3.48 mark the following season).
Donegal Fergus, a former assistant at Seattle University, returns to the Emerald City as the new hitting coach at Washington, Husky head coach Lindsay Meggs announced today.
Fergus spent the 2013 season as the head coach at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash. He led the Red Devils to a 34-14 record and a trip to the West Region playoffs.
Before taking over at Lower Columbia, where he'd also served as an assistant coach from 2001-05, Fergus had spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Seattle University, where he oversaw the hitting. For the five years before that, he was head coach at Tacoma CC. At Tacoma, he posted a career record of 125-100 while reaching the playoffs in all five seasons. His 2006 team finished third at the NWAACC tournament.
Tanner Swanson begins his first year as the Huskies' volunteer assistant coach for the 2013 season. Swanson will handle the catchers and assist with hitting, base-running and bunting while also taking charge of the camps program.
Swanson came to the UW as a student manager for the 2012 season and, after briefly ascending into the role of director of baseball operations, moved in to a coaching spot in the fall of 2012.
Prior to coming to Washington, Swanson was the head baseball coach at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash., for the 2011 season. At GRCC, he coached pitcher Cody Hebner, who was drafted in the fourth round that season by the Padres. He also had three players sign letters of intent with Division I programs.
Before moving to Green River, Swanson worked as a lecturer in the school of physical education and school health while also serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Central Washington, in 2010.