Boise State

Boise State announces Gary Van Tol as first baseball coach in 37 years

Former Boise Hawks manager and Boise resident Gary Van Tol returns to Memorial Stadium as the Hawks host the Eugene Emeralds on Aug. 11, 2015.
Former Boise Hawks manager and Boise resident Gary Van Tol returns to Memorial Stadium as the Hawks host the Eugene Emeralds on Aug. 11, 2015. kjones@idahostatesman.com

UPDATE ON NOV. 28:

Boise State announced its hiring of Gary Van Tol as baseball coach on Tuesday. He’ll restart a program that was disbanded in 1980. The first season will be in 2020.

Van Tol spent the past 10 years in the Chicago Cubs organization, including two years as Boise Hawks manager.

“There was only one opportunity that could pull me away from my current situation with the Chicago Cubs, and that was to be the head baseball coach at Boise State University,” Van Tol said in a press release. “Bringing back baseball had long been talked about as an option for the Broncos, and I am humbled and privileged to be entrusted with leading this program back to life at Boise State.

“I am excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and can’t wait to start building a program Boise State and Bronco Nation will be proud of.”

A press conference will be held later today.

“Gary Van Tol brings extensive experience from both the collegiate and professional levels,” Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in the release. “With that, he understands what it is going to take for our future student-athletes to achieve success both on and off the field. I have known him for the better part of 15 years, and he is very aware of who Boise State is and what we are all about.

“As we set out to bring back the only Division I baseball program in the state of Idaho, we wanted to make sure we hired someone with experience, and someone with a high level of character that could foster relationships throughout the region. Gary checked all the boxes, and I believe he is the perfect individual to place at the helm of this program.”

Van Tol Coaching History:

2008-2017 Minor League Coach – Short Season ‘A’ Northwest League (Boise Hawks/Eugene Emeralds)

2005-2008 Assistant Coach – Gonzaga University

2002-2005 Assistant Coach – University of Portland

1996-2001 Head Baseball Coach – Treasure Valley Community College

1995-1996 Associate Head Baseball Coach – Treasure Valley Community College

1994-1995 Head Baseball Coach – Centralia College

1991-1993 Assistant Baseball Coach – Gonzaga University

Original post:

Former Boise Hawks manager Gary Van Tol will be named coach of Boise State’s revived baseball program on Tuesday, a source told the Idaho Statesman on Monday.

Boise State has set a press conference for 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Van Tol was the Hawks manager in 2013 and 2014 and the Eugene Emeralds manager in the Northwest League in 2015, after the Cubs moved their affiliation. The Hawks were 41-35 in both of his seasons and reached the playoffs both years. The Emeralds were 38-38.

Van Tol, who has lived in Boise since 2008, worked as a coach in the Cubs system the past two years.

He also has served as a head coach at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon, and Centralia (Wash.) College and as an assistant coach at Portland and Gonzaga.

His wife, Christina Van Tol, is the senior associate athletic director for internal operations at Boise State.

Gary Van Tol also has worked as a volunteer coach with the Hawks and created an Idaho Cubs program that prepared players for college.

“He’s got a gift as a teacher,” Christina said in a 2013 story about the family in the Idaho Statesman. “He has these big ideas, but he can really get down to the details to make it work.”

Boise State shut down its baseball program in 1980. The program is set to resume in spring 2020. Boise State has dropped wrestling to clear some room in the budget, unveiled uniforms, hired Van Tol and identified a site for an on-campus baseball field in the past seven months.

Van Tol’s work will extend well beyond the field. President Bob Kustra said he expects the new coach to become a prolific fundraiser.

“I’m convinced that with the right baseball coach in place, that baseball coach can raise the funding so that the program is not a deficit on the athletic budget the way some of our Olympic sports are,” Kustra said. “There’s no question that football and men’s basketball carry some of our other sports, our Olympic sports. I don’t think that will be the case with baseball.”

Van Tol, an Alberta native, played at Gonzaga. He also competed for the Canadian National Team (1989-91) and professionally in Holland. He was a two-year letter-winner at Gonzaga, earning first-team All-Pac-10 North honors in 1990 and becoming the first baseball academic All-American in school history (third team, 1990). He started his coaching career as an assistant at Gonzaga right after his playing career.

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