Baseball | Monday, April 6, 2009
Swick Receives Title of Head Baseball Coach at Willamette
SALEM, ORE. -- After about seven months as the interim head coach of the Willamette University baseball team, Aaron Swick has been promoted to the position of head baseball coach for the Bearcats. Swick was hired this past September to lead the team on an interim basis. He will now continue to serve as the head coach beyond the current season.
“Coach Swick is familiar with the Willamette baseball program. He has recruited at Willamette for three recruiting classes and has yielded talented players, including the majority of our current squad," Athletics Director Mark Majeski said.
“I’m here because of the efforts of our players buying into our philosophy … trying to play the game the right way," Swick said. "The players are certainly why I want to be here. They have a passion to get better. They’re still working as hard now as they were seven months ago when I first arrived. They’re focusing on their goals and they’re motivating each other.”
Swick previously served as pitching coach and baseball recruiting coordinator at Willamette in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He has significant experience working with baseball players at the college level.
Over the past two summers, Swick has been an assistant coach with the Green Bay Bullfrogs of the Northwoods League. In 2007, the Bullfrogs went 43-25 for the league’s best overall record and became the first expansion team in Northwoods League history to qualify for the playoffs. The Northwoods League is a sanctioned collegiate summer baseball league.
During 2007-08, Swick was a pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at South Dakota State University. He will graduate from SDSU in May after completing a master’s degree in Sports Pedagogy.
Swick played collegiate baseball at Saddleback College and at the University of California-Berkeley. While he attended Cal, Swick was an important pitcher for the Bears and achieved a 1.86 earned run average during his senior season. Swick graduated from Cal in 2005 after earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
He also pitched for two seasons at Saddleback. He was an All-Conference selection as a sophomore, when he helped Saddleback go 35-13 for the season.
In the summer of 2006, Swick was the interim head coach for the Wilson Tobs in the Coastal Plain League. In the summer of 2007, he became the pitching coach in Green Bay. During his three-year career as a collegiate and summer league coach, he has coached 16 players who have gone on to compete in professional baseball.
"Coach Swick has a vision for the future of the baseball team that is bright," Majeski noted. "He brings a respect for the game that is needed. His work ethic and expectations of players to approach the program in the same manner are exactly what is needed. He has my full confidence and support moving forward. He is a great addition to our staff and will provide sound leadership for the baseball program.”
When Swick became interim head coach, some elements of his job, such as recruiting, seemed familiar from his two years as an assistant coach at Willamette. With the added duties as the leader of the baseball program, Swick needed to put together his coaching staff. He has been pleased with the results.
“Having all of the responsibilities has meant that I’ve had to rely on a good coaching staff and I’ve had some great people around me. They’ve certainly made the transition easier,” Swick said.
With his new job title, Swick's transition has been completed and his efforts as the head coach at Willamette will continue after the 2009 season ends. The Bearcats are 12-11 overall, including 10-7 in the Northwest Conference. WU is scheduled to play 10 of its final 14 games at home, starting with a game against crosstown rival Corban College on Tuesday, April 7 at 4 p.m. (PDT).