With an intercollegiate athletics program now getting off the ground, Georgia Gwinnett College took the first step toward fielding a baseball team this week with the hiring of Brad Stromdahl as head coach.
Stromdahl, an assistant to Greg Frady for the last six years at Georgia State University, comes to GGC with 13 years of collegiate baseball coaching experience.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to start a baseball program and athletic department from scratch,”# said Stromdahl shortly after being hired. “GGC offers an absolutely outstanding opportunity for this community to grow together, both academically and as a baseball program.”#
Stromdahl, a former catcher, played two years of junior college baseball at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn., and two years at Division-II Southwest Minnesota State University before a short stint playing professionally in independent baseball leagues.
He made coaching stops as a graduate assistant at Southwest Minnesota State (1999-2002), an assistant at Marshall University (2003), and an assistant at Central Michigan University (2004-2006). He has also coached collegiate summer baseball in the Coastal Plain League (2004) and Northwoods League (2006).
At Georgia State, Stromdahl served various roles ranging from academic coordinator and compliance liaison to hitting coach – but it was his role as recruiting coordinator that drew the attention of GGC”s Director of Athletics Darin Wilson.
“We were certainly impressed with his recruiting ability. He has been highly successful at George State in bringing in some of the top classes nationwide. He not only knows the local area well, but also the state,”# said Wilson of his newly hired coach. “I think he is one of the best young coaches in the country, and we are fortunate to have him at Georgia Gwinnett.”#
While recruiting in the past, Stromdahl said he learned just how many good players were in the metropolitan Atlanta area, and he has made his first priority as head coach to recruit student athletes local to GGC.
“As a baseball coach this job is interesting because Gwinnett is flush with baseball talent. I plan to make it a point of emphasis to get that local talent. When you recruit the local student athlete, they not only have ties to the community, but they will be great alumni and supporters of the program in the future,”# Stromdahl said.
Recruiting for Stromdahl starts immediately as the Grizzlies plan to have a competitive baseball program by the fall of 2012, according to Wilson. An on-campus baseball facility is planned, pending approval by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
“We”re going to build this program and play baseball the right way. We”re going to be a hard-hat, lunch-bucket organization where the players and coaching staff work as hard as they can to become a championship-caliber team,”# Stromdahl said.
Stromdahl is the first in a series of upcoming coaching hires expected at GGC, as the Grizzlies prepare to make their impact in intercollegiate athletics.
GGC has applied to become a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Grizzlies plan to field varsity teams in men”s and women”s soccer, softball, men”s and women”s tennis, and baseball by the 2012-2013 school year.
Applications for the 2012 spring semester at GGC are due by Nov. 15.# For more information, visit www.ggc.edu.