Tim Esmay enters his eighth season as Utah's head baseball coach. Esmay comes into the season with a 191-199-1 overall record and a 97-111 career conference mark. During his seven seasons at the U., 15 of his athletes have gone on to play professional baseball. Most recently, Sean Overholt, Nate Weese, Mitch Maio, Donnie Saba, Jason Wylie and Donald Hawes signed with professional teams.
In his first season directing the Utah baseball program, Esmay did what no Ute coach had done in 32 years when he led Utah to a WAC division title and a 36-21-1 record in 1997. The Utes posted a 22-8 record in the Northern Division that year. They also set nine school records as Esmay was named the 1997 Louisville Slugger WAC Coach of the Year.
In his second year as head coach, the Utes finished with a 23-31 record and went 12-18 in the WAC to place third in the Northern Division. Esmay coached two major league draft picks in John Summers (12th round to the Dodgers) and Nate Forbush (15th round to the Tigers).
In '99, the Utes finished 22-30 with an 8-20 WAC record. That season, three of Esmay's former athletes played in the minor leagues: Lance Ericksen (Astros), Ryan Johnerson (Reds) and Jared Larsen (Toronto).
During the 2000 season, Utah compiled a 26-30 record while going 15-15 in the new MWC. Esmay led the Utes to a third place finish in the league.
The Utes finished third in the league posting a 27-29 overall mark and a 14-16 conference record in '01. Esmay led the Utes to one of the their biggest wins in history when they upset No. 7 Nebraska in a tournament in Albuquerque, N.M. Catcher Chris Shelton was named MWC Player of the Year and Mike Westfall received Freshman of the Year honors under Esmay's guidance.
In 2002, Esmay guided Utah to a 33-26 overall and 16-14 conference record. The 33 wins is the second most in school history since 1963, and the second-place league finish is the Utes best since joining the MWC in '99. Senior pitcher Mitch Maio garnered 2002 MWC Co-Player of the Year honors. Last year also saw the fall of several team and individual records under Esmay's direction.
Last season, the Utes went 24-32 overall and 10-20 in MWC play, with 12 of the Utes' 32 losses coming by two runs or less. Three Utes -- Jared Pena, Matt Ciaramella and Brady Martinez -- were named to the all-conference team.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., native started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Arizona State. He stayed at ASU for five years as an assistant coach under Jim Brock and Jeff Pentland (the current hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals). Esmay coached for two years at Brophy College Prep High School in Phoenix, Ariz., before returning to Arizona State as a volunteer assistant to Brock in '94. He coached at Grand Canyon University in 1995, then made his move to Utah as Bill Kinneberg's assistant in '96. He also served as a head coach in the Arizona Summer Collegiate League from 1988-93.
A talented player in his own right, Esmay played at Arizona State from 1986-87 and was a member of the ASU team that appeared in the 1987 College World Series. Esmay hit .308 in his two years as a Sun Devil and was named to the all-West Region team. He played at Scottsdale Community College from 1985-86, where he was named a junior college All-American.
Esmay earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Arizona State in '88. The 38-year-old Esmay and his wife Joell are the parents of two sons, Tucker and Cooper.
Year Overall Conf. Finish 1997 36-21-1 22-18 1st 1998 23-31 12-18 3rd 1999 22-30 8-20 10th 2000 26-30 15-15 3rd 2001 27-29 14-16 3rd 2002 33-26 16-14 2nd 2003 24-32 10-20 5th
Totals 191-199-1 97-111