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Wildcat Legend Chip Hale Selected to Lead Arizona Baseball

Jul 5, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. — Standout former Arizona Wildcat Chip Hale, an NCAA National Champion player and a World Series Champion coach, has been named the next Head Coach of Arizona Baseball, Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke announced this morning.

Hale, the Wildcats all-time leader in games played, hits, and total bases during his time in Tucson from 1984-87, brings nearly two decades of professional coaching experience to Arizona. He becomes the sixth head coach in Arizona Baseball's modern history, and the 17th overall.

Hale will receive a five-year contract, pending Board of Regents approval. He will be officially introduced in a press conference on Wednesday, July 7 at a time and location to be determined.

"I am thrilled and excited to have Chip lead our iconic baseball program," Heeke said. "Chip has long been a member of the Wildcat Family as a former student-athlete and has always remained close to our University and to our Tucson community. He has played and coached at the highest levels of the game and brings an unbridled passion and enthusiasm to his work. I have no doubt that Chip embraces the Wildcat Way mission we share at Arizona Athletics, and that he will mentor and develop future generations of Wildcat champions on the diamond, in the classroom, and in the community."

Hale returns to Tucson from Detroit, where he served as the third base coach for the Tigers this season. Across time with Detroit, the Washington Nationals (2018-20), Oakland Athletics (2012-14, 2017), Arizona Diamondbacks (2007-09, 2015-16), and New York Mets (2010-11), Hale has compiled 15 years of coaching experience at the highest level baseball has to offer.

"I am very honored and excited to be the new head baseball coach at the University of Arizona," Hale said. "We will work tirelessly to build on the success that has been established here and continue to coach and develop our Wildcats to be champions on the field and in the classroom. With the help and support of the University of Arizona and the Wildcat Family, we plan on making many trips to Omaha!"

During his decade and a half in Major League Baseball, Hale's most notable stop was as the manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2015-16. While leading the D-backs he compiled nearly 150 wins and steered the performances of All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. In his first season in Phoenix in 2015, the D-backs finished among the top three teams in the National League in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

Prior to his time in Detroit, Hale spent three years serving as the Washington Nationals bench coach from 2018-20. His time in the nation's capital was highlighted by a 2019 World Series Championship, the franchise's first title.

Over the course of his Major League coaching career, Hale has helped guide the development of Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Matt Chapman, Paul Goldschmidt, Zack Greinke, Josh Donaldson, Dan Haren, Justin Upton, and many more.

Hale got his coaching start in professional baseball with the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders, where he served as the club's skipper from 2004-06. His stint in the minors culminated with the wildly successful 2006 campaign in which the Sidewinders went 91-53 and won the Pacific Coast League, earning Hale PCL Manager of the Year honors.

In his four-year career for the Wildcats, the legendary infielder picked up a 1986 NCAA National Championship, 1987 Pac-10 South Player of the Year honors, First Team All-Pac-10 South recognition, and the 1987 Tom Hansen Medal. To this day he still holds Arizona career records with 255 games played, 978 at-bats, 337 hits, 162 walks, and 507 total bases. Hale was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

Following his standout collegiate career, Hale was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round of the 1987 MLB Draft. He went on to enjoy a seven-year Major League career with the Twins and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hale is joined in Tucson by his wife, Judi; together they have three children, Jack, Edward, and Sabrina, and one granddaughter, Palmer.

  • 2004-06: Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders, Manager
  • 2007-09: MLB Arizona Diamondbacks, Third Base Coach
  • 2010-11: MLB New York Mets, Third Base Coach
  • 2012-14: MLB Oakland Athletics, Bench Coach
  • 2015-16: MLB Arizona Diamondbacks, Manager
  • 2017: MLB Oakland Athletics: Bench Coach
  • 2018-20: MLB Washington Nationals, Bench Coach
  • 2021: MLB Detroit Tigers, Third Base Coach


  • 1984-87: NCAA Arizona Wildcats
  • Selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round of the 1987 MLB Draft
  • 1989-96: MLB Minnesota Twins
  • 1997: MLB Los Angeles Dodgers


  • 1986 NCAA National Champion with Arizona
  • 2006 Pacific Coast League Coach of the Year
  • 2019 World Series Champion with Washington Nationals