In 1990, when former Harvard Baseball Coach Leigh P. Hogan '74 began his tenure at the helm of Harvard baseball, Joseph M. "Joe" Walsh was the batting practice pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
Five years later and after a five-month search, Harvard Athletic Director William J. Cleary '56-58 announced yesterday that Walsh has been named the coach of Harvard baseball.
What a difference five years makes.
"I am probably as excited about being the coach as you were when you walked into Harvard," Walsh said. "I know it sounds like a cliche, but it's the truth. It is like a dream come true."
Walsh leaves his current job as coach of Suffolk University baseball, a position he has held for 14 years. Last season, Walsh was named 1995 New England Division III Coach of the Year after leading the Rams to a 26-11 record and the finals of the ECAC Tournament.
"From what I have heard, Coach Walsh is very fired up and ready to go," Baseball Captain Marc Levy '96 said. "He's going to bring in a lot of enthusiasm and I think that's exactly what we need, especially after coming out of the past few seasons."
Walsh brings a wealth of experience to Harvard baseball, having served as the coach of the Cape Cod League's Brewster Whitecaps in 1988 and the pitching coach of the Wareham Gatemen since 1991. He has also coached the Simonelli Oilers of the Boston Park League.
"I have spoken with [Bill] Cleary and he told me that he was going to try and set something on Friday for me to meet the players," Walsh said. "I'm looking forward to that. I'm hoping to get on the field as soon as possible after that for fall practice."
Walsh has also held numerous coaching and administrative posts at Suffolk. Walsh was the coach of men's and women's cross country, the coach of women's basketball and associate athletic director for intramurals.
Walsh is a Dorchester, Mass. native and an alumnus of Suffolk University, having graduated from the downtown Boston school in 1976 with a degree in philosophy.
Walsh replaces Hogan, who was in charge of Harvard baseball for five seasons compiling an 82-102-1 record. Last season, the Crimson was 10-25.
"As far as Leigh Hogan is concerned, the problem was that the coaching position was part-time," Levy said. "He really attempted to run the program the way it was supposed to be run--on a full-time basis. He was trying to make a point that if we want to be competitive again, that's the way it needs to be done."
Hogan resigned last May to resume teaching full-time at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols, a private school in Cambridge.
Harvard changed the baseball coach to a full-time position over the summer