HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Marshall University has a new baseball coach.

According to Marshall University President Brad D. Smith, the university’s Board of Governors has approved the hiring of former OSU coach Gregory Beals as the new head coach of Thundering Herd baseball.

Beals, who will become the 29th head coach in the history of Marshall’s baseball program, was most recently head coach at the University of Akron starting in July 2022, officials say. Before his time in Akron, Beals spent 12 seasons as head baseball coach at the Ohio State University.

We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Coach Beals to Marshall University,” Smith said. “He brings a wealth of experience and a stellar skill set to our university’s baseball program.  Marshall is committed to building our baseball program, from the bricks and mortar of our new stadium to a dedicated, championship coach who is uniquely qualified and committed to moving our program forward. We are passionate and poised for the next chapter in our storied baseball history.”

While coaching at Ohio State, Beals led the Buckeyes’ baseball team to three NCAA tournaments in 2016, 2018 and 2019. His OSU team also won the Big Ten Championship in 2016 and 2019, according to Marshall officials.

Marshall University officials say, in 1991, Beals was drafted to the New York Mets in the 21st round of the MLB draft. He spent four years with the organization.

Beals began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant coach at Kent State University, where he graduated that same year, according to Marshall officials. During his time at KSU, he served eight years as the hitting and catching instructor and the recruiting coordinator. He later served as the head coach at Ball State University for eight seasons.

Beals is a three-time Hall of Fame Inductee, having been inducted into the Clark County (Ohio) Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, the Stark County (Ohio) Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. Marshall officials say he spent four years in the New York Mets organization after being drafted in the 21st round of the 1991 MLB draft.

Marshall Athletic Director Christian Spears says he believes Beals will be a “perfect fit” for Marshall as the baseball team’s head coach.

“For us, it came down to specific traits that we know Coach Beals possesses: courage, competence, confidence and competitiveness,” Spears said. “First, Coach Beals has tremendous courage. He knows our situation at Marshall and sees nothing but promise. He is overtly excited to build a program in one of college baseball’s most competitive and well-respected conferences while ushering Marshall baseball into an exciting new era that will soon feature its own on-campus stadium. Coach Beals also possesses the competence and confidence necessary to take on such a job. He knows what it takes to establish a program from the ground up–from development to recruiting to cultivating a winning aura around the program. He has been successful in doing so before and we know he can do it again with us here at Marshall.”

Beals was inducted into the Clark County, Ohio, Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, the Stark County, Ohio, Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011, according to Marshall University.