Our varsity baseball team will return for the 2014-2015 school year, marking the first time in 4 decades that the school has had a team on the diamond.
While administration couldn’t comment on the reason for the initial shutdown of the team in 1974, Senior Associate Athletic Director Janice Quinn explained the reasoning for the sudden revival, and it has a surprising hero: NYU-Poly.
“The decision is a product of years of discussion in regards to the NYU-Poly merger,” Quinn told us. “There’s been an entire process to absorbing Poly into the NYU system, including how to merge student affairs and specifically athletics.”
Before the merger, Poly had a varsity baseball team and a varsity softball team. “Our primary goal in the merger was to keep individual students in mind and make sure that they wouldn’t be affected or lose any opportunity,” Quinn said.
But creating new programs takes a substantial amount of time and effort. While the athletic department has been working on the details of these programs for over a year, it wasn’t until this week that they announced that Douglas Kimbler would be the head coach for the varsity baseball team.
In terms of the challenges that he will face, there are some that are obvious — the amount of school spirit that surrounds our athletics is sometimes lacking, which can be a hindrance in recruiting. Beyond that, NYU’s history of success in varsity baseball (they participated in the 1969 College World Series, among other accolades) creates a high standard. But Kimbler is up to the task.
“I think that every coach in the country has challenges,” he said in an email. “There is no one in this world that will put more expectations on me than me.”
With regards to the selection process, competition was stiff. “NYU received over 190 applicants for the position of head baseball coach,” said Christopher Bledsoe, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics. “[Kimbler] has extensive experience coaching the collegiate game and [has] demonstrated a thorough understanding of NYU and our athletics department and the challenges of recruiting to NYU.”
NYU baseball’s precedence of success bodes well for the future of the program and for athletics as a whole, and other athletes are well aware.
“I think it’s great that the program is coming back,” said Gallatin junior Forrest Sexton, who plays for the men’s varsity soccer team. “It had a long and successful history before it was shut down. NYU athletics should continue to grow.”