Baseball news: Arizona hires alum Will Gaines to join Chip Hale's staff
Many of Arizona's recent coaching moves have helped bridge the gap between the past and the present. New baseball coach Chip Hale does that on his own as an alum of the program he has now been tasked to lead. Keeping that theme moving forward Hale announced the latest addition to his staff Thursday, and another Arizona alum is set to take over a role at his alma mater.
Will Gaines served as a student manager and the head student manager during his time at Arizona from 2013-2017. Now he will return to Tucson to step into the director of baseball operations role for the Wildcats after spending the last three seasons at the University of San Diego.
"Welcoming Will back to Tucson is an exciting development for our program," Hale said. "He is a high-character individual with a passion for Arizona Baseball, two important qualities we're looking for on our support staff. I look forward to leaning on his experience in baseball operations to round out a world-class experience for our student-athletes."
Gaines was in the same director of baseball operations role at USD the last two seasons after previously serving as that program's director of player development in 2019.
The San Diego native has had a diverse professional experience since leaving UA back in 2017. He served as a summer intern for the Duluth Huskies (2018) and Santa Barbara Foresters (2017) in wood bat leagues separated by a stint video intern with the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
His duties during his first stint in Tucson included, but were not limited to, field set up and tear down and serving as the team's bullpen catcher in 2016 and 2017. Gaines was a member of the Wildcats support staff in 2016 when the team made a run to the College World Series finals.
Hale has continued to put together his staff since being named as Jay Johnson's replacement back on July 5. The new UA coach decided to retain Dave Lawn on his staff to serve as Arizona's pitching coach while Trip Couch was brought in from South Carolina to serve as the Wildcats' other full-time assistant.
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