A local coach will take the reigns of the Boise State University baseball team.
Gary Van Tol was named the Broncos’ head baseball coach, the school announced Tuesday. The Idaho Statesman first reported the news on Monday. Van Tol, who has lived in Boise since 2008, will take over a program that has not been active for four decades.
Van Tol has spent the last 10 years as a coach in the Chicago Cubs organization, mainly with the Boise Hawks, whom he managed in 2013 and 2014. He became the manager for the Eugene Emeralds in 2015, when the Hawks moved affiliations from the Cubs to the Colorado Rockies and the Emeralds switched from the San Diego Padres to the Cubs. Van Tol has been a bench coach for the Emeralds the past two seasons.
“There was only one opportunity that could pull me away from my current situation with the Chicago Cubs, and that was to be the head baseball coach at Boise State University,” Van Tol said in a news release. “I am humbled and privileged to be entrusted with leading this program back to life at Boise State.”
In April, Boise State announced that it was dropping wrestling and intended to pursue baseball. The school disbanded baseball in 1980, and the new program is scheduled to begin play in 2020.
“As we set out to bring back the only Division I baseball program in the state of Idaho, we wanted to make sure we hired someone with experience, and someone with a high level of character that could foster relationships throughout the region,” Boise State athletic director Curt Aspey said in the news release. “Gary checked all the boxes, and I believe he is the perfect individual to place at the helm of this program.”
Van Tol attended Gonzaga University in the 1990s, earning a bachelor’s and Master’s degree. His began his coaching career at Gonzaga, then took a head coaching position at Centralia College and an assistant coaching job at Treasure Valley Community College. He served as TVCC’s manager from 1996 to 2001.
From 2002 to 2005, Van Tol was an assistant coach at the University of Portland. He then returned to Gonzaga for three more years before joining the Cubs’ Class A Short Season affiliates.
Van Tol’s wife, Christina, is Boise State’s senior associate athletic director for internal operations.