New ASU baseball coach’s passion rubs off on newly hired staff


Sam Peraza, Mike Goff and Bill Mueller spoke about the program’s upcoming goals on Monday as new coaches alongside Willie Bloomquist

Willie bloomquistThe passion for his new role as head coach of ASU baseball is palpable. His passion attracted three new coaches – hitting trainer Bill mueller, assistant to the coach Mike goff and pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Sam Peraza – in the squad, and the latter of the three said it “rubs off on everyone.”

Peraza noted how coaches would sometimes work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., all as part of a commitment to improve the program as ASU’s new coaching staff.

ASU baseball officially introduced Mueller, Goff and Peraza as new members of its coaching staff on Monday, with Bloomquist highlighting confidence, experience and communication as key traits he found in the three .

“For me, I want people to feel like this when they come here, and understand that this place is special and understand that this place does not need an explanation based on our tradition and our history that we had here “said Bloomquist, who was hired as the team’s head coach after Tracy Smith was fired in June.

Peraza, who succeeds Jason kelly as the team’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, comes from San Diego, where he was a pitching coach for six years.

He said he was impressed with the talent that exists within Sun Devil’s pitching staff, which includes players such as Graham Osman, Boyd vander kooi and Will levine, and has started to plan how he wants to use it in 2022.

“As far as the roster goes, I think we are quite capable,” Peraza said. “We’ve kind of been thinking in the war room what it’s going to be like. I know there were some challenges with the pitching staff last year, but I really think there are some good guys out there. in place.”

As the team’s new recruiting coordinator, Peraza plans to focus on local talent staying in the state and playing ASU. Only three of the 11 rookies signed to the program in 2020 are from Arizona.

“We have to find the right guy and take our time to make sure we’re evaluating the right way,” Peraza said of his approach. “I want to talk to all the coaches in high school, all of the travel coaches here in our valley, and make sure we make it to our backyard.”

Mueller brings two decades of professional baseball experience as a player, front office assistant and coach to ASU as a new batting coach. Mueller replaces former batting coach Michael earley, who left the Sun Devils to become an assistant at Texas A&M.

Mueller emphasized balance and versatility for his team’s approach to the plate.

“We just won’t have to wait for this three-point homerun,” said Mueller. “There’s a lot of talent here with offense, so it’s just about maintaining, building and advancing offense. We want to be a well-balanced (team) offensively where we can be. Not just one-dimensional. , we want to be dynamic. “

Goff brings nearly three decades of MLB experience, most of which in player development. Goff has known Bloomquist from his playing years when the two spent time together in the Seattle Mariners organization.

Goff mentioned his familiarity with Bloomquist during his playing days and their relationship made him comfortable and excited to join the staff.

“I’ve known this kid for a long time, and knowing what he is, what his work ethic is and his passion for the game, knowing that everything he touches in life is a success,” said Goff. “It’s just an honor. I feel like I have a new lease on life right now, in terms of the energy to start over, it’s pretty amazing.”

As it was the offseason and much of the squad was out of town, Bloomquist, his staff, had to get to know his players mainly through Zoom meetings, which is how the players were. informed of new coaches hires.

“We’ve done our best to stay in touch with most, if not all, (of) the players,” Bloomquist said. “Sam (Peraza) reached out to a lot of pitchers, and I reached out to several, if not all, (of) position guys and talked to them. So this communication has been very good. “

Bloomquist, who has no experience coaching at the college level, said the early stages were difficult but rewarding as he adjusts to his new role.

“I’m learning this, you know, a little baptism of fire. But I think it was a good thing in a lot of ways because it made me learn this really quickly,” Bloomquist said. “It’s been a challenge, a lot of different factors, a lot of different variables, but on the other hand, I’m very confident that I will pick it up very quickly.”

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