After 84 games with the Detroit Tigers, third base coach Chip Hale is returning to the University of Arizona as the baseball team's next head coach, the program announced Monday. He received a five-year contract and will be introduced Wednesday.
Hale, 56, played college baseball for Arizona from 1984-87. He was a member of the 1986 College World Series championship team. Tigers manager AJ Hinch hired him in Nov. 7, 2020.
Eight months later, Hale is headed back to his alma mater. He is the second assistant coach Hinch has lost this season, after assistant hitting coach Jose Cruz Jr. departed in June to become Rice University's head coach.
"I am very honored and excited to be the new head baseball coach at the University of Arizona," Hale said in a released statement. "We will work tirelessly to build on the success that has been established here and continue to coach and develop our Wildcats to be champions on the field and in the classroom. With the help and support of the University of Arizona and the Wildcat Family, we plan on making many trips to Omaha."
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Hale managed the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2015-16, finishing 148-176 in two full seasons but was fired in October 2016. He won a World Series in 2019 as the Washington Nationals' bench coach. Before breaking into the big leagues, Hale managed Triple-A Tucson (Diamondbacks) from 2004-06.
"I am thrilled and excited to have Chip lead our iconic baseball program," Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said. "Chip has long been a member of the Wildcat Family as a former student-athlete and has always remained close to our University and to our Tucson community. He has played and coached at the highest levels of the game and brings an unbridled passion and enthusiasm to his work. I have no doubt that Chip embraces the Wildcat Way mission we share at Arizona Athletics, and that he will mentor and develop future generations of Wildcat champions on the diamond, in the classroom, and in the community."
Hale played second and third base during his seven-year MLB playing career for the Minnesota Twins (1989-90, 1993-96) and Dodgers (1997). Through 333 career games, he had a .277 batting average with seven homers and 78 RBIs.
The Twins drafted him in the 17th round of the 1987 draft.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers third base coach Chip Hale leaves to coach Arizona