Sports

Achilles to lead baseball team as head coach

Former baseball assistant tapped as 17th leader since 1900

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Grant Achilles has been hired by the University as the next head coach of the baseball team, Director of Athletics Jack Hayes announced last month.

Achilles served as an assistant coach under former head coach Marek Drabinski for two seasons and, along with fellow assistant coaches, took up head coaching duties after Drabinski’s abrupt resignation during the 2014 season.

A former player for Wake Forest University, Achilles spent time as an assistant coach at his alma mater, as well as at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Western Carolina University and Georgetown University. He has coached multiple professional draftees, most recently J.J. Franco ’14, whom the Atlanta Braves selected in the 38th round of the MLB draft this year.

“It’s very exciting,” Achilles said of his new position. “It’s the culmination of so many years of playing and coaching and chasing a ball around at my brother’s games. … It’s an incredible gift.”

The early returns on Achilles are encouraging. The Bears began last season 0-8 in Ivy League play, but went 6-6 after Drabinski resigned. This .500 winning percentage over the entire conference season would have put the Bears just a game out of first place in their division. But due to the tumultuous start to the season, Bruno, at 6-14, ended up only a game ahead of last-place Harvard.

Despite this disappointing result, Achilles expressed high hopes for the team next season.

“We have a chance to be pretty good,” he said. “I don’t see this as being a situation where the program is in dire straits.”

Achilles also noted that the conference is rarely dominated by one team, which means the title is up for grabs during any given season.

As for the years beyond, Achilles said his sights are set high.  “I really do believe Brown baseball has a chance to be something special in the Ivy League,” he said.

Achilles is diving headfirst into his responsibilities as head coach: He has begun to search for assistants, which he hopes to wrap up quickly, and has started to compile a plan for the summer recruiting tour.

“I’m really looking forward to starting a new era of Brown baseball,” he said.