The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Michael Earley returns to A&M baseball as head coach

Photo by Chris Swann
Texas A&M assistant coach Michael Earley waves to the student section before the start of an inning during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)

A familiar face is taking the reins of the Texas A&M baseball program.

Michael Earley is expected to be named the next head coach of A&M baseball, first reported by Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle. Earley spent the past three seasons as the Aggies’ hitting coach and first-base coach, during which they went 153-62 with two College World Series appearances. A&M’s season ended on June 24 with a loss in Game 3 of the College World Series finals.

The hiring comes less than a week after Earley was named the hitting coach at Texas, following former A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle to Austin. Schlossnagle was officially named the Longhorns’ head coach on June 25 following three seasons in College Station. Earley initially joined Schlossnagle at Texas along with associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Nolan Cain and pitching coach Max Weiner.

“I am happy to announce that Michael Earley has been hired as our new Aggie baseball head coach,” athletic director Trev Alberts said in a statement. “Michael is a very talented coach and recruiter, but what stood out to me was his character and the relationships he has built with his current and former players. During our interview process he was really impressive. I think it helps that he knows our current roster, which finished second in the country, and he also knows Aggieland and the 12th Man. I am excited about the future of Aggie baseball. Please help me welcome home Michael and his family back to Aggieland.”

Schlossnagle’s departure for Texas saw over 10 A&M players enter the transfer portal after the move, headlined by sophomore OF Jace LaViolette, freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac and junior SS Ali Camarillo. Graduate OF Hayden Schott, sophomore UTIL Kaeden Kent and freshman LF Caden Sorrell also hit the portal.

Alberts’ hiring of Earley comes amidst a swell of support from A&M players on social media. Schott, Camarillo, junior RHP Brad Rudis, junior RHP Chris Cortez and others posted on X supporting Earley, joining former players Brett Minnich, Jack Moss, Trevor Werner, Austin Bost and more.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity,” Earley said in a statement. “Thank you, General Welsh and Trev Alberts for putting your trust in me. Being a part of this University and this program are a dream come true. I will not let you down. See you in Omaha!”

Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball reported that Texas assistant coach Caleb Longley will likely follow Earley to A&M. Longley worked with the Longhorns’ outfielders and hitters for the past three seasons while doubling as recruiting coordinator. Rogers also reported that a Power Four head coach will likely fill another assistant coaching spot.

Ryan Brauninger of TexAgs reported that Will Fox will remain on staff. Fox has been with the Aggies for five seasons, most recently serving as director of video and analytics since 2022.

“Michael Earley is talented, hard-working, and absolutely committed to Aggie baseball,” President Mark A. Welsh III said in a statement. “Not a bad combination when you consider the huge support he has from his players. Add in the street cred he enjoys across collegiate baseball as a position coach, hitting coach and recruiter, and you realize we now have a budding superstar leading Aggie baseball. I’d like to thank Trev Alberts for the hard work leading to this hire. I’d also like to thank our incredible Aggie baseball players for contributing to this search in such a respectful and impactful way. Finally, welcome home Coach Earley. We’re all behind you.”

Earley was behind one of A&M’s top offensive seasons in team history in 2024, with the Aggies leading the nation in walks with 422 and tying for fourth with 136 home runs. The Aggies’ 575 runs were good for sixth in the nation while a .543 slugging percentage was 12th-highest. LaViolette, junior RF Braden Montgomery and Grahovac tallied over 20 home runs each, led by LaViolette’s 29 long balls.

The SEC Freshman of the Year, Grahovac’s 23 home runs were the most in a season by a freshman in program history, breaking LaViolette’s freshman home run record set with 21 in 2023. LaViolette, Montgomery and senior C Jackson Appel were each tabbed as NCBWA All-Americans in addition to Grahovac’s Freshman All-American honors.

The Aggies reached the College World Series semifinals in 2022 with Earley raising the team’s slash line to .289/.398/.469 from .260/.363/.417 in 2021. A&M was second in the SEC in batting average and third in on-base percentage with Dylan Rock being named an All-American outfielder.

Before joining the A&M staff for the 2022 season, Earley spent five seasons at Arizona State, including four years as the Sun Devils’ hitting coach. His prized pupil came in Spencer Torkelson, the top pick in the 2020 MLB Draft to the Detroit Tigers.

Under Earley’s tutelage, Torkelson became the first player in 25 years to be selected first overall after being undrafted out of high school. He was one of four Arizona State hitters to be taken in the draft.

The Sun Devils led the country with 92 long balls during the 2019 regular season as Arizona State became the first Power Five school in the BBCOR era with two 20-plus home run hitters in Torkelson and Hunter Bishop, both semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award.. The Sun Devils’ .310 batting average was good for 10th in the nation.

Earley played his college ball at Indiana, where he was named to the All-Big Ten Third Team in 2010 with a .352 batting average and 13 home runs. The Chicago White Sox took him in the 29th round of that year’s MLB Draft. Over six seasons in the White Sox farm system, Earley reached the Triple-A level. His playing career wrapped up in 2015 in independent ball, after which he became an associate scout for the New York Mets.

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About the Contributors
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a senior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
Chris Swann
Chris Swann, Photo Chief
Chris is a Journalism junior from Winnsboro, TX. Chris served as the Social Media Manager and Assistant Photo Chief prior to becoming Photo Chief for The Battalion’s photo desk. Before transferring to A&M in the Fall of 2023, Chris spent two years at Tyler Junior College, where he was Photo and Design editor for their student media, The DrumBeat. He is expected to graduate in May of 2026.
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    Bruce BaylessJul 1, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    Too bad more of the players aren’t staying