After seven seasons as the Alabama Crimson Tide head baseball coach, Mitch Gaspard announced he is stepping down.
Gaspard announced the decision via a letter that stated his appreciation and love for the time he spent as the head coach in Tuscaloosa, but how he felt it was best for both parties if he stepped away from the program.
The letter was first tweeted out yesterday afternoon by the Alabama baseball Twitter account.
The decision comes after a meeting with Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle following the Crimson Tide’s loss to Florida in the SEC Baseball Tournament last week, but according to Gaspard he has been mulling over the possibility for quite some time.
“During that meeting, I expressed to Bill my desire to step down as head coach of the Crimson Tide baseball team. That decision was not something I arrived at during that meeting, but a decision that evolved very gradually over the last few weeks and months.” Gaspard said in the letter.
Before he was the head coach of the Crimson Tide, Gaspard was a hard working assistant looking for a shot to run a team. After five years as head coach at Northwestern State, Gaspard returned back Tuscaloosa in 2008, and became the head coach in 2010.
In his first season has head coach, the Gaspard led the Crimson Tide to win the Atlanta Regional in the NCAA tournament, the first time the Tide accomplished a regional victory since 2006.
Alabama made four NCAA tournament appearances under Gaspard, but never participated in the College World Series. Eight other teams from the SEC have made the CWS in the 2010-2016 time frame.
Gaspard amassed a record of 234-193 in seven years at Alabama, but failed to win an SEC Regular Season Championship or a SEC Tournament Championship in his tenure.
Josh Rutledge is the lone Gaspard-coached player in the MLB, but played under Gaspard for only one season in 2010.
“I am hopeful and confident that Alabama baseball has a bright future. I am also proud to say that we have left in place a great foundation for success for the next head coach. These players have worked hard and deserve to reach their potential and reap the rewards,” Gaspard said.
“As I have said throughout, I am thankful. I’ve been blessed to be able to say I don’t feel I’ve ever had to work a day in my life because I have been blessed to be doing something that I love. My family and I have been proud to be part of the Crimson Tide family, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this program.”