TACOMA, Washington - University of Puget Sound didn't have to look far to find a new head baseball coach. Jeff Halstead, a veteran member of the Logger baseball and football coaching staffs, an alumnus and a former two-sport standout was announced as the new Puget Sound head coach on Friday by Director of Athletics Amy Hackett.
Halstead joined the UPS coaching staff in 2001 after a renowned career as a student-athlete with the Loggers, where he played both baseball and football. As a coach, Halstead is revered for his enthusiasm, consistency, and outstanding ability to recruit prospective student-athletes.
"Jeff's dedication to Puget Sound cannot be challenged," said Hackett. "He personifies persistence, integrity, and hard work – all of which are qualities we want represented in our coaches and student-athletes. There is no candidate who better understands Puget Sound and has the ability to recruit student-athletes who are both academically and athletically talented. The baseball program will certainly benefit from his in-depth knowledge of the game and the University."
Halstead, a native of Milwaukie, Oregon, served as the primary baseball assistant coach from 2001 to 2011 and worked with the outfielders while overseeing the Loggers' base-running efforts. Puget Sound produced 15 All-Northwest Conference outfield selection under Halstead's leadership, and the Loggers led the NWC in stolen bases in 2004.
Halstead's name can be found throughout the Logger baseball record books. He ranks second in career hits (total), sixth in hitting with a .356 average, second in games played (148), fourth in runs scored (105), and he's the program's all-time leader in steals with 66.
Halstead served as a volunteer baseball coach for Puget Sound in 2013 and 2014 while working as the football team's offensive coordinator and recruiting / academic director. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Halstead has been a consummate team player for the Puget Sound athletic department. He serves as a home-event supervisor, leads fundraising efforts, and directs the Logger Football Camp, which averages 500 participants annually.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank the University, President Ronald Thomas, Academic Vice President Kris Bartanen, and Director of Athletics Amy Hackett for awarding me this wonderful opportunity," said Halstead. "The University of Puget Sound baseball program has been an integral part of my life since I was 18 years old, and leading this program is something I have dreamt about since I first started coaching. I could not be more excited to continue to build a program that has made huge strides over the past several seasons and continues to bring more amazing student-athletes to UPS. I can't wait for the chance to get on the diamond to work with a great group of guys and help them reach their goals."
Halstead replaces alumnus Brian Billings who resigned in early June to accept the head coaching position at Pacific University. Halstead will begin his head coaching duties on July 1, but will remain on the football coaching staff through the 2014 season.
Halstead is married to Liana, the Puget Sound women's lacrosse head coach, and they are parents to Tatum (four years old).