Viking's pitching coach moves to top job

More news about: Salem State

Al Donovan is the 13th head coach for the Salem State baseball program.
Salem State athletics photo by David Le

Salem, Mass. - Al Donovan, who has served as pitching coach and recruiting assistant for the Vikings since 2015 has been named the new head baseball coach at Salem State University athletic director Peggy Carl announced Thursday. Donovan replaces Mike Ward, who resigned in July after four successful seasons.  

"We are excited that Al will be continuing on in the Viking family in this new role.  His experience and enthusiasm for the program will be great assets as he takes the reins of this successful program.  Throughout the search process, we were continually impressed by Al's baseball knowledge and his commitment to providing an excellent experience for our student-athletes.  We couldn't be more proud that he surfaced as the clear choice to lead Viking baseball into the next phase."  

As pitching coach, Donovan guided the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference's top ranked pitching staff over the past two seasons, helping Salem State earn back-to-back conference championships along with two NCAA Tournament bids.

A graduate of Central Connecticut State, Donovan was a standout pitcher for the Blue Devils, earning Division I All New England honors after transferring from Western Carolina, where he was named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman team after helping the Catamounts win the 1985 Southern Conference Championship. "I couldn't be happier being named head coach of the Salem State University baseball program.  I want to thank athletic director Peggy Carl and associate athletic director Jason Doviak, along with the administration for selecting me. I owe a great deal of thanks to former head coach Mike Ward for what he has built over the past six years, making Salem State one of the top D3 baseball programs in the country. Our players have worked hard both in the classroom and on the field, highlighted by eight all-conference and 24 all-academic selections over the past two years.   
Currently, Donovan is the owner and director of baseball operations for the North Shore Tigers, a highly competitive AAU baseball program. With over 20 years of experience, he has helped develop numerous high school players achieve success across all collegiate divisions. Prior to his involvement with AAU baseball, Donovan began his coaching career as an assistant at Central Connecticut State, where he worked with the pitching staff while also serving as recruiting coordinator. Donovan was also instrumental in the success of the North Shore Baseball League, where he played and managed before serving two separate stints as league commissioner. Donovan was elected into the North Shore Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2006.