AMHERST, Mass. — Brian Hamm has announced that he will step down as head baseball coach of Amherst College for personal reasons related to his family, effective immediately.
Hamm just completed his ninth season at Amherst, culminating in the program's fourth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship.
"It is with a heavy heart that I am leaving Amherst," said Hamm. "My wife, Maija, and I have worked hard to support each other's demanding careers, made especially difficult with her need to live close to the hospital where she works as a surgeon. For the past three years, I have been commuting to Amherst from New Haven. The long-distance commute is no longer tenable for me to meet the expectations that I have for myself as a coach while fully devoting myself to my family."
The Mammoths were 20-plus game winners in every season with Hamm at the helm, and he leaves with career coaching records of 221-113 (66.2 winning %) overall and 77-31 (71.3%) in conference play. The 2011 and 2018 NESCAC Coach of the Year, Hamm led his teams to two NESCAC titles and four NCAA Division III tournament appearances.
Success against Williams College in one of the oldest rivalries in American sports was a cornerstone of Hamm's time at Amherst. His Mammoths posted a 22-6 record against the Ephs, sweeping the three-game series on five occasions and never losing a game in Williamstown in his nine years.
"The 2018 season was a magical ride and a good one to end on," said Hamm, who came to Amherst in 2006 and for four years served as the top assistant to Hall of Fame coach Bill Thurston before becoming just the third head coach in the 86-year history of the program. "There could be no better way to cap my tenure at Amherst than with a team that embodied everything that the Amherst baseball program strives to be: men of high character who pursue their passion for baseball and life together, while performing to the best of their abilities. Equally as important, we had fun doing so."
Hamm continued: "I have great appreciation of Coach Thurston for everything that he taught me and for his mentorship. Thank you to President Martin, Don Faulstick, Suzanne Coffey, Peter Gooding, and the many administrators, coaches and faculty, alumni, and members of the college community who have been so supportive of the baseball team and me over the past 13 years. I am forever grateful."
Under Hamm's watch, Amherst baseball produced four NESCAC Players of the Year and two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, and the college placed more student-athletes on the NESCAC All-Academic Team (104) in the last nine years than any other baseball program in the conference. Four of Hamm's players have been taken in the Major League Baseball draft.
"The most difficult goodbye is to the current team," noted Hamm. "It has been a pleasure and privilege to be their coach. I will miss the many office conversations, bus rides, practices, and competing in games together. I look forward to following the future success of the baseball team and all of the other programs at Amherst."
"Brian was a valuable member of our department and the College community, and I'm thankful for all of his contributions," said Don Faulstick, Amherst's Athletic Director. "He oversaw the winningest period in our baseball program's long and distinguished history and he is leaving it in a great place for future success. I wish him the best moving forward."
A national search for the next baseball coach at Amherst will begin immediately.