Westfield State names Bashaw head coach

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WESTFIELD, Mass. – Nathan Bashaw has been appointed head baseball coach at Westfield State University. The announcement was made today by Westfield State director of athletics Richard Lenfest.

Bashaw, the head coach at Elms College in Chicopee, Mass., for the past three years, officially begins his Westfield State duties Aug. 26.

"I am pleased to welcome Nathan Bashaw to Westfield State," said Lenfest. "We had a strong field of candidates and Nathan's enthusiasm and passion for coaching, and his demonstrated experience building a program in Massachusetts while at Elms College made him our top choice. Coach Bashaw's previous experiences with schools such as Gettysburg and Dickinson, and his philosophies regarding the importance of student-athlete academic success and work ethic match up perfectly with our department. I am excited and look forward to Nathan leading our baseball program to continued success."

Bashaw, 32, replaces Ray Arra, who led the Owls to three NCAA Tournament appearances, four Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) regular season championships, and six consecutive 20-win seasons in his nine years as head coach. Arra finished 2013 with a 19-21 record.

"I am very excited at the prospect of building upon an extremely competitive baseball program at a tremendous academic institution," said Bashaw.

"I would like to thank Dick Lenfest and Westfield State for this opportunity," added Bashaw.  "The past success of the baseball program under Coach Arra, reputation of the athletics department, and strong academic programs make this an ideal environment to attract student-athletes who can help us compete for MASCAC championships on a consistent basis."

Bashaw quickly built Elms into a competitive program. The Blazers won the most games (20) in program history in 2013, qualified for the postseason twice, received its first ECAC bid, and notched its first ECAC tournament victory.

In his debut season in 2011, Bashaw guided the Blazers to the second-highest win total since the 2005 season, notching 15 victories. In 2012 he led Elms to a 14-win season and its first berth in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) tournament since 2009.

Prior to Elms College, Bashaw served as the assistant baseball coach at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania from 2005-2010. Bashaw primarily coached the catchers and hitters at Gettysburg, and he assisted in the scheduling of practices, recruiting, and the coordination of fall showcase clinics.

Bashaw helped guide Gettysburg to the program's second highest win total (26) in 2007 and two Centennial Conference postseason appearances. He also served as an assistant coach at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Bashaw was employed full time at Gettysburg. In addition to his baseball coaching duties, he served as director of campus recreation and was promoted to assistant athletics director in 2009. At Elms, his secondary duties included coordinating the intramurals program, home game management, and teaching physical education courses.

Bashaw will also take on additional duties at Westfield State, serving as the assistant sports information director with an emphasis on publicizing and promoting the Owls' 21 varsity sports.

Bashaw was a standout player at Gettysburg from 2000-03. He was a three-year starter at shortstop and team captain his senior year, earning all-conference honors after hitting .341 and finishing in the top 10 in the league in hits and runs scored. He set a school record with 101 assists as a junior and finished his career with a .310 batting average.

Bashaw earned his a bachelor's degree in classical studies with a minor in mathematics from Gettysburg. He earned a master's in exercise science and physical education with an emphasis in administration from McDaniel College (Westminster, Md.) in 2006.