Former graduate assistant baseball coach Blake Hardegree has accepted a position as the Director of Baseball Operations at Samford University in Homewood, Alabama. Hardegree served as graduate assistant for the past year and a half. This marks the second graduate assistant in three years to move from the Iowa Lakes baseball coaching staff to a Division 1 program. Head baseball coach Joey Pavlovich stated, "The graduate assistant program here is meant to open up opportunities for young, aspiring coaches and I have been fortunate enough to have worked with a few extremely hungry, talented ones the last few years who have made my job easier."
Coach Hardegree, who served primarily as catchers, infielders, and third base coach in his time at Iowa Lakes, thoroughly enjoyed his time there. Blake had this to say, "Iowa Lakes was a huge stepping stone for my dreams and aspirations. I have been able to work with the team on and off the field, developing better men and ball players. I will always remember my time in Estherville. I was able to grow as a person, coach, and friend. I love the community there and will surely miss it. I am excited to start my new journey at Samford University and will always remember the things I inherited from Iowa Lakes."
Blake will be moving on to Samford University, part of the Southern Conference, coming off a 33-26 season. Pavlovich talked about his time and the impact Coach Hardegree had at Iowa Lakes, "Blake did a tremendous job in his time here. He immersed himself in the community and developed life lasting relationships with the players, coaching staff, and faculty at here. What separated Blake was his willingness to learn and seek out information daily to become the best coach and human being he could possibly become. I look forward to tracking his progress and I am excited to see where he goes with the rest of his career."
The Iowa Lakes baseball program will open up their regular season at Pratt Community College on February 17th and 18th.