Baseball Assistant Coach
Notre Dame third-year assistant coach David Grewe quickly has established himself as one of the nation[apos]s top recruiting coordinators while also molding success stories at the catcher position and serving as the architect of the potent Irish offense.
Grewe – who served in similar capacities at Central Michigan and the University of Chicago – has played a lead role in attracting three straight recruiting classes that have been ranked among the best in the nation. Most recently, the group who will begin their Notre Dame careers in the spring of 2006 were ranked by Team One Baseball as the nation[apos]s 7th-best recruiting class. On an individual basis, Grewe helped sign current sophomore righthanded pitcher Jeff Manship – rated as college baseball[apos]s No. 3 incoming freshman prior to the 2004 season.
In addition to his stellar recruiting record, Grewe has made a lasting impact as an instructor of the game. His knowledge of advanced hitting mechanics and catching fundamentals paid big dividends in a 2004 season that saw Notre Dame roll to a team-record 51 victories.
Grewe[apos]s star defensive pupil with the record-setting [apos]04 squad was catcher Javi Sanchez, a converted infielder with no catching experience prior to the [apos]02 fall season. First-day lessons were confined to the most basic of details – even how to simply put on the catcher[apos]s gear – but Sanchez steadily progressed, defensively and offensively, under Grewe[apos]s watchful eye. His late-season surge as a junior included MVP honors at the BIG EAST Tournament and a spot on the NCAA Fullerton Regional all-tournament team. By the time the 2004 season rolled around, Sanchez had become a polished catcher with the refined defensive skills and clutch-hitting ability that prompted the Minnesota Twins to select him in the 14th round of the [apos]04 Major League draft.
Sanchez was just one of several [apos]04 players whose success stories are linked to Grewe[apos]s effective style of instruction. Third baseman Matt Macri had failed to live up to his tremendous pre-college hype in his first two seasons with the Irish but that all changed in an All-America junior season that saw Macri[apos]s reworked hitting approach place him among the national and BIG EAST leaders in multiple categories. He became just the third Notre Dame player – and first in 15 years – to reach 80 hits and 40 walks in the same season while racking up a 1.174 [quote]OPS[quote] (combined on-base and slugging percentage) that rates among the best in the program[apos]s history.
Other players on the [apos]04 team – namely outfielder Craig Cooper, shortstop Greg Lopez and DH Matt Bransfield – showed huge jumps in their production after a second year of instruction from Grewe. The hard-swinging Cooper became the first player ever to lead the BIG EAST in conference batting average (.370), slugging and on-base in the same season while combining with Bransfield (24 RBI) and Macri (7 HR) for a Notre Dame sweep of the BIG EAST triple-crown titles.
The 2004 Notre Dame offense produced a 49-point jump in the team[apos]s slugging pct. from 2003 (.430 to .479) while finishing with a .407 on-base pct. (up from .383 in [apos]03) that ranks fourth in Notre Dame history and best in the 10-year Paul Mainieri era. The Irish also ranked 19th on the NCAA scoring charts with 7.8 runs per game in `04, good for fourth in the ND record book (just two Irish teams since the late 1950s have scored at a higher clip). More than half of the `04 team[apos]s record-setting 51 wins (26) came by a margin of 5-plus runs, including eight in which the Irish posted a double-digit cushion.
The [apos]04 team[apos]s rejuvenated power included an unprecedented four players with 10-plus home runs, yielding a home run total that more than doubled from [apos]03 (31 to 69, four shy of the team record). Grewe also challenged the [apos]04 hitters to display greater plate discipline and they responded with a +23 margin of walks (275) plus hit-by-pitch (106, 5th in NCAA history) minus strikeouts (358) – well above the [apos]03 squad (-61).
The [apos]04 offense[apos]s quick-strike ability came to fruition down the stretch, plating first-inning runs in 12 of the final 17 games. The full force was on display in the series finale at Connecticut, when Notre Dame erupted for 10 hits (3 home runs) and 10 runs before the hosts had even stepped into the batters box. All nine starters fashioned hit streaks of seven-plus games in [apos]04 – led by a 13-game tear from former walk-on outfielder Steve Andres (two others had double-digit hit streaks, plus four with 9-game streaks).
Grewe[apos]s 2003 hitters finished on a high note, batting an all-time best .361 as a team in the BIG EAST Tournament followed by 17 hits in the NCAA opening win over Arizona.
Grewe was the hitting and infielders/catchers coach at Central Michigan in the [apos]01 and [apos]02 season. The Chippewas set the team scoring record in [apos]01 while posting the second-most hits and third-most home runs in CMU history. He also tutored a 2001 group of infielders that set the team record for double plays, coached five CMU players who went on to professional baseball and served as director of Central Michigan[apos]s popular winter baseball camps.
During two previous seasons ([apos]99-[apos]00) as an assistant at the University of Chicago, Grewe guided a 2000 Maroons offense that ranked19th in the nation for batting average and set six teams records.
Grewe also served as an intern and then administrative assistant with the American Baseball Coaches Association (beginning in Dec., 2001), under the tutelage of executive director Dave Keilitz, with his responsibilities including web-page maintenance.
At the age of 21 and still in college, Grewe was an assistant with the [apos]96 Motor City Pride summer team that posted a 29-7 record while seeing 94-percent of its players go on to play college ball. He also has gained experience as an instructor at 22 different baseball camps throughout the nation and has served as a personal hitting instructor for various youth levels.
Grewe earned three baseball letters at the University of Dayton from 1995-98, playing third base, first base and catcher. He started at third base on the [apos]96 team that set the Dayton record for wins (including an upset of eventual NCAA champ LSU) before helping the 1998 Flyers post the program[apos]s first winning season since [apos]79, batting .324 while ranking among the team leaders in five of 11 categories during that [apos]98 season.
The Royal Oak, Mich., native graduated from Dayton in 1998 as a sports management major, with a double minor in marketing and public relations. He served as a graduate teaching assistant at Central Michigan while studying towards a masters degree in athletic administration.