July 29, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Joe Hastings, a former All-American first baseman at East Carolina who has spent the last four seasons coaching at Boston College, has been hired as an assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame, head baseball coach Mik Aoki announced Thursday. Hastings will spearhead the national recruiting efforts for the Irish, as well as serve as hitting and infield coach.

“We are thrilled about having a person with such a phenomenal baseball background on our staff,” Aoki said. “Joe will bring a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the game. He has not only developed into one of the top evaluators of high school talent in the country, but also shines in player development. I have no doubt he will continue such success here at Notre Dame.”

“I am so excited to join the Notre Dame family,” Hastings said. “I am thankful to Coach Aoki for this tremendous opportunity. It truly is one of the premier opportunities in all of college baseball. I look forward to hit the ground running and really get after it on the recruiting trail. We all have huge aspirations for this program. We want to not only compete for conference championships, but ultimately we want to bring this program back to Omaha.”

In addition to his recruiting duties with the Eagles, Hastings worked with the Boston College infielders and hitters. He mentored eight Major League Baseball draft picks and six All-Atlantic Coast Conference performers in his four seasons with the Eagles. In 2009, Boston College had four players earn all-conference honors, the most for the program since joining the ACC.

In the 2010 MLB player draft, Boston College had six players selected, most in program history. In fact, three Eagles were taken in the first 10 rounds of the draft – another program first.

Boston College also had a major presence in the 2009 draft, as Tony Sanchez was selected fourth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the highest pick ever for the Eagles’ baseball program. Mike Belfiore was then taken in Comp Round A (45th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks, making the pair the two highest draft picks taken in the same draft from Boston College.

Hastings has coached three first round MLB draft picks: Sanchez and Belfiore with Boston College and current Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman while at Virginia.

The 2009 Eagles’ offense was one of the most productive in school history. Boston College hit .304 as a team, scored 416 runs, hit 151 doubles and 58 homers, slugged at a .464 clip and had an on-base percentage of .382. The Eagles ranked fourth in the nation in sacrifice hits (73) and seventh in the nation in doubles.

Prior to coaching at Boston College, Hastings served one season (2006) as an assistant coach at the Virginia Military Institute. The Keydets established a new school record for wins with 30 and had their first winning season in over 40 years. VMI also set the school record for runs, RBI and hits.

Hastings began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia in 2005. He worked primarily with the Cavaliers’ outfielders and first basemen.

A native of Connelly Springs, N.C., Hastings enjoyed an outstanding four-year playing career at East Carolina (1997, 1999-2001). The first baseman captured All-America third-team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2001. He also gained all-Colonial Athletic Association accolades that same year, while leading the Pirates to an NCAA regional title. Hastings and his classmates won a class-record 166 games over their career.

In 2000, Hastings led East Carolina in batting average (.352), home runs (13), RBI (60) and slugging percentage (.605), while tying for the team lead in runs (50). As a senior, he paced the Pirates with 62 RBI.

Drafted in the 24th round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, Hastings played four seasons (2001-04) in the San Diego Padres’ organization. He advanced as high as AA, where he played for the Mobile Baybears (2003; Southern League).

Hastings, who graduated with a degree in physical education from East Carolina in 2001, and his wife Laura (Welch) have two children: a two-year old daughter, Meghan, and one-year old son, Jacob.

— ND —