Head Coach Ed Sprague enters his
10th season at the helm of the Pacific Baseball program in the
spring of 2013. The Stockton native took over the hometown program
after an 11-year Major League career, and has guided the Tigers to
179 wins. In 2005 and 2006, his Tigers posted back-to-back seasons
with 30 or more wins for the first time in program history. In
2010, the Tigers set a school record for wins in a season with 31
and received votes in the national polls.
He has a combined 179-263 record in his eight seasons with the Tigers, posting a pair of 30 win seasons at 30-25 in 2006 and a 30-28 mark in 2005. He guided Pacific to one of the best seasons in program history in 2010, finishing with a 31-23 overall record that included a new program record of 31 victories over Division I opponents. That season Pacific won nine of its 14 series, including sweeping San Jose State from March 26-28. The Tigers also received votes in national top 30 polls on four occasions during the 2010 season.
During his tenure, 13 of his players have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, with 10 players currently active in the professional ranks, including a pair of major leaguers (Chase Headley and Erik Hamren of the San Diego Padres).
In the 2009 season, Sprague helped gear Pacific in the right direction of another winning season, laying the foundations for 2010 after recording victories over No. 8 Baylor, No. 11 San Diego, No. 16 Cal Poly and a series victory at No. 6 Cal State Fullerton in March. The series victory against Cal State Fullerton marked the first time one of Sprague’s teams defeated the Titans in his career. Pacific finished with nine conference wins in 2009, tying the mark set in both the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
In 2011, Pacific posted three wins over ranked teams, topping No. 10 Cal State Fullerton and No. 13 Cal on the road, and a home win over No. 17 UC Irvine.
Sprague’s 179 career victories have him in third place in Tiger history for most coaching victories.
In addition to his coaching efforts, Sprague’s biggest accomplishment at Pacific has been spearheading a campaign to build an on-campus home field. That vision became a reality on Oct. 15, 2004, as the Tigers officially broke ground on Klein Family Field, the Tigers’ current on-campus stadium. The stadium officially became the new home of the Pacific Tigers on April 18, 2006, as Pacific defeated Nevada, 8-3, in the inaugural game.
Between the lines, Sprague’s arrival brought a championship pedigree to Pacific Baseball as he was the starting third baseman on the 1987 and 1988 NCAA Championship teams at Stanford. He finished his career among the school’s all-time leaders in home runs (2nd with 41) and RBI (4th with 178). A 1988 All-American, he hit .339 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI. He was also a two-time All Pac-10 Conference selection in 1987 and 1988. For his accomplishments, Sprague was a 2002 inductee into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame. In the summer of 1988, Sprague collected another championship as he won a Gold Medal with USA Baseball in the Summer Olympics.
Following his collegiate career, he was selected in the first round of the 1988 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He made it to the Major Leagues in 1991 with the Blue Jays and enjoyed an 11-year career as a big leaguer. His knack for winning championships continued at the major league level as Sprague helped the Blue Jays win back-to-back World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993. Later in his career, as a Pittsburgh Pirate, Sprague earned a selection to the 1999 All-Star Game. Sprague hit 152 career home runs and tallied 558 RBI, including single-season bests with 36 home runs and 101 RBI in 1996 with Toronto. He also played with the Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres.
Sprague’s decorated playing career marks him as the only player ever to win a College World Series, Olympic Gold Medal and a Major League Baseball World Series.
A Stockton native, Sprague returned to his home prior to the the 2003 season as an assistant coach at St. Mary’s High School, helping the Rams to a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth. The following summer he took over as the 16th head baseball coach for Pacific. Sprague is one of two Olympic athletes in his family as his wife of 16 years, Kristen Babb Sprague, was an Olympic gold medalist in synchronized swimming in 1992. Ed and Kristen have four children, Payton, Jed, Paris and John.