After 18 years with Cal baseball, David Esquer will no longer be apart of the Bears’ coaching staff and will be returning to his alma mater Stanford as the new baseball head coach.
Esquer had an overall record of 525-467-2 (.528) during his time at Cal. Highlights from his career include NCAA regional appearances in 2001, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2015. In 2001, he earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year and in both 2011 and 2015 he led the team to the College World Series, earning national coach of the year honors in the latter year.
In 2010, baseball was set to be cut from the university’s sports. Esquer made it clear he was not going to go out with his head down, nor let his players do so.
“I told our team, ‘We stand for something, and if what they’re telling us is that we stand for the very last team in the history of California baseball, we can give them one hell of a team,’” Esquer said in a Cal Alumni article. “And I really do believe that. We can give them one hell of a team this year.”
After a fundraising effort led by former pitcher Stu Gordon, Cal baseball raised $9 million in pledges to keep the program alive and Esquer’s response in regards to the situation had a long-lasting effect. His belief in his coaching staff, players and campus made him an irreplaceable asset to the Cal baseball team.
Although Esquer has a long history with the Bears, Stanford has a much more secure fiscal situation.
At the moment, Mike Neu is a favorite to become Cal’s newest head coach, according to Ryan Gorcey via Twitter.
In his four-year tenure with the Bears from 2012 to 2015, Neu helped re-build the team’s pitching staff which culminated with the Bears posting an ERA of 3.03 in his final season. Neu helped recruit Bears who would go on to be drafted in Daulton Jefferies, Brett Cumberland, Ryan Mason, Lucas Erceg, Denis Karas and Preston Grand Pre.
The loss of Esquer is Cal’s third loss of a head coach in 2017; in January head football coach Sonny Dykes was fired, and in March men’s basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin resigned. This marks the first time in the school’s history in which the Bears will have a new head coach for all three of these sports heading into a new season.
Christie Aguilar is the assistant sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].