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ASU baseball appoints new director of special projects

January 16, 2009

Mike Rooney returns to Arizona State baseball for his seventh season in the program and first as Director of Special Projects and External Affairs. Rooney was an assistant coach under Pat Murphy at ASU from 1998 to 2004. Having already spent six years in the ASU Baseball program, Rooney is one of the longest tenured members of the baseball program in school history.

In addition to his duties in the office, Rooney will also serve as the color commentator on all Sun Devil Baseball radio broadcasts. Last season, Rooney was the sideline reporter for selected radio broadcasts. He will also serve as the host of the Pat Murphy radio show on The Fan 1060 AM. Rooney has also worked in television, serving as the color analyst for both ASU baseball and softball for FSN Arizona since 2007.

"I am very excited that `Roons' is back," said head coach Pat Murphy. "His role is vital to the baseball program at ASU and Mike can certainly get it done with the best of them."

Rooney was the head baseball coach at Phoenix College from 2005 to 2008, twice being named the school's Male Sport Coach of the Year (2006 and 2008). In 2008, Rooney helped lead Phoenix College to their first winning season since 1993, winning the Arizona Region I Championship and overseeing a 14 game turnaround from the previous season.

While at Phoenix College, Rooney ran all aspects of the baseball program in one of the top junior college baseball conferences in the country. He helped 14 student-athletes move on to Division I programs during his four seasons, as well as had one of the highest team GPAs in junior college baseball during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

During his coaching career at ASU, Rooney helped turn the ASU defense into one of the best in the nation. He helped mentor Dustin Pedroia, who twice was named the National Defensive Player of the Year before going on to success at the Major League level.

Rooney spent five years coaching at Malvern Prep in Malvern, Pennsylvania prior to arriving at ASU. While at Malvern Prep, he coached two first-round MLB picks in four years as the head coach - Ben Davis (2nd pick overall by the Padres in 1995) and Josh McKinley (11th pick overall by the Expos in 1998). He also coached future first-round pick Glenn Davis (27th pick overall by the Dodgers in 1997) who played at Vanderbilt after graduating from Malvern Prep.

During Rooney's tenure at MP, his team's averaged 22 wins per season while setting a school record for victories in 1997 with 26. He was a successful fundraiser at Malvern Prep, adding indoor and outdoor batting cages for the program and toured Florida and Puerto Rico on baseball trips.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame in 1992, Rooney earned his bachelor's degree in accounting. While at Notre Dame, he played for Coach Murphy from 1988 to 1992 on the Irish baseball team. Rooney played six different positions during that time (every position except first, pitcher and catcher). He was a member of the '92 squad that was one win away from a trip to the College World Series. While Rooney was with the Irish, the teams averaged 47 wins per year. A native of Philadelphia, Rooney competed throughout his ND career with former Arizona Diamondback and the 2001 NLCS MVP Craig Counsell.

Rooney earned his Master's in Educational Administration from the University of Phoenix in March, 2000. He married his wife Jenny in July, 2003 and they currently reside in Scottsdale.