Mike Benjamin named baseball assistant coach
Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay has promoted Sun Devil Hall of Fame member Mike Benjamin to assistant coach. Former Sun Devil student-athlete and graduate manager Greg Bordes will step into the role of volunteer coach.
Benjamin, who has been a volunteer assistant coach at ASU for the past three seasons, will continue his role as infield and third base coach, as well as manager of the team's run game.
"Mike has done an unbelievable job of coaching this program since he joined my staff in 2010," coach Esmay said. "The fact that he will now be able to use that expertise in recruiting and evaluating talent, as well as on the diamond and in practice, is an immeasurable boost for not only the baseball team, but the university as a whole."
Benjamin, who played shortstop for the Sun Devils in 1986 and 1987, was inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 2011. During his time at ASU, Benjamin has helped mentor a number of infielders that are now in the professional leagues, including Joey DeMichele, Drew Maggi, Deven Marrero, and Raoul and Riccio Torrez.
Bordes spent six years with the Sun Devil baseball program, including four as a student-athlete and two as a graduate manager, before he became an area scout for the New York Mets last spring. He was a three-year letterwinner for the Sun Devils, and a member of two College World Series teams (2005, 2007) and a pair Pac-10 Championship squads (2007, 2008). Bordes played more than a year of minor league baseball and is the younger brother of former Sun Devil pitcher Brett Bordes.
"Greg's professional baseball experience, both as a player and a scout, will enable him to help our current student-athletes reach their highest potential on the field," coach Esmay said. "However, he knows what it takes to be a Sun Devil and how to do things the Sun Devil way, and that is what will help him teach our guys how to succeed beyond just their playing days."
Coach Esmay and Benjamin were teammates at Arizona State during the 1986 and 1987 seasons under head coach Jim Brock, and both have sons on the current Sun Devil team. Benjamin's son, Michael Jr., is set to be a junior infielder on the 2013 team, while coach Esmay's son, Tucker, will be a redshirt sophomore this coming season.
Benjamin hit .315 in his ASU career, including .327 with 18 homers and 55 RBI during the '87 season in which he earned First Team All-American and First Team All-Pac-10 honors. Benjamin also stole 30 bases, helping lead the Sun Devils to Omaha and the College World Series that year. He was a third round pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 1987 MLB Draft.
Benjamin played 13 seasons of Major League Baseball, the first seven of which he spent with the Giants. He made his Major League debut for the Giants on July 7, 1989 and played there through the 1995 season. He spent 1996 with the Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Boston Red Sox in 1997. He played two seasons in Boston, playing in the 1998 American League Divisional Series, before finishing his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Following his pro career, Benjamin was a coach for the Chandler National Little League team that advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Benjamin replaces former ASU assistant coach Travis Jewett, who left earlier this summer to become an assistant coach at Vanderbilt.