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BREAKING: Northwestern baseball hires Ben Greenspan as head coach

The Michigan assistant will take over for Jim Foster.

MLB: Arizona State at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a summer of scandals left and right, Northwestern appears to be moving in some form of a new direction.

On Friday afternoon, the school announced that Ben Greenspan would become its next head baseball coach. Greenspan previously served as the Michigan Wolverines’ associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, and was hired in July 2022.

Prior to coaching in Ann Arbor, Greenspan was an assistant at Cal Poly, and worked for Arizona State for seven seasons. In 2023, UM went 28-28, and 13-11 in conference play. Greenspan also coached at Indiana University — where he played — from 2009-14, and is a native of West Point, New York.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the next Head Baseball Coach at Northwestern,” Greenspan said in an online release. “My personal and professional beliefs align with the mission and values of Northwestern University, where academically oriented student-athletes strive for excellence on the field and in the classroom. My playing and coaching experience in the Big Ten has provided me with a knowledge of the fierce competition and excellence of the Conference. This is a challenge that I welcome.”

Northwestern athletic director Derrick Gragg said he was “thrilled” to bring Greenspan to Evanston following an “extensive nationwide search.”

“Ben’s experience and coaching prowess quickly set him apart within the candidate pool,” Gragg said. “At each of his stops, he has consistently showcased his ability to develop both players and programs. With a proven track record of recruiting top talent and fostering growth, we’re confident Ben will lead our baseball program to new heights.”

Greenspan helped coach MLB players Kyle Schwarber, Spencer Torkelson, Scott Effross, Sam Travis and Alex Dickerson, plus No. 18 overall prospect Brooks Lee (Minnesota Twins), New York Yankees No. 5 prospect Drew Thorpe and Pittsburgh Pirates No. 24 overall prospect Alika Williams.

A source close to the Northwestern baseball program said he was “very excited for this program and for the players,” adding, “They’ve earned this.”

Greenspan drew similarly positive praise around the country.

“His reputation in the industry speaks for itself,” Michigan head coach Tracy Smith said in a release. “He is ready for this opportunity! I can’t wait to see the impact he makes at his new school and the Big Ten Conference.”

“The Greenspan family will be the perfect fit for the Northwestern Baseball program,” Schwarber said. “BG’s knowledge of the game, what it takes to win in the Big Ten/national stage, and how to get the best performance out of his players are things that he will bring to Northwestern Baseball.”

Greenspan’s hire comes on the heels of a 10-40 season for Northwestern in Foster’s lone year in Evanston. After reports of the toxic and abusive culture that Foster cultivated, he was placed on “indefinite suspension” on July 13, and assistant coach Brian Anderson would “take leadership of the program.”

A week ago, Inside NU confirmed with multiple sources that Anderson would not be the team’s next head coach, despite strong support from those in and around the program. Moreover, those sources indicated that athletic director Derrick Gragg did not notify players of the decision. It is unknown whether or not Gragg told players and support staff prior to making the news public, as well as if Anderson will be retained.

Northwestern’s potential interest in Greenspan was first reported by MLB Network’s J.P. Morosi. Greenspan will become the fourth head coach in the last four years for NU, which is seeking its first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 2017 and has not finished above .500 since 2000.