MITCHELL, S.D. – After being a part of the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball program in some capacity for the past five seasons, John Greicar heads into the 2014-15 school year with a new role for the Tigers.
Greicar, who finished his college playing career at DWU and has served the past three seasons as an assistant coach for the Tiger baseball team, has been hired as the team’s head coach, DWU Athletic Director Curt Hart announced Thursday morning. Greicar is the 12th head coach in Dakota Wesleyan baseball history and takes over for Steve Gust, who resigned in June to take the same position at the University of Minnesota Crookston after six seasons with the program.
“I am extremely excited to take over as head baseball coach at Dakota Wesleyan,” Greicar said. “I owe a big thank you to Curt and Jon Hart, Amy Novak and the entire search committee for their continued support. Dakota Wesleyan is an exciting place to be, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it all.”
Greicar, a Grand Forks, N.D., native, completed his third season as an assistant coach for the Tiger baseball team in May. He was part of DWU’s run to the championship game at the Great Plains Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament where the Tigers lost to Midland University. Greicar has been a part of three 20-win teams during his tenure as assistant coach, and helped DWU to a 27-24 record in 2014 – the most wins since the 2010 season. While serving as an assistant coach, Greicar helped coach 27 All-GPAC athletes, including five first-team selections and one GPAC Player-of-the-Year.
Greicar also brings a familiarity of the admissions process and some insight into recruiting after serving as an admissions counselor at Dakota Wesleyan for two years.
“We are thrilled to have John step into the role of head baseball coach here at Dakota Wesleyan,” DWU President Amy Novak said. “He has been a valuable asset to the program as an assistant coach, and his knowledge of the baseball program – as well as his knowledge of the recruiting and admissions process from his work as an admissions counselor – will help immensely as he takes over as head coach.”
Before he made the transition to a coach, Greicar finished out his college baseball career at Dakota Wesleyan. In his senior season with the Tigers, Greicar – who graduated with a degree in sports management in May 2011 – led the team in batting average (.351), hits (52), doubles (13), RBIs (26), putouts (348) and fielding percentage (.974). The first baseman earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention honors in 2011. As a junior, Greicar led the team with 272 putouts. Before coming to DWU, Greicar played two seasons at Northland Community College in East Grand Forks, Minn.
“John has played a big role for the DWU baseball team as an assistant coach for the past three seasons, and we are very excited for him to step into the role of head coach,” Hart said. “John has a good relationships with the athletes, and helped coach Gust with all aspects of the program, including recruiting, so I have no doubt that his transition from an assistant coach to head coach will be a seamless one.”
Greicar, who graduated with his master’s degree in educational policy and administration from Dakota Wesleyan in 2012, takes over a team that lost seven seniors to graduation in May after making it to the GPAC tournament title game. Nine players earned All-GPAC honors, including senior left-handed pitcher Kyle Larson, who was named to the league’s first team. Freshman shortstop Ben Spitznagel and junior catcher Ben Ladner both earned All-GPAC Second Team accolades.
The Tigers set the school record for stolen bases in a season with 113 in 2014, and tied the record for spring trip wins with eight in Tucson, Ariz. Juniors Christian Doyle and Alex Meyer both earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors.
“We couldn’t be more excited to name John the new head baseball coach at DWU,” DWU Associate Athletic Director Jon Hart said. “Coach Greicar has a remarkable track record as a player’s coach, recruiter and staff member at DWU. He has already made a lasting impact on DWU and the Mitchell community as a former player, assistant coach and admissions counselor.
“There were more than 95 applicants for this position, and many were quality candidates. John really stood out among the other applicants due to his familiarity with DWU and his invaluable relationships with the current roster and recruiting class, and we look forward to John taking an already successful program to the next level.”
Courtesy: DWU Leah Rado