Nationwide search for
brings Spartans to their
for coaching standout Rick
nationwide search for a new athletic director has brought Manchester
College to its own baseball diamond. Rick Espeset, who led the Spartans
to the 2004 NCAA Division III World Series, will step into the position
immediately, announced President Jo Young Switzer.
Espeset will continue as head coach of the
baseball team as he assumes leadership of the 17-sport Athletics
Department. He succeeds Athletic Director Tom Jarman, who retired this summer
after 18 years in the post.
“Rick Espeset has been a highly successful baseball coach for over a
decade at Manchester. His leadership skills and deep knowledge of
athletics make him the perfect fit for our program,” said Glenn R.
Sharfman, vice president and dean for academic affairs. “He is committed
to excellence both on and off the field.”
Espeset is an acknowledged leader in his
profession, in line to serve as national chair of the NCAA Division III
baseball committee in 2009. He is in the middle of a four-year
appointment as chair of the NCAA Mideast Region.
“Rick is committed to an athletic program with integrity,
competitiveness, and high expectations for students,” said Switzer,
noting Espeset was selected from a national field of strong candidates.
Espeset joined the Manchester College
coaching team 13 years ago as a baseball coach intern. All of his
experience is in Division III
athletics, which Espeset calls “the perfect level to coach. We encourage
– and there is – a true balance between being a student and being an
Espeset said he hopes to follow
Jarman’s footsteps with a diverse team of coaches, “every year
gaining a little ground and continuing to
give our coaches and student-athletes opportunity to compete for
conference and national championships.”
At Manchester, he has been a
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year three
times and has led the Spartans to 10 of the highest win totals in the
84-year history of the baseball team. His coaching record at MC
The Minnesota native is a 1992 psychology
graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, where he played baseball all four
years. He holds a master’s in sport management from Western Illinois
University and began his coaching career at Nebraska Wesleyan
He is the College’s student-athlete
recruiting coordinator, conducts baseball clinics for youngsters, and is
on the MC faculty. Espeset and his wife Andrea live in North Manchester
with their son Ethan and daughter McKelvey.
For more about Manchester College athletics,