Lee’ s Andy Ham, who has assisted former Husson College baseball coach John Kolasinski at Siena Heights University (Mich.) for the past three years, has been named the head baseball coach at NCAA Division III Northland College (Wis.).
Ham succeeds Eric Grice, who guided the Lumberjacks to a 22-38 record the previous two years.
Ham will also serve in the sports information department.
“It’ s very exciting to have the chance to be a head coach and to have my own program,” said Ham.
“It’ s a great achievement for him,” said Kolasinski. “He has a great work ethic. He works his tail off. He will accomplish what he wants to accomplish no matter how long it takes him.”
Ham directed the JV program and was also involved in recruiting in addition to his coaching responsibilities.
“We’ re coming off our best year in 10 years [14-26] and we’ ve got our best class coming in next year and he has been a big part of this. I hate to lose him,” said Kolasinski.
Ham ran cross country, skied and played baseball at Lee Academy before playing baseball at Husson College under Kolasinski and John Winkin. Ham was a reserve infielder.
“They are two great coaches. You can’ t find any better [to learn from],” said Ham.
Ham said there will be a geographic challenge to recruiting since the school is located in the northwest part of Wisconsin on Lake Superior.
“I’ ve got to work hard and develop relationships with the high school coaches and summer league coaches,” said Ham, who intends to recruit primarily in Wisconsin, Canada, Minnesota and Michigan.
Ham will build his teams “up the middle” and will focus on recruiting “versatile players.”
“I want to attract players who can hit for average, run and play good defense. I’ d like to get players who can pitch as well as play a position,” said Ham.
He said they will be aggressive offensively and will have to “manufacture runs because the ball won’ t carry in the cold weather.”
He said his first priority will be to develop his team’ s depth “especially pitching.”
The team plays in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Lumberjacks have a spring trip to Florida and have a nice, five-year-old baseball field, he said.