New Hampshire Hardball

Keene State hires Blood

KEENE — Keene State College has hired Justin Blood as its head baseball coach. Blood is the third head coach in the program’s history.

“I can’t wait to get to work and hit the ground running at Keene State,” Blood said. “I look forward to sharing my vision for the baseball program with current-student-athletes, alumni and community leaders.  The Little East Conference is a very competitive conference, and we will need a commitment from everyone to reach our goals.  My family and I are very excited to come back to the Monadnock region and be active participants in the Keene State community and beyond.”

Blood comes to Keene State from the University of Hartford, where he has spent the last 10 seasons as head coach, revitalizing a program that went 6-43-1 the season prior to his arrival.

By his third season, Blood lifted the Hawks to a second-place finish in the America East Conference, with an overall record of 31-23, and a 16-7 ledger in the AEC.  In 2016, the Hawks set a school record with 37 wins, and in 2018, Blood’s program won the America East regular season and tournament championships for the first time.  Reaching the NCAA Division I Championship with a 9-4 win over Stony Brook University in the conference title game, the Hawks battled perennial NCAA tournament teams Stetson and South Florida in the Deland, Fla., Regional.   Blood was named the 2018 AEC Coach of the Year.

Blood has had eight players drafted into the major leagues from Hartford, including Sean Newcomb, who went 15th overall to the Los Angeles Angels in 2014.    His program has also produced the AEC Player of the Year three times, as well as two AEC Pitchers of the Year and the AEC Rookie of the Year.    The Hawks have also had numerous All-American, All-Region, and All-Conference players.

Prior to his tenure at Hartford, Blood spent six seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Connecticut, where the Huskies reached the NCAA Super Regionals in 2011 with a record of 45-20-1.    While at UConn, he recruited future major leaguers George Springer, Matt Barnes, Scott Oberg, and Nick Ahmed.

A native of nearby Swanzey and a graduate of Monadnock Regional High School, Blood pitched for three years at Franklin Pierce University before being drafted in the ninth round by the Seattle Mariners in 2001.  Blood spent three years in the Mariners’ system before joining the staff at Quinnipiac University in 2003 as a volunteer assistant coach.  He returned to Franklin Pierce as an assistant while completing his undergraduate degree in Sport and Recreation Management, and joined the UConn staff in 2006. He remained at UConn until he moved to Hartford.


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