- INSIDE ATHLETICS
- STUDENT ATHLETES
- FAN ZONE
- GRIZZLY CLUB
Grizzlies enter 2015 ranked No. 6 and looking for a repeat trip to NAIA World Series
Grizzlies to start season with 19 consecutive home games
Nearly two dozen scouts attend intrasquad scrimmage
Brad Stromdahl has wasted little time since being named the first-ever head coach for the Georgia Gwinnett baseball program, and after just two seasons, he's built the Grizzlies into a national contender.
Last season, the first year of postseason eligibility for GGC, Stromdahl racked up 53 victories en route to a berth into the Avista-NAIA World Series. The Grizzlies, which started off the postseason by winning the A.I.I. conference tournament, ended the year with a No. 7 national ranking, and Stromdahl was named Coach of the Year by the A.I.I, ABCA NAIA East Region and Georgia Dugout Club. Eight players on the team were named to an all-conference team, with Tyler Carpenter becoming the first baseball player in school history to earn national honors after being named All-America Honorable Mention.
Carpenter was also one of three to get selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, getting picked in the 25th round by the Anaheim Angels. He was joined by 23rd-round picks John Fidanza and Zeke McGranahan, who were chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles, respectively. Another player, Phillip Bates signed a contract with the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League.
The Grizzlies led the nation in a host of team categories throughout the 2014 season, finishing first in triples (35) and second in 11 categories, including runs scored (589), runs batted in (516), total hits (723) and stolen bases (201).
The Green and Gray also put together a 20-game winning streak during and became the first NAIA team to reach 40 victories in posting a 44-9 regular season record. The season also featured a 2-0 record against eventual Avista-NAIA World Series champion Cumberland, and saw GGC peak at No. 4 in the national poll.
In 2013, the first season in school history, Stromdahl helped the Grizzlies to a 30-win campaign, highlighted by a .314 team batting average and an offense that outscored its opponents by nearly 100 runs. GGC also picked up two wins over ranked opponents, including a 6-1 decision over eventual NAIA national champion Tennessee Wesleyan.
The season also featured the opening of the Grizzly Baseball Complex, which offers one of the finest settings for baseball in the state.
Prior to GGC, Stromdahl served as the recruiting coordinator for Georgia State, helping the program achieve extraordinary success. For five seasons, the Panther offense batted over the .300 mark, averaging a .319 clip, and Panther players set eight new offensive single season records and 11 new career offensive records. He was also instrumental in reaping top Division I recruiting classes nationwide, finishing in the top fifty the past three seasons.
In 2011, the Panther offense ranked among the best in the nation at reaching base safely, finishing second in the CAA with a .401 on-base percentage. The team secured a league-high 294 walks to place ninth in the NCAA, while four offensive players went on to be named All-Conference selections at season's end.
In 2010, Stromdahl oversaw the greatest offensive season in the history of the program as the Panthers led the nation in batting average for most of the season. The Panthers led the NCAA in runs scored per game and sacrifice flies, and they finished third in national batting average, marking a team average of .351. With Stromdahl's guidance, the offense broke nearly every team single-season record.
After graduating 12 seniors from 2009, Stromdahl helped lead the 2010 squad to 34 wins, the second most in school history, while watching a record six players earn All-CAA honors. The team broke GSU's records for batting average, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, doubles, home runs, total bases, RBIs, base on balls, conference wins, conference winning percentage and home winning percentage.
The 2009 season saw Stromdahl help lead the Panthers to their most successful season in school history. The team won a record 39 games, earned its first-ever CAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regionals. Additionally, the Panthers set school records, for the second straight year, for runs, hits and RBIs.
Moreover, Stromdahl's support of academic excellence led to another victory as the players maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.01.
Prior to GSU, Stromdahl spent three seasons at Central Michigan University. With the Chippewas, Stromdahl's primary responsibilities were hitting instruction, working with infielders and assisting with recruiting.
During Stromdahl's time at CMU, the offense led the Mid-American Conference in over half of the offensive categories each season. CMU made three MAC Tournament appearances and won the MAC regular-season title in 2004. In 2005, the Chippewas finished with a 42-18 overall record and fell in the championship game of the conference tournament.
Additionally, Stromdahl's experience includes time at Southwest Minnesota State (1999-2002), coaching with legendary coach Paul Blanchard, and Marshall University (2003), as well as coaching for the Coastal Plain League (2004) and Northwoods League (2006).
Stromdahl spent two seasons playing for the Division II Mustangs before pursuing a career in professional baseball for two seasons. He received a master's degree in sports administration from Central Michigan in 2006 and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Southwest Minnesota State in 2002. In addition, Stromdahl played two seasons at Bethany Lutheran College for legendary coach Art Westphal.
Stromdahl, who grew up in Napa, California, finished high school in Minocqua, Wisconsin. He married Tessa Rieger in December 2006. The couple has two sons, Leo William, who was born in August 2011, and Hugo Walter, who was born in September 2014.
The Stromdahl family resides in Atlanta.