Andy Stankiewicz leaving Grand Canyon to become USC baseball coach

·3 min read
Mar 29, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Grand Canyon head coach Andy Stankiewicz heads to the dugout before play against Arizona at Grand Canyon baseball park. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-Arizona Republic
Mar 29, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Grand Canyon head coach Andy Stankiewicz heads to the dugout before play against Arizona at Grand Canyon baseball park. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-Arizona Republic

Grand Canyon University coach Andy Stankiewicz, who grew up not far from USC, will lead the Trojans baseball team, Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball reported Sunday morning.

Stankiewicz, 57, led GCU the past 11 seasons, compiling a 341-239-2 record.

Stankiewicz often got nostalgic when he took his GCU teams to USC to play in non-conference games. USC has won more national championships than any Division I school in history with 12, ten of those coached by Hall of Famer Rod Dedeaux.

Stankiewicz grew up 25 miles from the campus. He was a standout football, basketball and baseball player at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe, California, before playing baseball for Pepperdine.

He had a seven-year major league baseball career as a utility player, most notably with the New York Yankees in 1992 when he hit .268 in 116 games.

"Obviously, Coach Dedeaux and the national titles, 12," Stankiewicz said. "And USC football, Heisman trophies, it kept going. The athletes at that time, in the '70s and the '80s, you don't see that. Yeah, this is kind of homecoming for me."

In 2019, Stankiewicz was wooed by USC, but Stankiewicz stayed at Grand Canyon, signing a new contract.

After three years, Jason Gill was fired as USC's baseball coach at the end of this past season. The Trojans finished in last place in the Pac-12.

Stankiewicz said he did a Zoom call with his GCU players, many of whom were scattered across the country playing summer baseball, to let them know he was going to USC.

"It just became a family," Stankiewicz said of GCU. "They enjoyed being around each other. As a coach, that's what you want. Guys coming to the field every day, enjoying each other's company. Play hard and play together. Being excited about doing everything together.

"That's tough. But at the same time I feel like the program is healthier. It's strong. It's in a good spot. (Athletic Director) Jamie (Boggs) and President (Brian) Mueller. They're going to do their job and find someone to come here and carry on that tradition."

Stankiewicz was named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year the past two seasons. In 2022, GCU was ranked in the Top 25 in the nation for the first time in Division I.

Stankiewicz took the Antelopes to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. His team lost in the Stillwater Regional this past season after falling in the Tucson Regional in 2021.

He looks forward to playing GCU in the future. He also hopes to maintain the USC-Arizona State baseball rivalry once USC breaks off from the Pac-12 and starts competing in the Big Ten beginning the 2024-25 school year.

"The relationship is going to be great," Stankiewicz said of USC and GCU. "With USC going to the Big Ten, we'll find a lot of non-conference games in the West."

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

Support local journalism: Subscribe to azcentral.com today

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Andy Stankiewicz leaving Grand Canyon to become USC baseball coach