Joe Hastings, a former All-America first baseman at East Carolina who spent four seasons coaching at Boston College, enters his second year in 2012. Hastings spearheads the national recruiting efforts for the Irish, as well as serves as hitting and infield coach.
"We are thrilled about having a person with such a phenomenal baseball background on our staff," Aoki said. "Joe brings a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the game. He has not only developed into one of the top evaluators of high school talent in the country, but also shines in player development. I have no doubt he will continue such success here at Notre Dame."
"Notre Dame truly is one of the premier opportunities in all of college baseball," Hastings said. "We all have huge aspirations for this program. We want to not only compete for conference championships, but ultimately we want to bring this program back to Omaha."
Hastings and fellow assistant coach Jesse Woods were instrumental in the most recent recruiting class that included 13 players from 11 different states, including California, Indiana, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Virginia, Illinois and Massachusetts. No class in Notre Dame history has come from such a widespread area.
Hastings oversaw a difficult transition for Notre Dame in 2011, factoring in the new BBCOR standard for bat testing and five first-year everyday starters into the lineup. The Irish struggled offensively for much of the season, but Hastings did aid in the development of the rookie tandem of Trey Mancini and Eric Jagielo - whom hit third and fourth, respectively, over the entire year. Notre Dame has not had first-year players in those two spots of the lineup in at least 23 years (dating back to the 1988 season when records allow game-by-game lineups).
Mancini was the first Irish rookie and eighth player in program history to lead Notre Dame in all three triple-crown categories (batting average, home runs and RBI). He also was named 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, third team all-BIG EAST and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. In addition to the triple crown categories, Mancini led the Irish in hits (61), doubles (15), triples (three), total bases (109), slugging percentage (.577) on-base percentage (.385), multiple hit games (17), multiple RBI games (nine) and runs scored (33).
Mancini earned BIG EAST honor roll three times in 2011. No player was honored by the BIG EAST more in terms of Player of the Week/Honor Roll than Mancini.
Jagielo was the first Notre Dame rookie to bat third in a season opener since at least 1988. He started all 53 games in 2011 at four different positions. Jagielo started at first base, third base, left field and center field. He hit third in the lineup the entire year.
Jagielo led the Irish in walks (25) and also ranked second on the team in slugging percentage (.418), runs scored (32), hits (54), RBI (28), doubles (13), home runs (five), total bases (84), multiple hit games (15) and multiple RBI games.
Hastings also aided with the Irish significant defensive improvement. Dame finished 2011 with a .972 fielding percentage. The Irish were tied for first in the BIG EAST in fielding percentage. Notre Dame also committed the second-fewest errors in the conference. The .972 fielding percentage was tied for second-best by an Irish squad since 1982.
In addition to his recruiting duties with the Eagles, Hastings worked with the Boston College infielders and hitters. He mentored eight Major League Baseball draft picks and six All-Atlantic Coast Conference performers in his four seasons with the Eagles. In 2009, Boston College had four players earn all-conference honors, the most for the program since joining the ACC.
In the 2010 MLB player draft, Boston College had six players selected, most in program history. In fact, three Eagles were taken in the first 10 rounds of the draft - another program first.
Boston College also had a major presence in the 2009 draft, as Tony Sanchez was selected fourth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the highest pick ever for the Eagles' baseball program. Mike Belfiore was then taken in Comp Round A (45th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks, making the pair the two highest draft picks taken in the same draft from Boston College.
Hastings has coached three first round MLB draft picks: Sanchez and Belfiore with Boston College and current Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman while at Virginia.
The 2009 Eagles' offense was one of the most productive in school history. Boston College hit .304 as a team, scored 416 runs, hit 151 doubles and 58 homers, slugged at a .464 clip and had an on-base percentage of .382. The Eagles ranked fourth in the nation in sacrifice hits (73) and seventh in the nation in doubles.
Prior to coaching at Boston College, Hastings served one season (2006) as an assistant coach at the Virginia Military Institute. The Keydets established a school record for wins with 30 and had their first winning season in over 40 years. VMI also set the school record for runs, RBI and hits.
Hastings began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia in 2005. He worked primarily with the Cavaliers' outfielders and first basemen.
A native of Connelly Springs, N.C., Hastings enjoyed an outstanding four-year playing career at East Carolina (1997, 1999-2001). The first baseman captured All-America third-team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2001. He also gained all-Colonial Athletic Association accolades that same year, while leading the Pirates to an NCAA regional title. Hastings and his classmates won a class-record 166 games over their career.
In 2000, Hastings led East Carolina in batting average (.352), home runs (13), RBI (60) and slugging percentage (.605), while tying for the team lead in runs (50). As a senior, he paced the Pirates with 62 RBI.
Drafted in the 24th round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, Hastings played four seasons (2001-04) in the San Diego Padres' organization. He advanced as high as AA, where he played for the Mobile Baybears (2003; Southern League).
Hastings, who graduated with a degree in physical education from East Carolina in 2001, and his wife Laura (Welch) have two children: daughter, Meghan (4), and son, Jacob (2).