Head Coach James Grandey
Contact information for Coach Grandey
Office phone: 419-358-3292
James Grandey, a 2011 inductee into the Muskingum University Athletic Hall of Fame, is entering his 11th year as head baseball coach at Bluffton University. He is confident that the Beavers are moving in the right direction. "We have worked extremely hard as a program during the past nine years," explained Coach Grandey. "We have a strong foundation for the future. Through continued hard work and improvement, we will be able to take the next step."
Grandey's tenure has been full of highs and lows, including the March 2, 2007, bus accident that claimed the lives of five of his players and left many others sidelined with serious injuries.
The Beavers have created a reputation as one of the HCAC's top offensive teams under Coach Grandey. Bluffton continued its assault on the record book in 2012. The Beavers mashed a school-record 97 doubles, obliterating the former mark of 84. The Bluffton hurlers had one of their finest seasons of Coach Grandey's tenure. The Beavers fanned a school-record 234 batters while throwing 333.1 innings (first all-time). The 3.51 walks allowed per game is seventh all-time while the 6.32 strikeouts per contest is fifth all-time. Defensively, Bluffton turned a school-record 29 double plays and the Beavers also established a new mark with 1,000 putouts.
A record seven-game winning streak propelled the 2011 Beavers to a school-record 19 victories and Bluffton followed that with another 19-win season in 2012. Following the two 19-win seasons, Coach Grandey directed the Beavers to their best season in Bluffton history, a 21-18 finish in 2013 and 12-12 mark in the HCAC. Bluffton earned its first-ever series victory over Rose-Hulman and first-ever sweep of Mount St. Joseph.
Before coming to Bluffton, Grandey served as a graduate assistant on the Muskingum College baseball and football coaching staff as he worked towards his master's degree.
Grandey earned a bachelor and master's degree from Muskingum College in 1999 and 2002, respectively, and was a standout student-athlete while playing for the Muskies. As a senior, he earned first team All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors in both football and baseball and was named first team All-Mideast Region in baseball, as well. Grandey's academic career was just as impressive, as he earned Academic All-OAC honors as a sophomore, junior and senior and was named first team CoSIDA Academic All-American in baseball as a senior.
Coach Grandey completed a second master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 2012. He was recently named associate athletic director for development. In this role, James will work closely with the athletic director and director of development to plan and implement annual and multi-year strategies to engage constituents in ways that grow financial support for Bluffton's mission, programs and students—including both athletics programs and broader institutional priorities and fundraising effort. Specifically, James will work with coaches to coordinate the annual fundraising efforts of each team, coordinate the strategy for TEAM Bluffton's annual fundraising goals and build donor relations with alumni athletes, friends and businesses.
Grandey resides in Bluffton with his wife, Jessica, six-year-old daughter, Ayla Marie, and three-year old daughter Lainey Mays.
Assistant Coach Zack Vesco
Contact information for Coach Vesco
Office phone: 419-358-3354
Zack Vesco is entering his second season as the graduate assistant coach for the Bluffton baseball team. Vesco attended St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, Ohio, before making his mark on the baseball field at The College of Wooster. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Scots, playing corner infield and as a designated hitter.
Vesco started in the Division III National Championship game and was selected to the all-tournament team as the Scots finished second in the nation. Also, he was a member of three NCAC championship teams at Wooster. In addition, he was selected honorable mention and Second Team All-NCAC in his first two seasons with the Scots.
After completing his degree at Wooster, Vesco worked with Tiffin University as the Baseball Operations Intern.
Vesco graduated from The College of Wooster in 2012 with a bachelor of arts in communication studies along with a minor in physical education.
Along with his coaching duties, Vesco is taking classes in pursuit of a master's in business administration while at Bluffton.
Vesco resides in Bluffton.