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Emard named Hawks' interim baseball coach

Andy Emard has had success coaching baseball at the American Legion level. Now, he will try to do the same at the college level. Dickinson State named Emard its interim head baseball coach for the 2011 season on Monday afternoon. "As coaches, we ...

Andy Emard
Andy Emard

Andy Emard has had success coaching baseball at the American Legion level.

Now, he will try to do the same at the college level.

Dickinson State named Emard its interim head baseball coach for the 2011 season on Monday afternoon.

"As coaches, we strive to move on to the next level," Emard said. "It (DSU) is a great place to be."

Emard has been the team's assistant coach the past two seasons. He replaces Duane Monlux, who left DSU after nine seasons on Oct. 1 to take the head baseball coach position at Bellevue (Neb.) University.

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Emard, who turns 31 on Oct. 13, hopes he can help the team make an easy transition and wipe away any sting Monlux's mid-semester departure may have inflicted.

Under Monlux, DSU compiled a 232-167-2 record and won three regular-season Dakota Athletic Conference championships and three DAC tournament titles.

"I think they were shocked," Emard said. "They didn't expect Monlux to be moving on. But at the same time there was a level of familiarity with me and the other coaches, so the transition wasn't as difficult as it could have been somewhere else."

DSU senior third baseman Kevin Park, a NAIA All-America selection, said Emard was an assistant coach in title only last season, saying he helped Monlux make several decisions on the field.

Park said there is a comfort knowing Emard is taking over as head coach this season.

"We're all confident about what he's going to do to our team, how he's going to lead us," Park said. "We're pretty excited about that."

Emard was involved with recruiting under Monlux, but said that is one part of the job takes now on a much different tone.

"It'll be kind of on my shoulders, but it's stuff I've done before," Emard said.

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Emard, a Billings, Mont., native, has been the head coach of the Dickinson Roughriders Legion baseball team the past two seasons and said he plans to stay with the program in some form, even if he does not coach next season.

However, he has not ruled out coaching the team the summer of 2011, the first of two consecutive years the Roughriders host the first Central Plains Regional tournament.

Emard helped bring success to the Roughriders when he came on board as Cory Hansen's assistant coach in 2007. The next summer, they led the team to its first-ever state championship.

In the summer of 2009, Emard took the head coach reins and guided the Roughriders to the Class A state title.

He also coached the Billings Royals to the Montana American Legion state championship in 2005.

He became Monlux's assistant coach in the spring of 2008 and worked primarily with infielders and as the team's hitting coach.

Emard played collegiately at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., and at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, where he also got his first taste of coaching.

"He has a great baseball background, with countless experience at the collegiate and high school ranks, both as a coach and player," DSU interim athletic director Tim Daniel said. "Andy will be a tremendous asset to DSU baseball, given his success and familiarity with baseball in our community and the surrounding region. We are happy to have him on board."

Related Topics: BASEBALLBLUE HAWKS
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