Paul Svagdis (Falmouth, Mass.) is coming home to Tufts University. Svagdis will return to his alma mater as the Jumbos’ head coach after leading the Azusa Pacific University program in California since 2002. He will take over for John Casey, the legendary skipper who retired at the beginning of this school year after leading Tufts to 765 wins and 10 regional and conference championships during a 38-year career.
After playing four seasons (1990-93) and serving as a two-year captain for Casey’s Jumbos, Svagdis spent four years following graduation as an assistant baseball and football coach at Tufts. He moved west to Pomona College after earning his Master’s degree in 1996 and served as the head baseball coach and assistant football coach for six years before moving to Azusa Pacific. His 606 wins at Azusa Pacific are the most in the history of a program that transitioned from the NAIA to NCAA Division 2, winning 40-plus games from 2017-19.
Svagdis has amassed 718 wins across 25 years as a head coach. His teams have won eight conference regular-season titles and advanced to six NCAA Regionals, five NAIA Regionals, and the NAIA World Series in 2007 and 2008. Svagdis has coached more than 35 eventual draft picks, including two-time MLB All-Star Stephen Vogt.
From his California home, Svagdis spoke with New England Baseball Journal for a Q&A to discuss his plans for the Jumbos, returning home, the lessons that he’s taken away from Casey, his recruiting pitch and more.