One of New England’s most recognizable coaches in college baseball, Justin Blood surprised some of the region’s baseball enthusiasts last month when he resigned as head coach at University of Hartford to accept the head coaching role at Keene State College.
Blood returns to his hometown after 10 seasons in Hartford, where he revitalized a team that went 6-43-1 the season prior to his arrival. Blood, who recently joined the New England Baseball Journal Podcast, made the move after Hartford’s Board of Regents voted to begin the multi-year process of transitioning all of the university’s athletic programs from Division 1 to Division 3.
“My memories of this last 5-6 months goes back to the student-athletes at Hartford,” Blood said. “These kids came off a COVID year with all of the struggles. The fall they had this past year was nowhere near a normal fall. Finally, we get the season going, and we’re off to a good start. Then this news breaks.
“For all of the head coaches across the country, we’re sick and tired of delivering bad news because that’s all we’ve been able to do for the last two years. To find myself in a situation where I have to explain more bad news but still encourage them to fight and compete, it was challenging.”