Tony Baldwin is in his third season as an assistant coach at Michigan State. Baldwin came to MSU from Dartmouth, where he was assistant head coach. While at Dartmouth, Baldwin earned a reputation as a tireless recruiter with a strong ability to develop talent. He serves as the Spartans' recruiting coordinator and works with the hitters and infielders. Under Baldwin's direction, Michigan State landed the top recruiting class in the Big Ten, as voted on by Baseball America. Most of the recruits could see significant playing time in 2008 and some are ready to start at the Division I level.
Last year's crop of newcomers, Baldwin's first recruiting class for the Green and White, was very solid as nine players saw extended action. Among the talented players that Baldwin brought in was Chris Roberts, who was named one of the top 140 high school players in the nation by Baseball America and was named a Freshman All-American by Ping Baseball. In addition, four of the players Baldwin brought in hit higher than .300 in their first season.
Baldwin has been equally impressive in his role working with the hitters and infielders. The Spartans ranked in the top five in the Big Ten in several offensive and defensive categories.
In 2006, MSU was one of the top offensive teams in the Big Ten, ranking among the league leaders in batting, slugging, on-base percentage and stolen bases. MSU led the conference and ranked fourth in the nation with 33 triples in 2006, the second highest total in the program's history, and also ranked 31st nationally in batting.
"Tony has brought a ton of experience to our program. He is a superb recruiter and one of the best talent evaluators in the nation. Tony is the ultimate position-player coach and he has great knowledge of the game. Tony's experience and recruiting abilities make him a prime candidate for head coaching positions every year."
MSU Head Coach David Grewe on Tony Baldwin
Prior to his arrival in East Lansing, Baldwin spent six seasons at Dartmouth, beginning as an assistant coach in 1999 before being promoted to assistant head coach in 2003. During his tenure at Dartmouth, the Big Green won three Ivy League Red Rolfe Division titles (2000, 2001 and 2004) - first in program history. While at Dartmouth, Baldwin worked with the hitters and the infielders along with serving as the recruiting coordinator.
Baldwin recruited and coached two Ivy League Players of the Year, three Freshman of the Year honorees and one Pitcher of the Year. Sixteen of his players were named first team All-Ivy League and eight went on to sign professional baseball contracts.
In his first season at Dartmouth, Baldwin helped lead the Big Green to the 2000 Red Rolfe Title and a school record for wins in a season. The team finished the regular season 29-12 and secured the third-best conference record in Ivy League history (17-3). The 29 wins represented a 12-win improvement from the previous season and the 17 Ivy wins were a 10-game improvement. That season, Baldwin coached the Ivy League Player of the Year (Brian Nickerson) and the Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Mike Mileusnic).
During the 2001 season, Baldwin helped lead the Big Green to back-to-back division titles. Baldwin saw three of the players off that team sign professional contracts. Baldwin also coached Ivy League Rookie of the Year Scott Shirrell.
The 2004 team produced Dartmouth's third Red Rolfe title by posting a league-best 15-5 conference record. Baldwin coached 10 players to all-conference recognition that season - a single-season record in the Ivy League. Under Baldwin's tutelage, shortstop Ed Lucas earned Player of the Year honors while finishing the season with a .407 batting average. Lucas received first team All-Ivy awards in three consecutive years under Baldwin's watch. Lucas led an offense that ranked among the top in the country with a .325 batting average, while scoring an average of eight runs per game. Lucas was taken in the eighth round of the MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals.
Baldwin began his coaching career at his alma mater, Butler University, where he coached the hitters, infielders and catchers. In a five-year stint at Butler, Baldwin helped the Bulldogs win regular season titles in 1996, 1998, and 1999 along with a conference tournament title in 1998. The regular season title in 1996 was the first Midwestern Collegiate Conference baseball title in the school's history.
Under Baldwin, the Bulldog hitters set 15 team offensive records including runs, slugging percentage, hits, RBI, doubles, triples and home runs. Baldwin recruited and coached one MCC Player of the Year and three Pitcher of the Year honorees. Twelve players were named first team All-MCC during his stay and 12 players signed professional baseball contracts, including current Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek.
Baldwin graduated from Butler in 1995 with a degree in finance. He was a four-year starter at catcher for Butler. In 1994, he served as a team captain for the Bulldogs and earned All-MCC honors. A native of Bloomington, Ind., he was a two-year letterwinner at Bloomington North High School in both baseball and basketball.
Baldwin is a part owner and inventor of Swift Stik, Inc., which is a training aid for batting that is endorsed by many professional, Olympic, collegiate and high school baseball and softball teams and players.
Tony and his wife Suzanne have a daughter, Ella Anne, and are expecting their second child in the spring of 2008. An accomplished soccer player and coach, Suzanne serves as a volunteer coach for the MSU women's soccer team in the fall.