ATLANTA -- Brad Stromdahl, a former Georgia State assistant coach who built an NAIA powerhouse at Georgia Gwinnett College, has been named the 10th head baseball coach in GSU history, Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb announced.
After starting the Georgia Gwinnett program from scratch in 2013, Stromdahl won more than 75 percent of his games, compiling a 328-104 record in seven seasons as head coach at the Lawrenceville, Ga., school. He earned his first head coaching position after five seasons (2007-11) as an assistant coach at Georgia State, serving as recruiting coordinator and hitting instructor during the Panthers’ most successful run.
Stromdahl’s Grizzlies posted four 50-win seasons, reached the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series three times, claimed the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA coaches’ poll, captured four Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) titles and boasted an NAIA Player of the Year. Nine Grizzlies have been drafted by Major League Baseball organizations in the last six years.
Stromdahl earned A.I.I. Coach of the Year honors in five of his seven seasons at GGC: 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2014.
“We are excited to have Brad lead our baseball program. He believes in Georgia State,” Cobb said. “He is an experienced head coach who valued his previous time here. He is a program builder. He is a respected coach and recruiter. Players enjoy playing for him, and his beliefs mirror the culture established within our department. Georgia State baseball was successful during his previous tenure, and we have the same expectation going forward.”
Stromdahl and the Grizzlies are coming off back-to-back trips to the Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, reaching the semifinals in both 2018 and 2019. The Grizzlies finished the 2019 season ranked No. 4 in the NAIA with a 48-13 record. Three players garnered NAIA All-America accolades, and two Grizzlies were selected in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft with Cam Coursey going in the 13th round to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Matthew Swain in the 23rd round to the Minnesota Twins.
In 2018 Stromdahl led GGC to a 50-12 record season and a berth in Avista-NAIA World Series. His 2016 squad won a school-record 57 games and climbed to No. 1 in the NAIA for the second straight year after opening the season with 25 straight wins, after his 2015 team, featuring NAIA Player of the Year Ty Abbott, earned the program's first No. 1 ranking. That team finished 50-14 with an offense that was No 1 in the nation in stolen bases and No. 2 in runs scored and a pitching staff that led the NAIA in strikeouts.
Stromdahl guided Georgia Gwinnett to its first Avista-NAIA World Series in 2014, the program’s second year of existence and first year of postseason eligibility and less than 10 years after the school opened its doors. The Grizzlies posted a 53-13 record with two wins over eventual NAIA champion Cumberland (Tenn.) while leading the nation in triples and ranking second in 11 statistical categories, including runs scored (589), hits (723) and stolen bases (201). The squad reached No. 4 in the national poll before ending the year at No. 7, and Stromdahl was named Coach of the Year by the A.I.I, ABCA NAIA East Region and the Georgia Dugout Club. Eight players earned all-conference honors with Tyler Carpenter named honorable mention All-America.
Carpenter was also one of three Grizzlies to be selected in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, going in the 25th round to the Los Angeles Angels. He was joined by 23rd-round picks John Fidanza (Arizona) and Zeke McGranahan (Baltimore).
Stromdahl was tabbed as Georgia Gwinnett's first head coach in the fall of 2011, and when the Grizzlies played their inaugural season in 2013, he directed a 30-win campaign, including two wins over ranked opponents.
During his five-year tenure as an assistant at Georgia State (2007-11), Stromdahl helped the Panthers average more than 35 victories over his final four seasons, highlighted by the 2009 Colonial Athletic Association title and NCAA Atlanta Regional berth--both firsts for the program--and a GSU-record 39 wins.
He served as the hitting instructor for the most prolific offensive teams in GSU annals as the Panthers hit .300 or better in each of his five seasons, led by the 2010 squad that shattered nearly every offensive school record with a .356 batting average, a Division I-leading 10.5 runs per game and 82 home runs.
“I would to thank Charlie Cobb, Doug Justice and the Georgia State administration for their belief in me as the right person to lead this program,” Stromdahl said. “I am excited to build upon the culture, vision and direction that Charlie and his staff have laid out for Panther athletics.
“To all the former Georgia State players and coaches, and to our current players and the future Panthers, the outlook is bright,” he continued.
“My family and I are thrilled for the opportunity to be back downtown, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Before coming to Georgia State, Stromdahl spent three seasons at Central Michigan (2004-06), where his primary responsibilities were hitting instruction, working with infielders and assisting with recruiting. CMU made three straight appearances in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, including the MAC regular-season title in 2004 and a 42-18 record in 2005.
He spent one season at Marshall (2003) and four seasons at Division II Southwest Minnesota State (1999-02), his alma mater, while also coaching summer baseball in the Coastal Plains League (2004) and the Northwoods League (2006).
Stromdahl played collegiately for two seasons at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn., and two seasons at Southwest Minnesota State before pursuing professional baseball. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from SMSU in 2002 and then earned a master’s in sports administration from Central Michigan.
Stromdahl, 42, grew up in Napa, Calif., before finishing high school in Minocqua, Wis. He is married to the former Tessa Rieger, and the couple has two sons, Leo William, born in 2011, and Hugo Walter, born in 2014.
BRAD STROMDAHL YEAR BY YEAR
2013 Georgia Gwinnett 30-25 Inaugural Season
2014 Georgia Gwinnett 53-13 Avista-NAIA World Series
2015 Georgia Gwinnett 50-14 NAIA Opening Round
2016 Georgia Gwinnett 57-6 NAIA Opening Round
2017 Georgia Gwinnett 40-21 NAIA Opening Round
2018 Georgia Gwinnett 50-12 Avista-NAIA World Series
2019 Georgia Gwinnett 48-13 Avista NAIA World Series