Following a standout season that landed Loyola Marymount University its first NCAA Baseball Tournament spot since 2000, LMU assistant coach Nathan Choate has been named head coach of the program, succeeding Jason Gill, who recently took the head coaching post at USC.

“Nate is a tremendous leader and mentor of student-athletes,” said LMU athletic director Craig Pintens. “He has an outstanding reputation in recruiting and developing talent. He was instrumental in our success this past season, and his experience within the WCC will allow us to continue to compete for championships. We are excited for him to lead our baseball program.”

Choate joined the Lions as assistant coach in June 2018, focusing on the pitching staff and recruiting. Under his leadership, LMU posted the West Coast Conference's best ERA (3.50), senior Codie Paiva was named WCC Pitcher of the Year, and the fourth-seeded Lions won the WCC Tournament title.

Both the Lions’ starting rotation and bullpen significantly improved their ERAs from 2018, with the starters lowering their ERA from 4.99 in 2018 to 3.66 in 2019, and the bullpen from 5.25 to 3.33.

“To be able to build upon what we started this year and to keep working with these players is very exciting for me, and I am eager to get started in my new role,” Choate said. 

Prior to his time at LMU, Choate spent two years as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of San Diego. He previously coached at Grand Canyon University, UC Riverside and UC Irvine.

Choate was a first-team All-State pitcher for Esperanza High School in Anaheim, helping the team to the 1997 CIF-SS Division I championship and a No. 4 national ranking; pitched two seasons at Santa Ana Junior College, helping the Dons to a third-place national finish in 1999; and concluded his collegiate career at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he was twice named the Mustangs’ best relief pitcher.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

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