David Esquer Has Faced Big Hurdles In Career

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford Head Baseball Coach David Esquer is living proof that hard work can overcome almost any disaster.

Esquer succeeded Mark Marquess on June 16, 2017 when the Hall of Fame coach retired after 41 years at the helm of the Cardinal.

Esquer played under Marques on Stanford’s 1987 national championship team and was an assistant under Marquess from 1991-96.

Last season was Esquer’s first as head coach of Stanford as he led the Cardinal to a 46-12 record.

What is unique about this terrific coach is that he coached at arch-rival California for 18 years prior to being chosen as the skipper at Stanford and led Cal to five NCAA Regionals and the 2011 College World Series.

In September of 2010, administrators at the University of California announced their intention to eliminate baseball along with three other sports.

It was a shocking announcement since the baseball program was the oldest athletics program at California with a proud 119-year history.

The baseball program had won two national titles, including the first College World Series in 1947 and another in 1957 and had appeared in the CWS five times heading into the 2011 season.

A big factor in the decision to do away with Cal baseball was Title IX.

Several months after the announcement, administrators backtracked in mid-February of 2011 as they announced that men’s rugby, women’s lacrosse and women’s gymnastics would be allowed to continue, but baseball and men’s gymnastics would still be eliminated at the end of the 2010-11 academic year.

It was another body blow to the baseball program.

Just prior to the announcement by Cal administrators, a report in the New York Times said that if they went through with their original plan to cut four sports and demote rugby to varsity club status, it would cause a compliance issue with the federal gender equity law and force further cuts to men’s roster spots.

The article said that administrators would be forced to cut 80 men from remaining teams and add 50 women to come into line with Title IX.

The baseball program seemed to be on death row.

What happened next was historic in the annuals of college sports. California baseball boosters came to the rescue of the baseball program, raising $10 million in two months which allowed the program to be rescued from the chopping block.

This money is being utilized to finance the baseball program at California as a fully funded NCAA Division I varsity sport.

The Cal Baseball Foundation was established to make this happen. This remarkable group of people headed by Stu Gordon (pitcher on the Cal. 1960-61 teams) and Dan McInerny (member of the Cal 1980 CWS team) worked on raising $25 million for a permanent baseball program endowment so it can operate off the interest forever.

This bold plan has never been done in college athletics’ history for a varsity sport on the NCAA Division I level, according to several long time administrators Collegiate Baseball contacted.

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