Greg BealsGreg Beals dreamed growing up that baseball would be his life. Beals knows how fortunate he his. He’s 45 years old and baseball is still his life. “Calling it a dream is right,” Beals said. “I really knew I wanted to go this direction starting in high school. Growing up I knew I loved to compete at anything I did. And I really loved playing baseball.” Beals first rose to prominence in Ohio baseball circles as a standout player at Kenton Ridge High School in Springfield. Beals earned All-Ohio honors in 1987 and 1988.  Beals, who also played with Pizza Oven in the Canton Class A League and the Akron A’s in the Akron AA League, also was a standout in basketball and was the school’s all-time leading scorer when he graduated. But he realized there were not many opportunities at the collegiate and professional level for a 5-foot-10 player.

Beals accepted an athletic scholarship from then-Kent State baseball coach Danny Hall and was a three-year letter winner at catcher. He posted a .306 career batting average and earned honorable-mention All-MAC honors each of his three seasons. He was drafted by the New York Metsin the 21st Round of the 1991 MLB Draft. Beals played three seasons of pro ball, reaching high Class-A and playing on division-winning teams in each season.

Beals returned to Kent State after his pro career ended as an assistant coach under Rick Rembielek in charge of recruiting. The Golden Flashes captured six MAC titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times during Beals’ nine-year coaching stint under Rick Rembielek. That helped Beals to earn the head coaching position at Ball State. Beals guided the Cardinals to three MAC West titles, one MAC Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament during his eight-year tenure in Muncie, Ind. Beals also had 20 players selected in the annual MLB Draft.

Those successes enabled Beals to move to the Big Ten Conference as head coach at the Ohio State University. Beals led the program to resurgence his first three seasons as the Buckeyes posted 26-27, 33-27 and 35-23 records during that span. The 2013 squad finished second in the Big Ten race with a 15-9 record in conference play. The 2015 Buckeyes posted a 35-20 record. All five of his Ohio State squads have advanced to the Big Ten Tournament.