SEATTLE — While there’s no doubt Stanford University holds a special place in his heart, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday he’s not interested in returning to his alma mater to replace Mark Marquess, the long-time baseball coach who’s stepping down after this year.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that Hinch, who played for Stanford and is a member of the Stanford University Athletics Hall of Fame, is at the top of Stanford’s wish list for Marquess’ replacement, citing several sources. A source told the newspaper that Stanford donor John Arrillaga would “break the bank” for Hinch.
“Stanford’s always meant a lot to me,” Hinch said. “It’s a big part of my past. I have a lot of respect for coach Marquess. He’s like a second father to me. I love the university. That being said, the Astros have provided me a job of a lifetime to manage in the big leagues, especially an exciting team like we have.
“It takes up all my energy. It takes up all my focus. I want to be the Astros manager here for a really long time. While it’s flattering when your name gets bantered around in a place that’s very special, it’s really a non-story.”
Hinch, in his third year as Astros manager, was a three-time All-American and All-Pac 10 selection at Stanford, earning Pac 10 Player of the Year twice. He led the Cardinal to the College World Series in 1996.
“Obviously, I’d do anything for that program,” he said. “I’ve said time and time again it’s a big part of my past. I want that program to be healthy. It’s an incredible place for anyone to be. Based on my current job, any way I can help them and support them, they know how to get a hold of me.”
Hinch said he hasn’t heard from Arrillaga or anyone else about the opening.
“I’m around the campus a lot in the offseason as a donor and alum with my history there, but like I said, it’s a non-story,” he said.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.