Aug. 3, 2009
SEATTLE - New University of Washington baseball coach Linsday Meggs announced his first hiring today as Dave Nakama has been named his top assistant coach.
Nakama, who comes to Seattle from Pac-10 rival Stanford, will coordinate all the hitting, assist with team defense and oversee outfielders. He'll begin working immediately. He and Coach Meggs crossed paths in the Northern California Division II ranks when they coached at San Francisco State and Chico State, respectively.
"Having Dave on the staff is like having another head coach in the dugout," Meggs said. "He has all those intangibles. He knows how to run the game both offensively and defensive, and even more valuable to me right now is that he knows the Pac-10 inside and out."
"I've always loved the Northwest because of my collegiate experience," said Nakama, who attended Willamette College in Salem, Ore. "This is a great opportunity to be in a place that I like a lot. It's a great school. When I was at Stanford, it was my favorite trip, coming up to play the Huskies. And, I get to work with Coach Meggs, who I have the utmost respect for. I think he's a great coach."
Nakama spent 10 seasons at Stanford, working with the Cardinal's infielders and and hitters while coaching first base during games. Also a central figure in recruiting, he helped Stanford land four top-10 recruiting classes in the last eight years, according to Baseball America's rankings.
Nakama worked for the Cardinal in two different stints, coaching there in 1997 and 1998 before returning in 2002. In between, he spent three seasons (1999-2001) at San Francisco State.
In 10 seasons at Stanford, Nakama helped the team to four Pac-10 championships, five NCAA regional titles and four trips to the College World Series.
Among some of the prominent players who Nakama has mentored at Stanford were two-time All-American and current Boston Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie, first-rounder John Mayberry, Jr., and Edmonds-Woodway product and Mariners farmhand Chris Minaker.
Under Nakama's watch, the Cardinal posted their five best seasons for fielding percentage in history, including a top mark of .977 in 2005, when they committed only 51 errors in 59 games. Stanford finished in the top 10 in the nation in fielding five of the last eight years, including another .977 campaign in 2009 (good for sixth in the nation).
Prior to his first stint at Stanford, Nakama spent five years as the head coach at Mission Junior College (1992-96), in Santa Clara, Calif. He led his squad to the California State Tournament in each of his final two seasons and was named the Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 1996.
Nakama also served as an assistant coach at Northern Colorado (1984-86), Iowa (1986-88), Yavapai (Prescott, Ariz.) College (1988-90) and DeAnza (Cupertino, Calif.) College (1990-91). He also coached the summer-ball Hawai'i Island Movers in 2000 and 2001 and was an associate head coach for the movers from 1994 to 1996.
Nakama, who graduated from Kaiser High School in Honolulu, earned a bachelor's degree in physical education at Willamette in 1984 and a master's in physical education from Northern Colorado in 1986.
He has three children: Samantha, Kirk and Brodie.