Northwestern hired Ben Greenspan as head coach of its baseball team Friday, one month after Jim Foster was fired as coach amid allegations of bullying and a toxic environment within the program.
Greenspan takes over the program after serving as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Michigan. He has also served as an assistant coach at California Polytechnic State University and Arizona State.
“This program will be built around the student-athletes,” Greenspan said in a prepared statement. “My job is to identify, recruit and develop young men to reach their highest potential individually and collectively as a team. This Northwestern Baseball program will be humble, respectful, transparent, competitive and a point of pride for this great institution.”
Derrick Gragg, Northwestern’s vice president for athletics and recreation, said Greenspan was hired after an “extensive nationwide search.”
“Ben’s experience and coaching prowess quickly set him apart within the candidate pool,” Gragg said. “At each of his stops, he has consistently showcased his ability to develop both players and programs. With a proven track record of recruiting top talent and fostering growth, we’re confident Ben will lead our baseball program to new heights.”
Greenspan’s hiring comes as Northwestern deals with lawsuits and hazing allegations within its athletic programs. Earlier this week, three former Northwestern baseball staff members filed a lawsuit against the university, Foster, athletic director Derrick Gragg and two other athletic administrators, alleging they were retaliated against for reporting concerns about an “abusive, toxic, and dangerous environment” within the program.
The staffers allege that Foster bullied and abused them, asked them to violate NCAA rules and denied medical care to certain players. They are suing for breach of contract and negligence, citing Foster’s alleged history of bullying and abuse at previous jobs, which they say Northwestern should have discovered before hiring him from Army in June 2022.
Northwestern initiated an investigation into Foster, but the coach worked through the 2023 season and was “relieved of his duties” only July 13, three days after the highly publicized firing of longtime football coach Pat Fitzgerald, amid a hazing investigation into that program.
Brian Anderson, a former major league outfielder, had been leading Northwestern’s baseball program since July 13.