College Baseball: Hardy announced as new CLC baseball coach

Blaine Hardy becomes the new baseball coach at Central Lakes College

Blaine Hardy
Blaine Hardy introduced as the Central Lakes College baseball coach Monday, Feb. 27, 2023.
Conrad Engstrom / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Blaine Hardy was announced as the head coach of the Central Lakes College baseball program in front of the team before practice Monday, Feb. 27.

The 35-year-old takes over for Brian Voigt, who left in January to be an assistant at Upper Iowa.

Hardy spent seven years as a left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He spent six seasons with the Detroit Tigers from 2014-19 and one season with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021.

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He was drafted in the 22nd round by the Kansas City Royals in 2008 and spent six seasons in the Royals’ minor league system.

In his seven years in the big leagues, Hardy posted a 14-11 record with a 3.78 ERA in 234 games. He pitched 290.2 innings and made 13 starts.


He takes over a Central Lakes program which is coming off a Northern Division title last season and finished 28-15 overall, 13-3 in division play.

“The biggest thing for me is getting back into baseball,” Hardy said. “I was skeptical on what type of route I was going to take and what was going to be the next chapter in my life after hanging up the player days this past offseason. To be jumping right back into baseball as a head coach it’s still baseball and with the knowledge I have through the lifetime of baseball I’ve played I think can help me mentor these guys.”

Hardy was throwing live batting practice to CLC players last year trying to make a professional comeback. Now he’s the Raiders head coach.

“It was just the perfect storm,” Hardy said. “I was considering taking a year off of work and then slowly trying to figure out what the next step was in life. I’ve been in communication with Brian the last couple of years and what progressed to ‘you want to help with pitchers’ turned into ‘hey you want to be the head coach?’ It’s been something I’ve been curious and passionate about pursuing down the road and the fact that it presented itself the way it did was impossible to pass up.”

Hardy resides near Pequot Lakes with his wife and three boys. The Raiders open their season Saturday, March 11, in Tucson, Arizona.

“It might be a short turnaround, but with the temporary coaches in place to keep the team motivated and keep them on schedule, I don’t think it’s going to change much,” Hardy said. “Brian set this team in motion when he recruited them last year and the year before, so it will be exciting what Brian has provided me with and then moving forward to where the team ends up progressing and seeing how the year goes.

“The biggest thing in the small amount of time I’ve spent with the boys is I’m excited to see what they can do on the field. I’m sure they are just as excited as I am to get unto the field. I think the Tuscon trip is going to be that extra motivation to be excited about getting the field ready, so we can get out there every day.”

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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