FREDONIA — Jordan Basile was the interim baseball coach at Fredonia State University this past season.
Now the 2009 graduate can remove the intermediate label.
On Friday, Blue Devils athletic director Jerry Fisk named Basile the program’s new head baseball coach.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world” Basil said Saturday afternoon. “It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind, hoping it would be, but you don’t know until you get it.”
The school conducted a nationwide search for its next head coach. Multiple candidates interviewed with search committee and Fisk.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to coach at Fredonia State and to return to my alma mater,” Basil said.
The 2005 Jamestown High School graduate became the state’s all-time hits leader in 2009 and was later elected to the university’s Hall of Fame. He was named SUNYAC All-Conference and All-Region multiple times as a player.
“It was the best experience of my life in four years. I didn’t know what I wanted to do other than play baseball in college. I wouldn’t change the opportunity to go to Fredonia,” Basil said. “We have good facilities and good people around us, good support in athletics and administration. I can confidently say to a player that these have been the best four years of my life, that’s not a hype.”
Before being named interim coach of the Blue Devils in January, Basil was the head coach at Jamestown Community College for 2 1/2 years.
Fredonia State finished 10-24 last spring, including 1-17 in SUNYAC play. The Blue Devils’ last winning season came in 2018 when they went 17-13. They haven’t finished .500 or better in conference play since going 9-9 in 2016.
This spring, Oswego finished first in the regular season with a 16-2 conference record, while Cortland was 15-3 and Brockport was 13-5. Cortland won the conference tournament.
“Instead of comparing ourselves to Brockport and Cortland and Oswego, we just understand that we can do that as well. … Fredonia is becoming a destination,” Basil said. “These coaches have done a great job, but now is our time. We want to talk about Fredonia, not the other guys.
Basil brings with him 12 years of experience at many levels. He assisted one season at Fredonia State after graduating. He moved to the NCAA Division I University at Buffalo as an assistant. He earned his master’s degree in coaching at NCAA Division II Lake Erie College before heading to NJCAA Division II Patrick Henry Community College — first as an assistant coach, then taking over the program for two seasons. In his first year as head coach at PHCC, he found his team one game away from the NJCAA Division I World Series with a 38-16-1 record and compiled a two-season mark of 64-32-1.
“It’s definitely different going to a four-year program, but we ran into a unique situation this year, losing 16 seniors and bringing in 16 players in four months,” Basil said. “With my JUCO background, I was used to recruiting 20 new guys a year. As a JUCO coach, you try to send guys to four-year programs. We hope that Fredonia will become a destination for local JUCO players.”
Basile has coached more than 10 players who have been selected in the MLB draft, and of those, two have reached the major leagues. He was already recruiting for the upcoming season, although he didn’t know if he would be a full-time coach. Now he can tell future players that he will be.
“You always want to start in our area and our state, but we have a great neighborhood program in Fredonia for student-athletes from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia who can also pay in-state tuition.” Basil said. “We also get two more guys from the rest of the country who can pay in-state tuition.”
Basil worked with player development in the Detroit Tigers organization in 2011 and participated in Secrets of Champions as an integrated performance coach. He also managed the Jamestown Tarp Skunks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League the past two summers.
Basil takes over from his former coach Matt Palisin after 19 years at the helm. Basile was part of the school’s most successful season in 2009, when they went 26-12 and hosted the ECAC Regional Tournament, while he also won the SUNYAC hitting title.
“I still call him coach because he is one of the biggest mentors in my life. I could not have asked for a better coach and person to guide my baseball career.” Basil said of Palisin. “Being able to take it on is the best feeling in the world. My job is to do as good a job as he did, making better players and better people.”
NCAA Division III programs can practice 16 times in the fall and play one game.
“We have a full list,” basil said “and we’re ready to go.”