(Peru) — Peru State baseball will have a new coach leading the way in 2023.
The school recently announced the hiring of Blake Beaber, who replaces longtime head coach Wayne Albury. Beaber worked the past six seasons as the head coach of Iowa Wesleyan, which closed at the end of this past year.
“I started looking for different opportunities, and I’ve always had an interest in Peru State,” Beaber told KMA Sports. “I was a graduate assistant at William Penn the first year they joined the Heart (of America Athletic Conference), and we played at Peru. It was always one of those places that kind of stuck in the back of my head.”
Beaber was the CAC Conference Coach of the Year in 2022 and helped the Tigers transition from NCAA Division III to NAIA.
“Throughout the interview process, (new Peru State athletic director Kyle Pond), I think his vision of what he wants to do here was a big draw,” Beaber said. “After getting to know him and talk to him, what his plans are here, I think we can do what we want here. Being a more affordable option for kids at this level is a big draw. I’m kind of a small-town guy, so it fits my personality.”
Beaber got his start with Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois and had a stint at William Penn before heading to Iowa Wesleyan, where he took over as head coach after a year as an assistant.
“(Coaching) is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Beaber said. “I played for Justin Schulte, who runs an awesome JUCO program in West Burlington at Southeastern Community College. I wasn’t the greatest player once I got to college, so it is just what he did and how he ran a program that always kind of made me want to do it when I was done playing.”
Peru State was 16-23 overall and 13-17 in the HAAC in Coach Albury’s final season.
“We will play some small ball,” Beaber said. “We like to steal some bases. Play for that one run an inning and then try to create chaos and get a big inning after it. We want pitchers to throw strikes, play clean defense and play with a quick tempo.”
Listen to much more with Coach Beaber in the full interview below.