College baseball: Concordia head coach Chris Coste to step down after 2023 season
The Cobbers' former player and current head coach has a 140-127 record in nine seasons at the helm.
MOORHEAD — Former Concordia player and current head coach Chris Coste announced Thursday he will step down as the Cobbers' head coach at the end of the 2023 season.
“I have come to the decision that it is time for me to step down at the end of the season,” Coste said in a release Thursday. “This wasn’t an easy decision to make as Concordia holds a special place for me and I have loved being the head coach more than I can put into words. As college coaches we try to have a positive influence on our student athletes, but I can easily say the student-athletes I have been blessed to be around the last nine years have impacted me more and have made me a better person each and every day.”
Coste is in his ninth season as the Cobbers' head coach and he has a 140-127 overall record and a 72-67 mark in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games. The Cobbers are 6-10 overall this season.
Coste said his decision was not about “stepping away for other opportunities, or anything like that,” and he mentioned that he is unsure about taking a different role within the team.
The Cobbers are coming off a 2022 season that saw the team finish in a tie for fourth place in the league standings and advance to the MIAC tournament in seven years. Coste said the next coach will come into a program that has a strong foundation.
“It was time for someone else to take over and take those next steps,” Coste said. “On paper we’ve got a pretty good team for the next few years and a new ballpark coming. It’s really good timing for another coach to come in and take the program to where it needs to go.”
Coste’s top finish as head coach came in his first year in 2015 when he guided Concordia to a second-place finish with a conference record of 12-6. The Cobbers went on to the semifinal game of the tournament, and finished the year 26-11 overall.
Coste was named the head coach for Concordia in the summer of 2014 after serving as the assistant coach for Bucky Burgau for three seasons.
"I also want to thank Bucky (former head coach Bucky Burgau) and everyone at Concordia," Coste said. "Bucky has been instrumental in my baseball career, both as a player and as a coach, and I will miss being with him on a daily basis.”
Coste, who was inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007, played third base and pitched for Concordia during the mid 1990’s. He earned three consecutive All-American awards and still holds the school record for career batting average and career earned run average. Coste helped the Cobbers win the MIAC championship in 1995. The 1995 squad finished second at the NCAA Midwest Regional and is the only Concordia team to win 30 games in a season.
Coste played professionally and was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies that won the 2008 World Series.
He also played in the major leagues for the Houston Astros, New York Mets and Washington Nationals. Coste appeared in 299 Major League Baseball games and has a lifetime .272 average.
Coste also has managed the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the American Association since 2021 after serving as interim manager in 2020 and the RedHawks' hitting and bench coach in 2018-2019. He added that the move will not alter his role within the RedHawks organization.
“I love what I do with the RedHawks,” Coste said. “As of right now, there are no plans to change anything with regards to the team.”