Former Northland coach Barta returns

More news about: Northland

ASHLAND, Wis.---Northland College Athletics announced on Wednesday that a familiar face will take back the reigns as the new bench boss of LumberJack Baseball as Joel Barta was introduced to faculty and staff Wednesday.
Barta comes to Northland College from Midland University in Fremont, NE where he spent the 2019 season as the Assistant Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for the Vikings. Prior to his appointment in Fremont, the North Dakota native spent a majority of his coaching career 2011-2018 as the Head Coach of the University of Mary Marauders in Bismarck, North Dakota and members of the NCAA Division II NSIC. Before stops as the Head Coach at Ridgewater College (2008-2011) and University of Texas Brownsville (2006-2008) Barta was the pioneer of LumberJack Baseball and programs first Head Coach (2000-2006) when Northland re-introduced the program in 2000 and is the only Head Baseball Coach in the programs history to lead the program to a national play-off game.
"To be very to the point – Joel's the guy," said Gregory. "We have worked in some of the same circles and he's the person that we need to lead our program now and for the future. We had an incredible amount of interest in the position since it opened and reviewed some alternatives but when Joel reached out, things changed. After his visit to campus we knew immediately, we needed him back here. Our Baseball program has been one of the pillars of our department for a long time and that tradition exists because of what Joel built. He's a passionate leader, mentor, and parent. This is a big hire for our department and ultimately LumberJack Baseball, Joel will get us back to where we need to be - very quickly."
"I just want to start by saying how good it feels to be back at 1411 Ellis. Northland College is a special place and it feels so right to be back," said Barta. "I cannot thank Seamus Gregory our Athletic Director enough along with our COO- Karl Solibakke and President Suomi for making this process move along at the pace needed to keep our student athletes and the baseball program the main focus" he continued.
"To see the commitment to get it right and not have the players be in limbo says a lot about Seamus and what he is doing in the Athletic department. His energy and vision was very exciting for me personally and was important in my decision. There are good things coming and it feels great to see that excitement and to start to get to work. I cannot wait to get on the road and in the community with Seamus to help in our fundraising efforts and building a strong alumni presence.

"I am looking forward to bringing our alumni back into our program and making that a focus to tie the program from past to present," Barta said. "As coaches, we talk a great deal about building men, well there are no greater examples than the ones who came before and know what it means to be a LumberJack, a graduate, a father, husband, leader and alumni. That pride exists and it is time to get it back on campus to build relationships with the current players and let them know that they once again can & will be the leaders of change and bringing back our brand of baseball.

"I cannot wait for our players to get back and start to get to work," Barta continued. "With any type of change there is a growing process and I am looking forward to it.  I also know that to get to where we need to be, we need to get to work and how soon we embrace that commitment will set the pace for us on our path. This happens one day at a time, brick by brick.  We cannot have attainable goals without a plan & preparation that matches those goals. That process begins now.

"It cannot go without mentioning the most important supporters in this process and that being my wife Dana, our daughters Jaime, Emma and Dani. To have a family that loves the game as much as the woods and waters of Northern Wisconsin just completes the whole circle. To know that they can once again be in place that they love as well is priceless. This is a special place and it feels great to be home."