Jason Saulsbury’s brotherhood of baseball extends to the Golden Rams.
Saulsbury played ball for the Anoka Tornadoes until his graduation in 1993 when he became a Golden Ram, playing for head coach Tom Yelle.
When Yelle retired after the 2016 baseball season, Anoka-Ramsey Community College began its search for a new head coach.
Late last month, the athletic department announced Saulsbury would put on the head coach cap.
“Ty (Tom Yelle) was a legend at Anoka-Ramsey. He was here 29 years and he was a great coach, a great man, a great mentor,” Saulsbury said.
“My sophomore year (at ARCC) we had the team you always hope for and we played some pretty dang good baseball, made some pretty good friends. That team, that experience, those relationships really defined who I am now,” Saulsbury said.
During the 20 years’ time between his Golden Ram player days and the start of his Golden Ram coaching days, Saulsbury’s roots in local baseball diamonds have deepened and intertwined.
The past four seasons he’s served as head coach for Andover American Legion and VFW teams, and during the past two years he’s been in the dugout as head varsity coach for the High Octane Reapers and won the 2015 Advanced Fall Baseball League varsity-level World Series and chalked up an overall record of 86-67.
In addition, Saulsbury has been part of the Andover Baseball Association board of directors, ultimately serving as president of that association.
“Baseball is in my blood. It is a real brotherhood,” said the new head coach of the Golden Rams.
In addition to Yelle, members of Saulsbury’s close-knit baseball brotherhood include C.T. Harris, Dan Tupper and Steve Janske.
Harris served as primary assistant to Saulsbury for the Andover VFW team and has been coaching baseball since 1991. He also served as a head coach with Mickey Mantle programs in Coon Rapids.
Tupper coached Saulsbury on the Coon Rapids Diamonds – a senior amateur baseball team – and Janske is assistant to Saulsbury on the Andover Legion baseball team.
Saulsbury said Janske will serve as his volunteer coach for the Golden Rams and Harris and Tupper are in the running for positions of assistant coach.
“And you know I’ll be picking Ty’s brain, too,” Saulsbury said.
And so Saulsbury’s tour of local baseball returns him to Anoka-Ramsey.
“To get to lead the team you played with and that meant so much to you as a person, it was a really a no-brainer. It just impacted me so much as a player and I hope to continue that for the young men who will play for me,” Saulsbury said.