50 Names To Watch On The 2022 College Baseball Coaching Market

50 Names To Watch On The 2022 College Baseball Coaching Market

This yr, school baseball didn’t anticipate the top of the common season to kick off the beginning of the teaching market. There have been in-season modifications at Austin Peay State and Tulane, along with resignations at Brigham Younger and San Francisco and several other retirements deliberate for the top of the season. As groups have begun to finish their seasons, there have been a number of extra modifications, together with Kansas and Ohio State.

All of that signifies one other busy summer season of teaching modifications. It was a hyperactive market final yr as 40 jobs modified arms. It most likely gained’t be as busy this yr, however a return to the pre-pandemic stage of about 30 jobs turning over—10% of the game—wouldn’t be surprising.

In preparation for these modifications, Baseball America presents its annual checklist of coaches to look at this summer season because the job market performs out.

Dan McDonnell, head coach, Louisville: McDonnell has led Louisville since 2006, constructing a powerhouse on the college. He’s helped information this system seamlessly into the ACC and to 5 Faculty World Sequence appearances in 15 seasons. In 2019 amid curiosity from Mississippi State, he signed a seven-year rolling contract (it has an annual choice to increase) that’s value greater than $1.25 million per yr and grows yearly. On the time, then-athletic director Vince Tyra informed WDRB in Louisville that the intention was to create a contract that may preserve McDonnell on the program’s helm for the remainder of his profession. So, why is McDonnell nonetheless showing on this checklist? Rumors about him simply gained’t stop and if any baseball program goes to make a shocking splash akin to what we noticed this winter in soccer when Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma for Southern California and Brian Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU, McDonnell matches the profile of who could be courted. The college administration at Louisville has turned over within the 2.5 years since he signed his contract (Louisville at the moment has each an interim athletic director and president), however he’s nonetheless at a program he constructed and has confirmed he can win huge at. Hiring him away wouldn’t be simple—or low cost.

Brian O’Connor, head coach, Virginia: McDonnell is the identify that comes up most ceaselessly as a possible splashy rent for a distinguished program, however O’Connor was part of the search course of at each LSU in 2021 and Texas in 2016. He wound up staying each instances and final yr signed an extension by 2027. O’Connor, 51, gained the 2015 nationwide championship and has taken the Cavaliers to Omaha 5 instances. He’s been at Virginia for 19 years and hiring him away wouldn’t be simple. Nevertheless it wouldn’t be a shock to see one other blue blood make a run at it.

Pat Casey: The previous Oregon State coach retired in September 2018 after 24 years as a head coach and has been working within the athletic division since. However he’s by no means closed the door on returning to the dugout and even at his retirement press convention it didn’t seem to be he was closing the door on teaching once more. If Casey, 63, goes to come back out of retirement, it must be for the best alternative. He interviewed at LSU final yr earlier than the search moved elsewhere. Will any of this yr’s openings tempt him?

Erik Bakich, head coach, Michigan: Bakich, 44, has been courted earlier than for premium jobs (South Carolina, Stanford) however has chosen to remain in Ann Arbor. However having led the Wolverines to a runner-up end within the 2019 CWS and a formidable general resume, he’s going to proceed being the topic of rumors for high-end jobs. Is now the time for him to make a transfer?

Hyperlink Jarrett, head coach, Notre Dame: Jarrett, 50, has impressed in his three seasons in South Bend, to say the least. He final yr led the Preventing Irish to their first ACC title since becoming a member of the league and got here a win away from reaching the Faculty World Sequence. This yr, Notre Dame is once more on observe to host regionals, a formidable accomplishment for a program that had made the NCAA Match simply as soon as since 2006. Very like Bakich, Jarrett is in a great spot in South Bend, however his more and more sturdy resume will proceed to make him the topic of curiosity for main applications.

Cliff Godwin, head coach, East Carolina: Godwin has been a sizzling identify in earlier years however up to now nobody has been capable of lure him away from his alma mater, together with Alabama and Mississippi State. He very a lot desires to get East Carolina to the Faculty World Sequence for the primary time in program historical past. Would he be extra open to leaving if the Pirates attain Omaha? He has a great factor getting in Greenville and in 2020 signed a contract extension by 2025, however he’ll additionally proceed to be extremely wanted within the job market.

Mark Wasikowski, head coach, Oregon: Wasikowski has executed glorious work at Oregon since taking up following the 2019 season. The Geese final yr hosted a regional and are within the combine to take action once more this yr. Wasiowski, 51, signed a major contract extension following final season and it might take one thing particular to drag him out of Eugene. However he’s constructed a powerful observe report of success all through his profession and has expertise within the Massive Ten, Pac-12 and SEC.

John Szefc, head coach, Virginia Tech: Szefc is within the midst of a breakthrough season at Virginia Tech. The Hokies have gained 40 video games, gained the ACC common season title and are on observe to be a top-eight seed within the NCAA Match for the primary time in program historical past. He’s gained huge in every single place he’s gone. At Maryland, he took the Terrapins to back-to-back tremendous regional appearances, and he led Marist to 4 NCAA Match appearances. Having now damaged by in his fifth season in Blacksburg, it gained’t be simple to rent Szefc away. However any premium program that has a gap this summer season ought to think about what Szefc has completed regardless of by no means teaching at a blueblood.

Chris Pollard, head coach, Duke: Pollard has taken a dormant program that hadn’t been to the NCAA Match since 1968 and turned it right into a constant regional crew. Whereas the Blue Devils will miss the NCAA Match this season, they’ve been to 4 of the final 5 and final yr gained the ACC Match for the primary time in program historical past. That success got here after Pollard took Appalachian State to a regional last. After these turnarounds, he ought to be getting appears for premium jobs.

Rob Vaughn, head coach, Maryland: Vaughn, 34, is having a banner yr in his fifth season as head coach. The Terrapins gained the Massive Ten— their first convention title in 51 years, are on observe to host regionals for the primary time ever and he was named Massive Ten coach of the yr. Maryland, nonetheless, just isn’t a simple job and its amenities lag behind different high applications within the convention. The Terrapins’ two earlier head coaches parlayed their success into jobs at extra resourced applications—Erik Bakich at Michigan and John Szefc at Virginia Tech.

Steve Owens, head coach, Rutgers: Owens, 56, has gained in every single place he’s gone all through his profession, so it’s no shock that this season he’s led Rutgers to a 40-win season and has the Scarlet Knights in place to make their first NCAA Match look since 2007. He’s solely been at Rutgers for 3 seasons and there are facility upgrades slated for this yr. Nevertheless it’s a tricky job and a more-resourced program may have the ability to make him a proposal he can’t refuse.

Lane Burroughs, head coach, Louisiana Tech: Burroughs final yr led Louisiana Tech to its greatest season in additional than 30 years, culminating with the Bulldogs internet hosting a regional. This yr, La Tech is once more within the NCAA Match combine as Choice Monday approaches. He’s executed a great job of constructing La Tech thus far and he additionally has expertise within the SEC as an assistant coach. Burroughs is part of the John Cohen teaching tree, which has been a well-liked one in latest job searches. A college within the Massive 12 or SEC that prioritizes head-coaching expertise would do effectively to check out Burroughs.

Scott Jackson, head coach, Liberty: Jackson has in six seasons at Liberty gained almost 200 video games and the Flames this yr are aiming for a third-straight journey to regionals, which might be unprecedented for this system. Jackson is in a great spot at Liberty, notably because it prepares to maneuver from the ASUN Convention to Convention USA, and he can select any additional strikes rigorously. Between his success at Liberty and his expertise as pitching coach at North Carolina, he’s constructed a powerful resume.

Jordan Bischel, head coach, Central Michigan: Bischel, 40, has a novel mixture of youth and expertise. He’s already been a head coach for 10 seasons and has gained in NAIA, Division II and now Division I. In 4 seasons at CMU, he’s made two regionals appearances (its first since 1995) and gained two Mid-American Convention titles—and the Chippewas are within the combine for each once more this season. With a historical past of fast turnarounds, Bischel makes for a powerful candidate.

Robert Woodard, head coach, Charlotte: Woodard, 37, final season led Charlotte to its first-ever Convention USA title and first convention title since 2013. The 49ers weren’t fairly nearly as good this yr, however Woodard continues to be on the rise with a powerful repute each for his work as a pitching coach at North Carolina and his quick begin as a head coach. That is simply his third season at Charlotte and he’s in a great spot there. It’s his hometown and this system is on the ascent, notably because it prepares to maneuver to the American Athletic Convention.

Reggie Christiansen, head coach, Sacramento State: Over the past decade, Christiansen, 46, has constructed Sac State into one of the vital constant applications in California—solely Stanford, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara have extra wins since 2012—and has led the Hornets to their solely three regionals appearances in program historical past. His roots in California and the Midwest (as an assistant coach at Kansas and head coach at South Dakota State) make for an attention-grabbing profile, particularly with the Kansas job open.

Todd Interdonato, head coach, Wofford: Interdonato has been the top coach at Wofford for 15 years and has constructed this system into top-of-the-line within the Southern Convention. He’s led the Terriers to a banner season this yr, as they’ve gained 40 video games and their first-ever regular-season convention title. Interdonato runs a really aggressive offensive type and has succeeded regardless of the challenges of teaching at a selective, non-public college. His complete profession has been spent within the Carolinas, however his type and observe report ought to play in any area.

Lance Rhodes, head coach, Southern Illinois: Rhodes took over at SIU following the 2019 season and his debut season was minimize brief by the pandemic. In every of the subsequent two years, nonetheless, he has gained 40 video games and this season led the Salukis to their first common season convention title since 1990. Rhodes, 36, additionally has expertise as an SEC assistant coach, as he spent three seasons as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Missouri. His various expertise and fast turnaround at SIU make him an attention-grabbing candidate.

Andy Sawyers, head coach, Southeast Missouri State: Sawyers, 46, has guided the Redhawks to back-to-back 30-win seasons and final yr led them to the NCAA Match. He’s in his sixth season at SEMO and beforehand was an assistant coach at Kansas State and Texas A&M. His success as a head coach and observe report as a hitting coach make for an intriguing mixture.

Matt Riser, head coach, Southeastern Louisiana: Riser, 37, has turned Southeastern into top-of-the-line applications within the Southland Convention in his 9 seasons as head coach. He’s led Southeastern to the NCAA Match thrice and has gained a minimum of 30 video games in each full season. He was the youngest Division I head coach when he started his tenure and continues to be among the many youngest nationally.

Rucker Taylor, head coach, Davidson: Taylor has performed an instrumental position in Davidson’s rise. The Vanderbilt alumnus got here to Davidson as an assistant coach after the 2012 season and helped construct the Wildcats’ 2017 Cinderella crew that reached the NCAA Match for the primary time in program historical past and superior to tremendous regionals. He was promoted to go coach a yr later and has stored the Wildcats among the many greatest groups within the Atlantic 10 Convention. This yr, they’re having a breakthrough season and gained their first-ever common season convention championship. Taylor, 37, is an up-and-coming coach to look at.

Jose Vazquez, head coach, Alabama State: Vazquez was promoted to go coach six years in the past and has gained three Southwestern Athletic Convention common season titles, together with this season. He was named SWAC coach of the yr this spring, the second time he has gained the award. Vazquez is a powerful recruiter who helped construct powerhouses at Bethune-Cookman and Alabama State and now has stored the Hornets as one of many high applications within the Southwestern Athletic Convention.

Alex Sogard, head coach, Wright State: The final three Wright State head coaches have left for jobs in main conferences: Rob Cooper (Penn State), Greg Lovelady (Central Florida) and Jeff Mercer (Indiana). Sogard, 34, figures to observe an analogous path. He’s led the Raiders to a few straight Horizon League titles and final yr took them to the NCAA Match. Sogard is without doubt one of the 10 youngest coaches within the nation however each Lovelady and Mercer have been additionally very younger after they moved on.

Shaun Stiffler, head coach, Virginia Commonwealth: In 10 years because the Rams head coach, Stiffler, 43, has led them to tremendous regionals and three common season convention titles in 4 seasons (2017, 2019, 2021). In making VCU a constant contender within the Atlantic 10 Convention, he’s established himself as top-of-the-line younger coaches within the nation and extra high-end curiosity ought to observe.

Jim Foster, head coach, Military: Foster, now in his sixth season in West Level, has led Military to a few straight Patriot League Match titles. It’s the first time in program historical past that the Black Knights have made three straight regionals appearances. Foster, 50, beforehand was the pitching coach at Boston Faculty, the place he helped the Eagles attain tremendous regionals in 2016 and helped develop Justin Dunn right into a first-round decide. He additionally spent 9 years as head coach at Rhode Island, successful a pair of Atlantic-10 Convention titles. Briefly, he’s gained so much at faculties that aren’t conventional powers.

Rob Reinstetle, head coach, Toledo: Reinstetle has solely been at Toledo for 3 seasons, however he’s shortly engineered a turnaround. The Rockets this yr gained greater than 30 video games for the primary time since 2010 and completed third within the Mid-American Convention standings. Reinstetle beforehand was an assistant coach at Western Kentucky (which has a gap) and has SEC expertise, spending three seasons on workers at Ole Miss from 2007-09.

Justin Haire, head coach, Campbell: Since he was promoted to go coach after the 2014 season, Haire has turned Campbell into the Massive South’s powerhouse. The Camels have gained the final 4 common season titles and have made three straight NCAA Match appearances. Haire, 41, might be able to take the subsequent step.

Justin Hill, head coach, McNeese State: Hill, 42, has been at McNeese for 9 years and turned the Cowboys into top-of-the-line applications within the Southland Convention. He’s led McNeese to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and this yr the Cowboys are the highest seed within the Southland Match. He’s executed all of it by some tough circumstances, as McNeese and the bigger Lake Charles, La., neighborhood have rebounded from the blow of two hurricanes within the fall of 2020, in addition to the pandemic.

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Tracy Smith: Smith spent the yr out of faculty baseball after getting fired by Arizona State a yr in the past. Whereas that association didn’t result in huge success, Smith, 56, nonetheless has an extended observe report of successful. He’s gained greater than 800 video games, taken three faculties to regionals (ASU, Indiana and Miami (Ohio)) and in 2013 led the Hoosiers to the Faculty World Sequence, a significant breakthrough for the Massive Ten after a 29-year drought.

Rob Childress, director of participant improvement, Nebraska: Childress, 53, spent 16 seasons as the top coach at Texas A&M earlier than being let go final yr following a last-place end within the SEC West. Previous to that, nonetheless, Childress had led the Aggies to 13 straight regionals and two Faculty World Sequence appearances. He’s spent the final yr because the director of participant improvement at Nebraska, the place he beforehand was an assistant coach from 1998-2005. If he desires one other job as a head coach, he’d convey loads of successful expertise to his new program.

Greg Beals: Beals was fired following the season after 12 years at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to the NCAA Match thrice in 4 years from 2016-19 and twice gained the Massive Ten Match. However an Eleventh-place end this season led Ohio State to make a change. Beals, 53, has gained almost 600 video games in 20 years as a head coach at Ohio State and Ball State and developed some high-end draft picks in each roles. His expertise could be an asset for a lot of applications.

Kerrick Jackson, president, MLB Draft League: Jackson has probably the most wide-ranging resume of anybody on this checklist. He at the moment is the president of the MLB Draft League, a summer season league that may be a joint partnership between MLB and Prep Baseball Report that’s making ready for its second season. Beforehand, he was a head coach (Southern), a recruiting coordinator (Missouri), a scout (Nationals) and an agent (Boras Company). Jackson has a powerful observe report as a coach—at Southern, he gained the SWAC in his second season, and he was part of the teaching workers that final took Missouri to the NCAA Match (2012). His expertise as a scout, agent and summer season league president provides him a novel ability set that may be engaging in the best spot.

Mervyl Melendez: Melendez resigned as head coach of Florida Worldwide following the season, his sixth with the Panthers. Whereas he by no means acquired it going at FIU, Melendez, 48, beforehand had phenomenal success at Bethune-Cookman and Alabama State. In 17 years whole on the two faculties, he led his groups to the NCAA Match 12 instances and in 2016, his last at Alabama State, the Hornets went undefeated in SWAC play. Melendez is a powerful recruiter and twice introduced in High 25 lessons at FIU.

Jake Gautreau, recruiting coordinator/hitting coach, Mississippi State: Gautreau, 42, is without doubt one of the most revered assistant coaches within the nation, each as a recruiter and as a hitting coach. After final season serving to the Bulldogs win the Faculty World Sequence, he would be the premium assistant coach available in the market. Including to the intrigue is the Tulane opening. Gautreau starred for the Inexperienced Wave in school and coached at his alma mater from 2010-14, together with about two months as interim head coach in 2014 when poor well being sidelined Rick Jones. Gautreau is in an excellent spot in Starkville, however it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll get an opportunity as a head coach.

Sean Allen, recruiting coordinator/pitching coach, Texas: Allen, 42, has spent the final 10 years on workers below David Pierce, working at Sam Houston State, Tulane and Texas. Previous to becoming a member of Pierce’s workers at Sam Houston, Allen additionally was an assistant coach at Houston and Florida Worldwide. He has labored as each a hitting and pitching coach, along with being the Longhorns’ recruiting coordinator. His expertise in a wide range of roles ought to assist him make the soar to being a head coach and he’s drawn critical appears for head jobs lately. Count on him to be within the combine at Tulane.

Nate Thompson, recruiting coordinator/hitting coach, Arkansas: Thompson is in his fifth season at Arkansas and he has a formidable observe report as a hitting coach and recruiter not simply with the Razorbacks, but additionally at Missouri State. Thompson checks plenty of containers and can ultimately grow to be the most recent department of Dave Van Horn’s teaching tree. Is Kansas the best spot for him to make that soar?

Kevin McMullan, affiliate head coach, Virginia: McMullan, the 2009 Assistant Coach of the 12 months, has been voted by head coaches because the assistant coach with the brightest future as a head coach every of the final thrice Baseball America has held the survey, most just lately in 2020. He’s been Virginia’s recruiting coordinator for the final 18 years and helped the Cavaliers win the 2015 nationwide championship. McMullan is clearly comfy in Charlottesville, however there’s little doubt he’d achieve success as a head coach.

Nick Schnabel, affiliate head coach, Michigan: Schnabel, the 2019 Assistant Coach of the 12 months, has performed a key position in constructing Michigan’s program. As recruiting coordinator, he put collectively the Wolverines’ Tenth-ranked 2017 class, the highest-ranked class in Massive Ten historical past, and the remainder of the roster for the 2019 CWS runner-up. He has coached all alongside the East Coast, from Chipola (Fla.) JC to Military, and has helped the Wolverines recruit nationally.

Bryant Ward, recruiting coordinator, UCLA: Ward has grow to be top-of-the-line recruiting coordinators on the West Coast, first at Loyola Marymount, the place he landed the varsity’s first High 25 class in 15 years, after which at UCLA, the place he final yr led the trouble that hauled within the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class. John Savage’s assistant coaches have a powerful observe report as head coaches and Ward figures to at some point add a department to his teaching tree.

Mike Clement, hitting coach, Mississippi: Clement has been the hitting coach at Ole Miss for eight years and has helped the Rebels persistently grow to be top-of-the-line offenses within the nation. He beforehand labored at Kansas State, Texas A&M and Texas-San Antonio and could be an particularly sturdy candidate in that a part of the nation, however after eight years within the SEC he has a powerful general profile.

Dan Fitzgerald, recruiting coordinator, Louisiana State: Fitzgerald was the top coach at Des Moines (Iowa) JC for 5 years earlier than transferring to DBU for the 2013 season. He jumped to LSU final season and whereas this yr could also be too quickly for him to think about transferring once more, he’ll be a Division I head coach ultimately. His prowess as a recruiter and his position in serving to make DBU one of the vital constant mid-major applications within the nation ought to be engaging to athletic administrators, and he’s now including SEC expertise to his resume.

Eric Snider, recruiting coordinator, Louisville: Snider has lengthy been a well-respected assistant coach. He’s been on workers at Louisville for eight years, following 16 years at Illinois. He earns reward for his capability as each a recruiter and hitting coach. His Midwestern roots make him a powerful candidate within the area.

J-Bob Thomas, recruiting coordinator, Texas Tech: Thomas, the 2017 Assistant Coach of the 12 months, is in his Tenth season on workers at Texas Tech. He has helped Tim Tadlock construct the Pink Raiders right into a powerhouse and stands out for his recruiting capability, as he’s introduced within the first 4 High 25 recruiting lessons in program historical past.

Josh Jordan, affiliate head coach, Duke: Jordan, the 2018 Assistant Coach of the 12 months, has been with Duke coach Chris Pollard for the final 16 years, courting again to their Appalachian State days. He has been a key a part of Duke’s rise and he final yr introduced in Duke’s first-ever top-10 recruiting class. Jordan’s position within the virtually unprecedented success at Appalachian State and Duke ought to seize the eye of athletic administrators.

Rob Walton, pitching coach, Oklahoma State: Walton, the 2016 Assistant Coach of the 12 months, has a standout resume. He’s in his Tenth season at Oklahoma State, his alma mater, and helped the Cowboys develop into one of many high applications within the convention. Walton, 59, beforehand was a head coach at Oral Roberts for 9 years, the place he went 367-167 and made the NCAA Match 9 instances. He’s in a great spot in Stillwater, but when he desires to be a head coach once more, he’d make a powerful candidate.

Nate Yeskie, affiliate head coach, Texas A&M: Yeskie, 47, is without doubt one of the greatest pitching coaches within the nation. He’s simply ending his first yr in Faculty Station, nonetheless, so this won’t be the time to maneuver on. However his work at A&M, Arizona and Oregon State over the past 14 years has been spectacular. He helped recruit and coach the Beavers throughout their exceptional run from 2017-19 that included the 2018 nationwide title and Adley Rutchman’s emergence because the 2019 Participant of the 12 months. Yeskie’s method and embrace of recent analytics and know-how ought to assist him ultimately transition to working a program.

Jeff Palumbo, affiliate head coach, East Carolina: Palumbo is in his eighth season at ECU and has helped this system grow to be the category of the American Athletic Convention. He’s twice landed high 25 recruiting lessons—the one two in program historical past—and people lessons have delivered for the Pirates. The extra ECU wins, the extra consideration Palumbo will get.

Noah Jackson, recruiting coordinator, California: Jackson has been an assistant on Mike Neu’s workers for the final six years, first at Pacific and now at Cal. He’s helped recruit and coach some high-level expertise for the Golden Bears, together with outfielder Dylan Beavers, who initiatives as a first-round decide this summer season. Jackson, 40, is in a great spot at his alma mater, however he’s constructing a powerful resume.

Jay Uhlman, interim head coach, Tulane: Uhlman is serving as Tulane’s interim head coach following the firing of Travis Jewett earlier this month. Uhlman has been at Tulane for 3 years and beforehand was affiliate head coach at Oregon below George Horton. He’s additionally beforehand labored at Kansas and Nevada, his alma mater. His expertise as a recruiter and coach in a number of totally different areas and varieties of faculties makes him an attention-grabbing candidate, however particularly so out West.

Joe Jordano: Jordano spent 21 years as head coach at Pittsburgh from 1998-2018. He’s spent the final 4 years at IMG Academy in Florida, a spot the place faculties have been prepared to rent from up to now. He gained 871 video games throughout his school profession between Pitt and Division II Mercyhurst, and that have could be an asset.

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