/Recruiting whiz Lemonis introduced as State’s 18th baseball coach

Recruiting whiz Lemonis introduced as State’s 18th baseball coach

Cohen described Lemonis as “the most dynamic recruiter that I’ve ever been around in my 25-years as a head baseball coach” and praised Lemonis for being a great recruiter. Lemonis recruited Cohen against while Cohen was at Kentucky and Lemonis at Louisville. Cohen stated, “He’s an incredible recruiter.” Cohen introduced Lemonis as “the total package” at a Tuesday morning news conference, open to the public, down the right field line at still-under-construction Dudy Noble Field. Lemonis, 48, was dressed in a gray suit and received warmly by several hundred people. They were cheering on the Bulldogs at the College World Series, which Lemonis didn’t mind. Lemonis stated that he had never seen a newly hired coach introduce himself to his team two days after their defeat at Omaha. I haven’t either. This is a case where it’s not. It’s another anomaly in one of the most memorable springs in State baseball history. Before we go any further, let’s address Henderson’s situation. Cohen was very proud of Henderson’s work in replacing Andy Cannizaro during the first week and leading the Bulldogs to two CWS wins and the Regional and Super Regional championships. Cohen called Henderson a friend over the years and said that Henderson would be able to get a job at State if Henderson wants it. Henderson could also help Henderson in any way he can with his search for a coaching job. Cohen stated that Henderson is not being pushed to the curb. Cohen stated that his job was to ensure the success of Mississippi State baseball, but he also said that Cohen was not being kicked to the curb. He said that Lemonis was the obvious choice. Lemonis, who was the one who took the job, expressed his sympathy for Henderson. When asked about Henderson, he replied that “it’s gotta to be tough”. His heart is broken. He did a remarkable job.” Henderson did it, as I wrote here 13 days ago. I believed Henderson had earned the job. Cohen is paid to be more knowledgeable about college baseball than me, and believes Lemonis is the smarter choice. The future will show. It doesn’t mean that Henderson would have been able to succeed at State if Lemonis is successful. Cohen is a very intelligent man (baseball and other), who makes big bucks to make these kinds of decisions. This one is his. Lemonis is a man of impressive background and presence. His stated goal is “bring a National Championship to State”. He was a walk-on dirtbag player at The Citadel, where he helped the small military school to reach the CWS. After he was done with training, he coached at the Citadel and recruited many of the best talent in America. As an assistant, he recruited the top talent to Louisville, which was a national powerhouse. Lemonis is from Indiana, where he was the head coach for four seasons. His record as a coach was 141-92-2. Lemonis led the Hoosiers three NCAA Regionals in four years. In Indiana’s entire history, Indiana had been to only three regionals. More about Lemonis: * His childhood was spent in Starkville where his father received his engineering degree. * He will keep Jake Gautreau, his hitting coach and chief recruiter. Other staff hires remain in flux. He said, “It’s been an incredible ride.” Lemonis, a native of Myrtle Beach (S.C.), and Jill, his wife, have Marissa and Mackenzie, their daughters. All were present at Tuesday’s press conference. Lemonis confirmed that he had watched State on the CWS. He said, “Man, they are hard workers.” Lemonis said, “Man, they play hard.” He signed a four-year contract that included a $600,000 base salary and an additional $25,000 for each of the three years. If he is still MSU’s coach, he will be eligible for a $50,000 retention bonus. Jake Mangum (the Bulldogs’ centerfielder and leadoff hitter), said that he was impressed by Lemonis at Monday’s team meeting. He said, “It was very positive; it’s exciting.” “I can see why Gary Henderson is such a great recruiter.” Mangum replied, “Not yet.” “We love Coach Henderson and can’t thank him enough. The next part was left unsaid. It is now …” time to stabilize the proud State program. Lemonis, who is the fourth coach in a little more than two years (including Cohen, Henderson), made it clear that he intends to stay around for a long time.