The 2018 college baseball season is less than a week old and it has already been filled with plenty of drama. Three games into the season Mississippi State announced that head coach Andy Cannizaro was resigning from his position in Starkville. After the news of Cannizaro’s resignation at MSU swept across the SEC, Nick Mingione’s name was obviously one of the first names that came to mind as a replacement.
The former Bulldog assistant, Mingione coached under former coach and current MSU AD John Cohen for nearly a decade. After last night’s game, Mingione was asked about the Miss. State vacancy. He initially did not have much to say.
“Yeah, you know what, it’s a sad deal for everybody, right? Like anytime anybody loses their job, man that’s hard. You know what, that’s to be expected — my name, right? I spent over a decade with Coach Cohen, like right? That’s like the obvious, right? Why wouldn’t they say my name? I just feel bad. That’s just an unfortunate deal. Man, I hate that for our sport.”
It is still too soon to know which direction MSU will take for the coaching search, but Mingione will most likely be one of the first names they call. Auburn’s Butch Thompson, Sam Houston State’s Matt Deggs, and TCU’s Kirk Saarloos will all be options in this summer’s coaching search. Personally, I think Mississippi State needs to think smaller. The Diamond Dogs view themselves as elite, and they believe they deserve the best coach to fill this role. Cohen and company would need to bring a HUGE package if they wanted to convince the likes of Mingione or Thompson to come to Starkville.
For Mingione, the move would be a lateral one. The second-year head coach has a new stadium on the way as well as a newly-signed contract extension at UK. Later, Mingione talked about Kentucky and if it was a destination school.
“When you think about what’s important to you, I think it’s been really clear from day one that my faith is really important to me, and then my family, and baseball,” Mingione said. “This place checks off a lot of boxes.
“We’re growing spiritually. Obviously, it’s a place where my wife is comfortable and loves it. The education in Lexington is unbelievable. And obviously, we’ve been able to have a real successful year and we’re trying to do something again this year that has never been done before. You start checking off a lot of boxes and this is a really neat place and I believe in our athletic director Mitch Barnhart and I believe in our President, Dr. Capilouto. This is a really neat deal and there’s a reason why the University of Kentucky is thriving.”
— Trey Huntsman (@TreyHuntsmanKSR) February 21, 2018
While he didn’t formally say that he is not interested in the job, it doesn’t appear that Mingione would take the MSU gig. It would take a lot to pull Mingione away from UK after his second season. As for Mississippi State, former UK coach Gary Henderson will take over in the interim as they begin their coaching search.