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Nick Mingione Addresses Mississippi State Rumors

Photo by Guy Ramsey, UK Athletics

Photo by Guy Ramsey, UK Athletics

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.”

Cannizaro was fired in only his second season in Starkville. (Getty Images)

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.”


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.


Article written by Trey Huntsman

The KSR Baseball guy. Follow me on Twitter @TreyHuntsmanSEC.

20 Comments for Nick Mingione Addresses Mississippi State Rumors

  1. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    10:14 am February 21, 2018 Permalink

    Do what you have to to keep this guy! I mean that too, he is a players coach and he flat out attracts kids that want to be here and kids that can play! You cant replace his charisma and connection to the players and their mental state. Baseball is a mentally tough game and he excels at that aspect.

  2. Jiminy Crickets
    10:14 am February 21, 2018 Permalink

    Those comments don’t sound comforting

  3. Mathlete
    10:21 am February 21, 2018 Permalink

    How important is Nick Mingione? When was the last time you had an opinion about who was coaching UK baseball? That’s how important Nick Mingione is.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:14 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

      So, f*** all the people that DO care, or….?

    • KYJelly
      12:27 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

      I think you misunderstood what he was saying. People don’t usually care who coaches baseball here, now they do which means it’s important to keep him

    • I don’t think he’s saying that Big Board. I just think he’s complimenting Nick on the rapid rise of UK baseball. There are always casual (or even non) college baseball fans that are brought in only when the Bat Cats are winning. That’s how it is with non-revenue sports at other schools too.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:37 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

      Okay, I misread it. My apologies.

      (So many trolls and imposters here lately, I dont know who to believe. LOL)

    • And I may be wrong calling baseball non-revenue. It used to be in that category years ago as far as I remember, but may not be now, at least at the stronger SEC baseball schools.

    • Mathlete
      2:55 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

      KYJelly and Chris Gettelfinger got it right. I was saying before Mingione got here it was uncommon for anyone to pay much attention to the baseball team. I knew we had one because the stadium was near my dorm when I was at UK, but never bothered to go to a game while I lived on campus. Now I’m looking at their schedule and my calendar wondering if I can make it to some of the games this year and I don’t live in Lexington anymore.

      I really like coach Mingione and very much want him to stay, and if we’re being totally honest I couldn’t tell you without looking it up who coached here before he did (was it Gary something?). That’s a *major* sea change.

    • Jaxxon1973
      4:06 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

      100 percent same boat Mathlete! Went to one game in 1992 while living in K Tower, saw Pookie Jones hit an HR. Only one in four years. Bought my UL-UK tix for Lexington, traveling from Madison, IN (couple of hours). Hope to make more games. Clear we have a special coach.

  4. Rixter
    10:56 am February 21, 2018 Permalink

    Didn’t Miss St already steal one of our baseball managers, a few years ago?

  5. TDog
    10:58 am February 21, 2018 Permalink

    His comments are great and all, I just wish though he would have come straight out and said he wasn’t interested. Him not explicitly saying no is sort of concerning.

  6. TheNewOriginal
    11:19 am February 21, 2018 Permalink

    Why do you keep spelling his name wrong? It’s Chuck. (“Chu”, not “Ni”) And why does MSU believe that a trumpet player will make a good baseball coach? Feels so good.

  7. kygolfkat51
    11:38 am February 21, 2018 Permalink

    Mississippi State currently holds the NCAA record for the largest single game on-campus baseball attendance at 15,586 and the largest SEC crowd for a 3-game weekend series at 39,181.

  8. Trey, you may think it’s a lateral move. I don’t agree with that considering their past success compared to ours. But regardless, since Nick did not flatly deny interest in the job, it is obvious to me that HE doesn’t necessarily consider it a lateral move, and that’s all that matters here.

    I just hope he likes Lexington better than Starkeville which, as has been documented on this site, especially by Drew Franklin, is in the middle of nowhere.

  9. BigBlueNationDude
    1:05 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

    New stadium cant even keep this guy.

    • UK Big Board Update
      1:47 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

      Does dook even have baseball team? U ARE SO MAD

    • rabblerabblerabble
      3:43 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

      I mean, they started the season ranked 25th in the country…obviously lower than UK, but they’re not a bunch of scrubs.

  10. dismore
    1:52 pm February 21, 2018 Permalink

    Sounds like he’s at least going to listen to their offer. Smart man.