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2021 College Baseball Coaching Changes Tracker



As we do every year, Baseball America is tracking the latest news and movement in the college baseball coaching market. Though the season is just underway, there are already slated to be five openings this summer as a result of two retirements in the first two months of the year and three programs operating under the direction of interim head coaches following changes last year.

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in much less coaching turnover than usual during 2020. Just 14 jobs opened—about half what the market had been averaging—and most of those changes were a result of retirement or moves to professional baseball.

The market is expected to be more active this summer, largely at the low- and mid-major levels. But in the coaching market, things can change quickly. Every time there is movement, this story will update.

Alabama-Birmingham


Former coach:
Brian Shoop (retired)
New coach: Perry Roth (interim)

What to know: Shoop retired in May after 31 years as a head coach, the last 14 coming at UAB. He won 1,061 games in his career and led Birmingham Southern to the 2001 NAIA national championship. Roth, who spent the last 14 years at UAB as an assistant under Shoop, was named interim head coach for the 2021 season.

Central Arkansas

Former coach: Allen Gum (retired)
New coach: Nick Harlan

What to know: Gum, the winningest coach in program history, retired following the 2021 season. He coached the Bears for 11 seasons and in 2013 led them to their first NCAA Tournament appearance. Harlan has been on staff since that 2013 NCAA Tournament team and now will take over the program as head coach. Prior to joining the staff at Central Arkansas, he was a head coach at York (Neb.), an NAIA school.

Hawaii

Former coach: Mike Trapasso
New coach: TBD

What to know: Trapasso's contract was up this summer and he is out after 20 seasons as head coach at Hawaii. He twice led the Warriors to the NCAA Tournament (2006, 2010), their first appearances since 1992. Hawaii has plenty of history and a strong fan base, but this isn't an easy job. It has not finished better than fifth place in the Big West since joining the conference for the 2013 season.

High Point

Former coach: Craig Cozart
New coach: TBD

What to know: High Point announced on June 2 that it and Cozart had mutually agreed to part ways. Cozart leaves the program after 12 seasons as head coach, going 339-337.

Houston Baptist 

Former coach: Jared Moon
New coach: Lance Berkman

What to know: Moon resigned after 16 seasons as head coach of HBU, his alma mater. Moon is the winningest coach in program history, led the Huskies to the 2007 NAIA World Series, guided them through their transition to Division I and an appearance in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. In a statement, Moon said he was resigning to spend more time with his family. Replacing Moon is Lance Berkman, who was a standout player in the city - first at Rice and then with the Astros. He's never been a Division I college coach before, but spent the last year as an assistant coach at Division III St. Thomas (Texas) and four years as a high school coach. 

Kennesaw State

Former coach: Mike Sansing (retired)
New coach: TBD

What to know: Sansing retired following the season, his 30th at Kennesaw State. During his tenure, he guided the Owls from NAIA to Division II to Division I, winning at every level. In 2014, he led KSU to the postseason at the Division I level for the first time, with his team going all the way to a super regional. Sansing's 1,160 wins ranked sixth among active coaches when he retired.

Longwood

Former coach: Ryan Mau
New coach: TBD

What to know: Mau is out after seven seasons as head coach at Longwood, going 122-219 in that time. Longwood has had just three coaches in its program history: Mau, Brian McCullough - who was interim head coach in 2014 - and Buddy Bolding, who led the program for 36 years. Now, the Lancers are looking for their next head coach. 

Louisiana State

Former coach: Paul Mainieri (retired)
New coach: TBD

What to know: Mainieri, whose 1,501 wins rank seventh most all-time, on May 28 announced he will retire following the season. He led the Tigers for 15 seasons, winning the national championship in 2009 and finishing as runners-up in 2017. This job is one of the absolute best in the country and will attract some of the best coaches in the industry. 

Mount St. Mary's

Former coach: Scott Thomson
New coach: Jeff Gergic (interim)

What to know: Thomson resigned as head coach on the eve of the season for personal reasons and Gergic was elevated to interim head coach. Mount St. Mary's is now looking for a new head coach.

New Mexico

Former coach: Ray Birmingham (retired)
New coach: TBD

What to know: Birmingham announced April 18 that he would retire at the end of the season, his 14th at New Mexico. He has been a head coach in his home state for 34 years and is the winningest coach in state history. Under Birminham's guidance, the Lobos advanced to the NCAA Tournament five times from 2010-16 after making regionals just once before in program history.

Nicholls State

Former coach: Seth Thibodeaux
New coach: TBD

What to know: Thibodeaux resigned following the season, his 11th as head coach. He went 287-290 in his tenure, with his best years coming in 2014-15, when the Colonels won more than 30 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1992-93.

Northern Kentucky

Former coach: Todd Asalon (retired)
New coach: TBD

What to know: Asalon announced in February that the 2021 season would be his last. He is retiring after 21 years as the head coach of his alma mater. At the time of his announcement, he had won 692 career games and guided the program through its transition from Division II to Division I.

Northwestern

Former coach: Spencer Allen
New coach: Josh Reynolds (interim)

What to know: Allen announced at the end of the season that he was resigning after six years as head coach at Northwestern, saying that "it is time now to give that fous and energy to my kids, wife, extended family and friends." Allen was the first Black head baseball coach in Big Ten history and under his direction the Wildcats made strong strides. Now, Reynolds, who was Allen's associate head coach, will look to continue their work.

Ohio

Former coach: Rob Smith (retired)
New coach: Craig Moore (interim)

What to know: Smith retired in January after eight years as head coach at Ohio. He led the Bobcats to the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and 2017, their first regional appearances since 1997. Moore, who worked as an assistant coach throughout Smith’s tenure, was named interim head coach for the 2021 season.

Rice

Former coach: Matt Bragga
New coach: TBD

What to know: Bragga in June 2018 was hired to replace Wayne Graham after he led Tennessee Tech to super regionals. Bragga inherited a difficult situation and never really settled in, going 51-76-1 in three seasons. This is a quick trigger - Bragga spent three seasons at Rice, two of which were impacted by the pandemic - but now further away from the ugly end of Graham's tenure, perhaps the Owls can find a more long-lasting solution.

Southern

Former coach: Kerrick Jackson
New coach: Chris Crenshaw (interim)

What to know: Jackson in November was hired away after three seasons as head coach to become the president of the new MLB Draft League, a summer collegiate league. Crenshaw, a Southern alumnus and Jackson’s assistant coach for the last two years, was named interim coach for the 2021 season.

Texas A&M

Former coach: Rob Childress
New coach:
TBD

What to know: Childress is out after 16 seasons at Texas A&M. His contract was up and was not renewed after the Aggies finished in last place in the SEC West and missed regionals for the first time since Childress' first season. While the contract situation made it easier for A&M to move on from Childress, athletic director Ross Bjork needs a home run here and will be swinging for the fences. This is also his first chance to make a significant coaching hire since taking the job two years ago.

UC Riverside

Former coach: Troy Percival
New coach: Justin Johnson (interim)

What to know: Percival, a former All-Star, in November resigned after five seasons as head coach of his alma mater. His resignation was in part brought on by UCR’s uncertain athletic future, as the university reviews whether it wants to sponsor a Division I athletics department. Johnson was named interim head coach after spending the last six years on staff at UCR.

Utah

Former coach: Bill Kinneberg
New coach: TBD

What to know: Kinneberg announced his retirement May 24 after 18 years as the program's head coach. He led Utah to two NCAA Tournament appearances - its first since 1960 - and won the 2016 Pac-12 championship. He also was a head coach at Texas-El Paso and Wyoming. 

Utah Valley

Former coach: Eric Madsen
New coach: David Carter (interim)

What to know: Madsen on April 27 announced his resignation as head coach effective immediately and Carter was elevated to the interim head coach. Madsen was head coach for 13 seasons at UVU and in 2016 led the program to its first regional. Carter was an assistant under Madsen for the last 13 seasons and now will guide the Wolverines for the final 18 games of the season.

Wagner

Former coach: Jim Carone
New coach: Craig Noto

What to know: Carone resigned at the end of Wagner's season after 10 years as head coach. He went 207-266-1 and in 2018 led the Seahawks to a program-record 38 wins. Noto was promoted to replace Carone after spending the last six seasons as an assistant coach. He also has spent six years as a manager in the Northwoods League.

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