Mississippi State baseball finds itself somewhat in limbo after former coach Andy Cannizaro abruptly resigned on Feb. 20. There was a report that an extramarital affair was involved, and the Bulldogs have tried to push forward with interim coach Gary Henderson.
On Wednesday, the Starkville Daily News’ Joel Coleman released an in-depth question-and-answer session with Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen about the future of Bulldogs baseball. There are multiple nuggets included worth reading about, but Cohen had a good response when asked which characteristics he’ll look for in the program’s next coach.
Here’s more from Coleman’s story:
SDN: What are some of the characteristics you are looking for in the next head coach regardless of who it is?
Cohen: I think it’s somebody who understands the college game which is really important. To understand the college game, you have to understand the professional game because of the draft. You have to understand the recruiting situation, which is in my opinion, one of the most difficult things in all of coaching to recruit baseball at the highest level in college. There are so many different factors involved that it’s extremely difficult to do that, so it has to be somebody that can do that. It has to be somebody who really fits into the Mississippi State family. It has to be somebody that our fans can embrace, somebody our players can embrace and our administration. There is no doubt in my mind (we can do that). Fortunately for me, way before John Cohen showed up, a guy named Ron Polk and a guy named Pat McMahon – and even coaches before them – ensured we’d have a great baseball program. Fortunately, I think there are a lot of big-time coaches that want to be a part of what we have going on here at Mississippi State.
It will be fascinating to see where Cohen looks when trying to fill this position. Likely, he’ll search for someone with ample experience coaching college baseball. A strong drive to help Mississippi State max out its potential would be beneficial, too.
Yes, the Cannizaro resignation was a strange episode. But Cohen is right: many big-name coaches likely will want to be part of the Bulldogs’ strong baseball program.