courts be like "why is it a problem if people get money"
As expected, new Michigan baseball head coach Erik Bakich has officially announced the hiring of Sean Kenny and Nick Schnabel as assistant coaches. Kenny will be the pitching coach, while Schnabel has been named recruiting coordinator.
Also, Jim Russ of the Detroit News has an extensive interview with Bakich, published under the title Aggressive baseball will be trademark of Erik Bakich's Michigan program. It doesn't sound as if anyone is going to outwork Bakich, who says:
"I don't have any hobbies. I try to be the best husband and father that I can be, and outside of that I'm going to spend 100 percent of my time making sure that Michigan baseball returns to a championship level."
Only one "tremendous" from Bakich in the interview, but he did say "this is Michigan" twice.
For some further background on Bakich's decision to leave Maryland for the Michigan job, the Washington Post has an article worth reading titled Maryland looking for new baseball coach amid uncertain financial situation. The financial difficulties of Maryland's athletic department clearly played a role, and in the end Maryland wasn't able to match the deal that Michigan offered:
“There were some things that I felt like in order to advance the baseball program [at Maryland], the resources and the support would probably need to be increased a little bit,” Bakich said Thursday in a telephone interview. “I’m extremely sensitive and aware and understanding of the athletic department’s struggles, so I completely understand the decision of not being able to commit those resources at this time.”
. . .
“My family, my wife and I are extremely grateful and pleased with the commitment the [Michigan] athletic department has made to our baseball program and to our coaching staff,” Bakich added.
Michigan “put together a pretty attractive package, which we weren’t able to match. These things happen, and I’m really sorry to see Erik leave,” said Bob “Turtle” Smith, a 1963 Maryland baseball alum and one of the program’s most significant boosters.
Tune in to FoxTV now for "Throwback Night" at Tropicana Field. Tigers are wearing the road grays w/orange and blue stripes of the late 70's and 80's and look good in them. The Rays didn't exist then, so they had to come up with something that looks like a hybrid Blue Jays/Astros/Padres concoction. Actually, all things considered, not too awful-looking.
Posters here and elsewhere claimed that Scott Stricklin interviewed with Michigan yesterday for the baseball head coaching position, but Perfect Game blogger Kendall Rogers is now reporting that Stricklin is staying at Kent State:
It sounds like the old leverage-a-job-offer-into-getting-a-better-deal-where-you-are scenario.
So, will it be Chris Sabo after all or someone else? Tom Walter, Erik Bakich, and Steve Merriman have been the other rumored candidates.
UPDATE: The word on Twitter is that Maryland head baseball coach Erik Bakich will be the new Michigan baseball coach. Tweet from Kendall Rogers:
As I noted in a post below, it was earlier reported that Bakich had already interviewed for the Michigan job. If Bakich is in fact hired, it will be interesting to see if he brings his pitching coach, Sean Kenny, with him from Maryland. Kenny is an Ann Arbor native and attended Pioneer and then EMU.
UPDATE2: Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports recently tweeted this:
Rumblings about UMD baseball coach Erik Bakich and Michigan. Sources say they've offered 400k+. And per @KendallRogersPG, deal may be close.— Jeff Ermann (@insidemdsports) June 26, 2012
Compared to the $400K+ supposedly being offered by Michigan, Bakich's current Maryland salary is just a little over $100K. He has one year left on his contract, so Maryland could offer him an extension and a better deal, but that's a pretty large gap to make up.
UPDATE3: Recent tweet from Skippers Dugout:
Also this from Kendall Rogers:
It looks like it'll be a Michigan Man after all. Per Skippers Dugout:
Hearing reports Chris Sabo will be named new HC at #Michigan. Several reports today on this story. Something's up.Stay posted.— Skippers Dugout (@SkippersDugout) June 23, 2012
Update: Matt Slovin of the Michigan Daily recently tweeted this:
Michigan asst. baseball coach Wayne Welton told me earlier today that Twitter is the only place he has heard Chris Sabo will be new HC.— Matt Slovin (@MattSlovin) June 24, 2012
Update2: Skippers Dugout posted a series of tweets last night about his supposed "scoop." Here there are in the order in which he posted them:
FYI:lots of people blowing us up on Sabo to #Michigan.We got three emails from people in the game tipping us off on this. We just (cont)
We said we were hearing reports of this. Not us coming out saying this. We just pass on scoop of what we here. We try to confirm (cont)
Only person that probably knows about this job is Brandon. We r working our connections but like we always said this is tight to the vest.
We know the people that tipped this story to us. Connected in baseball and connected to #Michigan felt was worthy of throwing it out there.
We r interested 2 see if the "reports" end up being true. Take it for what it's worth. We guess whoever is hired should b this week.
Anyone have any thoughts on Walter? His Wake Forest bio can be found here. The Demon Deacons were 33-24 overall and 13-17 in the ACC this past season and narrowly missed getting an NCAA Tournament bid.
Walter seems to be most famous for having donated a kidney to one of his Wake Forest players in early 2011.
In the meantime, several articles were published about Michigan's possible pursuit of Scott Stricklin following Kent State's elimination from the College World Series. It sounds like the KSU AD is willing to discuss sweetening Stricklin's current contract to retain him, and they're also working to upgrade the facilities there. As is pointed out in at least one of the articles, even if Stricklin wants to eventually move on to a "major" school, why shouldn't he just wait a year or two or more for an opening at one of the "more coveted Sunbelt jobs"?