The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
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:
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"?
I stumbled across what looks to be a pretty good source for college baseball coaching rumors—a Twitter account called Skippers Dugout. Whoever is behind this account has tweeted a number of times about the Michigan job, with some interesting rumors that I haven't seen posted here before. On June 12, there was this one:
Hearing #Michigan has possible interest in former legend Chris Sabo. Been told AD Brandon wants "Michigan Man".— Skippers Dugout (@SkippersDugout) June 12, 2012
Also on June 12:
This is likely a reference to Erik Bakich, current head coach at Maryland, given this tweet two days later:
Bakich looks like a pretty good option. His Maryland profile says this about him:
Bakich, who is the youngest head coach at any BCS school, has a remarkable record of recruiting and developing elite talent. In the last 10 years he has coached 73 players that have been selected in the MLB draft, including 25 in the first five rounds and nine first-round picks.
I've seen many people advocating for Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin to get the Michigan job, but Skippers Dugout posted this on June 14:
One other name mentioned recently is current Michigan pitching coach Steve Merriman:
UPDATE: Perhaps Stricklin is still a possibility. Skippers Dugout just posted this:
A couple of side notes:
- Someone asked in a previous thread what other openings there are in college baseball. From BaseballAmerica's 2012 College Coaching Carousel, it appears that Michigan has the only current opening among BCS schools.
- Skippers Dugout has tweeted a number of times about Rich Maloney, indicating that he may be headed back to Ball State:
UPDATE2: Rich Maloney's return to Ball State is now official, and he'll be (re)introduced at a press conference tomorrow morning. See Rich Maloney Named Ball State's Head Baseball Coach.
Also, Kent State was eliminated from the College World Series earlier today, so if Stricklin is in fact interested in the Michigan job, he's now free to pursue it.