The Indiana baseball program will once again be searching for a new head coach as Chris Lemonis is reportedly leaving IU for Mississippi State.
Lemonis compiled a record of 141-91-2 in four seasons at Indiana. The Hoosiers reached the NCAA tournament in three out of four seasons under his direction.
Lemonis played at The Citadel and was an assistant coach at Louisville prior to taking over at Indiana in 2015 after Tracy Smith left for Arizona State.
While he hasn’t made any public statements yet, he did update his photo on his Twitter account.
Lemonis was able to continue the run of success that Smith kick-started in Bloomington. Smith took IU to three NCAA tournaments in a six year run that included the 2013 College World Series.
During the Smith and Lemonis era, IU has become the premier program in the Big Ten, with the most wins over the last ten years among its conference peers. Unfortunately, both coaches have now left Indiana for greener pastures at more traditional powers as the Hoosier program has seemingly become a stepping stone.
Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass’ next challenge will be to find a head coach that can continue the run of success while viewing IU as more of a destination job. With Minnesota, Michigan, Purdue and others also improving in the Big Ten as Midwestern baseball continues to become nationally relevant, Glass’ next move will be a critical one.
The first challenge for whoever IU finds as its next coach will be talent retention. According to PerfectGame, IU’s 2018 recruiting class is ranked 39th. The members of that recruiting class are likely to be given releases from their National Letters of Intent — with the option to stay with Indiana.
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