The Arizona Wildcats are in need of a new baseball head coach, and since Greg Byrne probably has a lot of free time on his hands right now, he showed up on my television while watching the Lake Elsinore Regional Friday night.
We listed some of the frontrunners for the Arizona coaching job on Monday, and at the top of that list was UC-Santa Barbara's head coach Andrew Checketts.
Well, Checketts happens to be coaching in the Lake Elsinore Regional, where Byrne is....what a coincidence!
As I also touched on in that coaching candidate post, Santa Barbara is hosting this regional in Lake Elsinore because they have no lights on their home field.
Now, it's also possible that Byrne was there to #BackThePac, as USC is the 2-seed in this regional (lost to Virginia 6-1). But that's not likely. Byrne is there to observe Checketts in person, and see if he thinks that the UCSB head man is the right guy to bring to Tucson.
Arizona fans should be rooting for UCSB to lose two games this weekend, and be eliminated from the postseason, so that Byrne can work on Checketts ASAP. The MLB Draft starts June 8th, and having someone in place by then, or at least shortly thereafter, to be in contact with the current commits who may be drafted is crucial. Right now, there is the chance Arizona will miss out on some of its incoming recruits because of the coaching vacancy, and Byrne needs to move as quickly as possible.
Nice to see the A.D. out there and watching Checketts though. Very encouraging. Hope he also travels up the road to Fullerton to check out Pepperdine head coach Steve Rodriguez on Saturday. Rodriguez was on the Andy Lopez-coached 1992 National Championship team at Pepperdine, and seems like the second option behind Checketts for the time being.