This week, I was surprised to find out that the Mississippi State Bulldogs had hired someone from LSU’s staff to become their next head baseball coach. Like, what had happened to John Cohen?
Well, Cohen has officially become MSU’s new athletic director, taking over for Greg Byrne’s successor Scott Stricklin. Stricklin took the A.D. job at Florida, one that Byrne had been rumored as a candidate for.
So what was Cohen’s last game as the head baseball coach for the Bulldogs? How about a 6-5 loss to Arizona in Starkville in the Super Regional, allowing the Wildcats to advance to Omaha, where they would eventually lose in the third game of the CWS Final to Coastal Carolina.
This isn’t the first time this decade that Arizona has sent an SEC baseball coach to the A.D.’s office. Back in 2012, Ray Tanner was coaching South Carolina in the CWS Final, where they were swept by Arizona. His final game as head coach was on June 25th. He then took on the A.D. job on July 13th that year. Of course, Tanner had more history with Arizona coming thanks to Rich Rodriguez’s offseason flirtations with the Gamecocks last December.
There’s definitely a take home message for SEC schools out there thanks to the somewhat surprising Cohen news from this week. If you lose to Arizona in the baseball postseason, your baseball coach will be the Athletic Director later that calendar year. Book it.