Coach Paul Mainieri announces retirement after 15 seasons at LSU
LSU head baseball coach Paul Mainieri is expected to announce his retirement at the conclusion of the 2021 season later this afternoon.
Mainieri, who led the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series title, will wrap up his 15th season in Baton Rouge with an expected appearance in the NCAA Regionals next week.
The 2021 Tigers started the season with lofty expectations and a top 10 preseason ranking, however youth, injuries and inconsistent play has them likely falling short of their goal of making it back to Omaha for the sixth trip for a Coach Mainieri-led team.
“I have been the luckiest guy in the world to have lived out a childhood dream of becoming a college baseball coach,” Mainieri said in a statement Friday. “I’ve worked at four wonderful institutions, and it’s been the honor of my life to have served as the head coach at LSU for 15 years. To have carried the torch of a program built by Skip Bertman, the greatest college baseball coach of all time, has been a tremendous privilege. It has always been my unwavering goal to sustain the excellence that was created here."
No word on a replacement for Mainieri or the status of any of his assistant coaches was available when the news broke Friday afternoon.
During his 15 seasons in Baton Rouge, Mainieri has been to Omaha five times with the Tigers, winning it once in 2009 and coming up second to Florida in 2017.
The Tigers have nine NCAA Tournament national seeds over the past 13 full seasons, and have won four SEC regular-season championships and six conference tournament titles in that span.
LSU has finished in the Top 10 six times in the college baseball polls over the past 13 seasons, including four Top 5 finishes.
“Paul Mainieri has made an immeasurable impact not only at LSU, but across college baseball,” Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said. “Every day he has taken the field, he has honored the game he loves with his class, his character, and his commitment to excellence. We are forever grateful for the championships he has won, the student athletes he has inspired, and memories he has gifted our fans over 15 seasons.”
Mainieri took over for Smoke Laval in the 2007 season and quickly went about reshaping the roster for the lofty expectations that he inherited once he decided to leave his job at Notre Dame for Baton rouge.
Mainieri was a former LSU baseball player in 1976, playing as a freshman outfielder for the Tigers. He met his wife Karen, then a Fighting Tiger cheerleader here in Baton Rouge. Mainieri then completed his playing career at the University of New Orleans, and, after enjoying great success as a head coach at St. Thomas (Fla.) University, the Air Force Academy and Notre Dame, Mainieri returned to Baton Rouge for the 2007 season eager to enhance the Fighting Tigers’ storied tradition.
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