LSU Baseball makes coaching changes, hopes for more offense
BATON ROUGE - The LSU Tiger Baseball team is looking for more offense, and they didn't have to look far for a change on their coaching staff aimed at improving their hitting.
Tiger head coach Paul Mainieri announced the hiring of Eddie Smith as the new LSU volunteer and hitting coach. Smith directed a record-breaking Tulane baseball offense in 2019 will replace former hitting coach Sean Ochinko who was a former Tiger player and National Championship winner with the Tigers back in 2009.
“We’re extremely excited to add Eddie Smith to our staff, and we’re very fortunate to have him,” Mainieri said. “Eddie is a very experienced coach with a proven track record of success. He combines his intelligence and coaching ability with a tremendous work ethic, and he is going to be a very impactful asset to our program.”
“I’d like to thank Sean Ochinko, one of the all-time great players at LSU, for his work on our staff the past three seasons,” Mainieri said. “He has contributed so much to our program both as a player and as a coach.”
Smith is another former Mainieri prototege having played under the Tiger skipper while he was the head coach at Notre Dame in 2005 and 2006.
Smith followed along the Mainieri coaching tree as he started his coaching career with another Mainieri disciple Brian O'Conner as an assistant at Virginia, where he helped the program emerge as a national power, earning three ACC Championships and two College World Series appearances from 2007-11.
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Smith, 35, worked as Tulane’s hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for the past two seasons, and under his tutelage, the Green Wave set American Athletic Conference records this season for home runs (89), batting average (.302), runs per game (7.69), runs scored (446), total bases (1,055), slugging percentage (.518), extra-base hits (241) and walks per game (4.88).
In his 13 seasons as a college baseball coach, Smith has tutored 48 players that were chosen in the Major League Baseball Draft, including 23 selected in the top 10 rounds, and 13 players he has coached have played in the Major Leagues.
As a player, Smith spent two years at Notre Dame, where he helped the Fighting Irish to two Big East Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, including a No. 8 national ranking as a senior in 2006. He received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Notre Dame in 2006, and earned All-Big East academic honors.