Mik Aoki is out after 9 seasons as Notre Dame’s head baseball coach. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament just once in the 13 seasons since HOF coach Paul Mainieri left to become LSU’s head coach.
Aoki finished 224-223-1, 96-129 in the ACC. He only had 3 winning seasons in 9 years.
Best year was 2015 where Irish finished 37-23, 17-13 ACC. They were 24-30, 13-17 this year and missed the NCAA Tournament for the 4th straight year and for the 12th time in the post-Paul Mainieri era.
I’m not sure what took so long, to be completely honest. It’s sad to see, now, that the once crown jewel on baseball in the North has now been overtaken by countless other Midwestern programs.
To put in perspective, prior to Dave Schrage and Mik Aoki, Notre Dame was in the NCAA tournament in 9 of Mainieri’s 12 years, and before that in 4 of Pat Murphy’s 7 years.
A lot of factors go into interest, or lack thereof in the position, and right now it’s going to be a tough sell to get a current head coach to leave and come to Notre Dame. Pay money to make money? For example, the Big 10 was single bid league 10 years ago, but they've invested in either new stadiums or facelifts to old ones. They're now multi-bid league every year. Coincidence? No. And salaries for head coach and assistants? No way to check, but rumor is Notre Dame is not competitive with ACC jobs.
I think with the current climate, Notre Dame needs to go after someone young and energetic. A person that can recruit and Isn’t afraid of technology and player development. The Irish need a complete shift in ideology and development.
While names like Brian O’Conner and Cliff Godwin are the most popular choices, why would either leave their respective programs to come to Notre Dame? The names that make the most sense to me are Terry Rooney (Houston assistant), Graham Sikes (Michigan State assistant), or Eddie Smith (Tulane assistant). This collection loves Notre Dame, and would have the tenacity to make moves necessary to improve the program. Either way, with a changing of the guard, it’s time for continued facility improvements and a reevaluation of financial aid to make Notre Dame a more appealing choice for top talent.