Notre Dame baseball is STILL without a new head coach. How is this possible? What it says to me is that this job no longer holds the same value it once did. Things have warmed up and cooled down in the search for Notre Dame’s next head baseball coach.
As we did several weeks ago, to put things in perspective, Notre Dame was in the NCAA tournament in 9 of Paul Mainieri’s 12 years and before that in 4 of Pat Murphy’s 7 years. For those with less than stellar math skills, that is a total of 13 NCAA appearances in 19 seasons through 2006. Since then, they have just one trip to the NCAA tournament since Mainieri left for LSU.
There’s a list of coaching possibilities, some more likely than others, but a name that always bears mentioning is Murphy. Murphy coached the Irish from 1988 through 1994 when he left to coach at Arizona State where he won 585 games in 15 seasons and took the Sun Devils to the CWS 4 times. He’s currently Craig Counsell’s bench coach with the Milwaukee Brewers, but there have been strong indications that Murphy really wanted to return to coach the Fighting Irish. Murphy's biggest road block is that he was fired at Arizona State in Nov. 2009. A little over a year later, the NCAA ruled that Murphy had committed seven major violations and two secondary violations from 2004 through 2009. Among them where impermissible phone calls where the coaches violated the NCAA one-call-per-week rule with over 490 cases of this happening. They also made approximately 25 calls to a prospective student-athletes prior to July 1st following their junior year in high school. Another violation was payment for work not performed where baseball student-athletes employed by Murphy’s own nonprofit organization received $5,889.34 for work they did not perform. Coaching staff violation where an excess of coaches by having managers engage in on-field coaching activities on more than an occasional basis. Managers were providing technique and pitching mechanics participated in pitchers fielding practice. And the big one, Violation 7: Lack of Institutional Control. This is the one that follows coaches around. Arizona State violated the principles of institutional control in that it failed to ensure adequate systems to monitor for compliance and provide adequate NCAA rules education involving the baseball program, and student-athletes, as it relates to the violations outlined above. The NCAA Committee on Infractions found this violation as major.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Murphy is a great baseball coach, and would turn the ship around at Notre Dame, but if George O’Leary lost his job for a resume blemish it’s HIGHLY unlikely Murphy gets an offer.
Kendall Rogers reported a couple weeks ago at D1baseball.com that there were seven coaches who were in the mix for the ND baseball vacancy:
Kent State head coach Jeff Duncan. He has since parlayed that into a pay raise and extension. Smart guy.
Michigan assistant coach Nick Schnabel in his 7th season as Michigan assistant. Recruiting coordinator and their 2018 class is the highest rated in school history. Helped Michigan to first CWS since 1984.
Florida Marlins pitching coordinator and ND alum Chris Michalak who played for Murphy.
Oklahoma State pitching coach and former ORU head coach Rob Walton. He was 367-167 9 straight Summit Titles & NCAA bids.
Central Michigan Head coach Jordan Bischel. Finished 47-14 in 1st season and previously took Northwood (MI) to DII NCAA x 2 and Midland to NAIA tourney x 2.
Louisville assistant Eric Snider in his 5th season at Louisville. Recruiting coordinator and hitting coach. Spent 15 previous years as Illinois assistant and he’s at his 2nd CWS in his 5 years at Louisville.
Illinois State head coach Steve Holm who is in 1st season as head coach. He spent two previous seasons as pitching coach under Mark Wasikowski who was named Oregon head coach two weeks ago. Holm led Illinois State to NCAA Regional in 1st season. They were the No. 3 seed at the Louisville Regional and upset Indiana and Louisville in their first two games before losing twice to Louisville. He played for the Giants and Twins.
It’s certainly disconcerting that the Irish are still without a coach. Interested to see how things develop in the coming month. For updates on current Irish players and their summer league games, head over to https://und.com/sports/baseball/ for all the latest.