Illinois State isn’t expected to make an official announcement until early August, but Tulane beat the Redbirds to the punch. The Green Wave announced yesterday that Chad Sutter has been promoted to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, replacing Mark Kingston, who has accepted the same job at Illinois State. Kingston will be named head coach at Illinois State upon Jim Brownlee’s retirement after next season, similar to the arrangement Texas Tech worked out with Dan Spencer a year ago. Tulane also hired former Green Wave standout Jack Cressend as assistant coach.
Getting Kingston is a boon for Illinois State, which is in the early stages of a $3 million stadium project and will now have a blue-chip recruiter to boot. Kingston, who spent a year as an assistant at ISU in 1999 prior to joining Tulane’s staff, is simply one of the nation’s best recruiters, and he has been on the short list for head coaching jobs around the nation for several years now. In seven seasons at Tulane, he has also established a reputation as a quality hitting coach and excellent teacher of fundamentals. With Kingston at the helm and a brand new ballpark, Illinois State has a chance to become a force in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“I’m coming from a good situation," Kingston told the (Bloomington, Ill.) Pantagraph. "I had great support, a great head coach and a chance to be in Omaha next year. For me to leave was not an easy decision. The fact ISU is committed to build a brand new facility was a huge piece of the puzzle. As a coach, that showed me they want to make a significant commitment to where the baseball program is headed.”
Sutter, entering his fifth year as a Tulane assistant, assumes Kingston’s duties as recruiting coordinator, hitting coach and catching instructor.
"I’m excited about the promotion to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at my alma mater," Sutter said in a release. "I’m going to be filling some big shoes. Coach Kingston did a great job here and I am excited for him in becoming the head coach at Illinois State. I would like to thank Coach Jones and (athletics director) Rick Dickson for giving me the opportunity to move up within this great program. Tulane is a place I love very much. I’ve been here a long time and this is where my family and I call home."
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