NCAA president Myles Brand died Wednesday after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Brand, 67, was diagnosed with the disease in January.
Though former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk famously crusaded against Brand for years over the NCAA’s relationship with baseball, American Baseball Coaches Association executive director Dave Keilitz has long maintained that Brand is a great ally for the sport. Last year there was some momentum on the Board of Directors to reduce baseball’s games from 56 to 52 or 50, but Brand assured coaches he would fight to ensure they kept 56 games, and they did. Brand further showed his support to the coaches by appearing and speaking at a coaches summit in Indianapolis last November.
"I thought his talk was the most significant thing of the whole event," Keilitz said last November. "What the coaches heard and saw was, ‘Wow, we’ve got somebody here at the very top that cares for us and supports us.’ That’s the message he conveyed, and I think the coaches felt very, very good about that."
Brand has been the NCAA’s president since 2003.
"Myles Brand was a dear friend and a great academic leader. He was a tireless advocate for the student-athlete," Georgia president Michael Adams, the chair of the NCAA executive committee, said in a statement. "Indeed, he worked to ensure that the student was first in the student-athlete model. He will be greatly missed."
San Diego announced Monday that it has hired a replacement for pitching coach Eric Valenzuela, who left to take a job at crosstown rival San Diego State last month. USD coach Rich Hill hired Tyler Kincaid from nearby Palomar (Calif.) JC to be the new pitching coach, and he elevated hitting coach Jay Johnson from associate recruiting coordinator to head recruiting coordinator and top assistant. The Toreros also elevated Ramon Orozco to volunteer assistant assistant and added Nik Crouch to the staff as director of baseball operations.
Kincaid had been the pitching coach at Palomar from 2005-09. His pitching staff this spring led all California junior colleges with a 2.60 ERA, and two pitchers on the staff earned all-America honors. Before that, Kincaid served as pitching coach at San Francisco State from 2002-05. But his five summers as pitching coach for the Chatham A’s in the Cape Cod League also played a significant role in his hiring at USD. [...] Continue Reading »
Mitch Gaspard has made an impact hire in his first major move as Alabama’s head coach. Gaspard, who was promoted from assistant coach to head coach when Jim Wells retired last week, hired Kyle Bunn as the Crimson Tide’s new pitching coach Wednesday. Bunn spent the last two years at Clemson, where his pitching staff ranked fifth in the nation in ERA (3.68) in 2009. Prior to that, he spent six years at Mississippi under Mike Bianco.
“Obviously when we started this search, Kyle was our number one target from the outset,” Gaspard said. “We loved his style; he has a great mentality and a great knowledge of pitching, and his development of pitchers is obvious.
“Kyle is a dynamic recruiter. What he is going to give us is an opportunity to really go after the elite arms in the country, and he did a very impressive presentation for us, showing us how he goes about getting those top arms in the country. I know he is a relentless worker, and he’s the perfect fit for us."
A memorial service will be held Thursday at 5 p.m. CT to honor the life of Western Illinois head coach Stan Hyman, who passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 50 after battling leukemia for the past month. The public is invited to attend the service for Hyman, which will be held at WIU’s Alfred D. Boyer Stadium. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Stan Hyman Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, 103 Western Hall, Macomb, IL 61455.
Hyman served as head coach for the Leathernecks for eight seasons. He won his 350th career game against Centenary on May 16th and has recorded some of his most proud victories over highly regarded opponents such as Long Beach State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan State, Illinois-Chicago and Oral Roberts during his tenure at Western. [...] Continue Reading »
Jim Wells, the longest tenured coach in the Southeastern Conference, has retired as the head coach at Alabama, effective today. He will be replaced by assistant coach Mitch Gaspard, who agreed to a three-year deal promoting him to head coach.
Wells took over as Alabama’s head coach when Barry Shollenberger retired in 1994. He led the Crimson Tide to three College World Series appearances in the 1990s, and the Tide has won six SEC touarnament titles in his tenure.
Wells, 54, briefly retired in the summer of 2007, then un-retired six days later. A few weeks after that, Alabama added Gaspard to its staff, hiring him away from Northwestern State, where he was the head coach. Gaspard served as an assistant under Wells at Northwestern State in 1993-94 and at Alabama from 1995-2001, and it was widely assumed that he returned to Tuscaloosa in 2007 to become the head coach-in-waiting. [...] Continue Reading »
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