Add Brigham Young to the roster of Division I schools looking for a baseball head coach. The Cougars will not renew the contract of Vance Law, who led the program for 13 seasons.
The former major leaguer had a 397-347-2 record. BYU usually was competitive under Law but never broke through as a consistent regional club through moves from the Western Athletic and Mountain West Conferences before playing this season in the West Coast Conference. Assistant coaches Ryan Roberts and Wally Ritchie (the former big league pitcher) will run the program in the interim while the school conducts a national search.
BYU obviously presents unique challenges, being tied so closely to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which leads many of its top players to spend two years on an LDS mission, interrupting their careers. The best big leaguer with BYU ties, for example, is Jeremy Guthrie, who spent one year at BYU, went on his mission, then transferred to Stanford and developed into a an ace. (Outfielder Matt Carson, now with the Twins, has had the most successful big league career of any BYU alum who played for Law.)
The other Division I coaching openings currently include Michigan, New York Tech, Ohio (where coach Joe Carbone is retiring), Texas Tech, Texas-San Antonio and West Virginia.
One other belated note: Lance Niekro, another ex-big leaguer, has become the head coach at his alma mater, Division II Florida Southern, replacing Pete Meyer, who will focus on his athletic director duties.
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