Michigan announced Tuesday that the school and coach Rich Maloney "have mutually agreed to not extend his contract," which ends in June.
Maloney led the Wolverines to a 341-244 record in 10 seasons, including eight straight winning seasons to start his Michigan tenure. The Wolverines made four straight trips to regionals from 2005-'08, winning the 2007 Nashville Regional against No. 1 national seed Vanderbilt and hosting a regional in 2008.
But the Wolverines went 17-31 in 2011 (7-16 in the Big Ten to finish in last place), and 22-34 (8-16, 10th place) this year.
"Rich had several significant accomplishments during his Michigan career, but we agreed a coaching change at this time was in the best interest of the program," director of athletics Dave Brandon said in a release. "We appreciate Rich's contributions and wish him well as he transitions to his next career endeavor."
Maloney was instrumental in the fundraising initiative to renovate Fisher Stadium, which now stands as one of the top—if not the top—facilities in the Big Ten. But Michigan failed to build on the momentum of its ballpark project and its postseason success in 2007 and '08.
"Growing up in Roseville, I dreamed of playing baseball at Michigan," Maloney said in the release. "Coming to Michigan as baseball coach was a dream come true. I feel privileged to have worked at such a great athletic and academic institution. This decision was one that Michigan and I reached together. It's a time of transition for the program and time for me to move my career in another direction."
Michigan will conduct a national search to find a replacement for Maloney. One obvious candidate to replace him is Kent State coach Scott Stricklin, who has led the Golden Flashes to four regionals in the last five years and proven himself as one of the top recruiters and developers of talent in the Midwest.
Michigan State coach Jake Boss served as an assistant under Maloney at Michigan, but the Wolverines would likely find it difficult to pry him away from Michigan State, where he has built a strong foundation.
If the Wolverines decide to pursue an up-and-coming assistant, they might look at Louisville recruiting coordinator Chris Lemonis or pitching coach Roger Williams, a duo that has cleaned up in the Midwest on the recruiting trail in recent years. Virginia assistants Kevin McMullan and Carl Kuhn could also be targets, as could North Carolina associate head coach Scott Forbes.
Like McMullan, Minnesota assistant Rob Fornasiere is a past recipient of Baseball America's Assistant Coach of the Year award, and he could be a good fit in Ann Arbor as well.
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