After eight seasons as Miami (Ohio)’s head coach, Dan Simonds left to become associate head coach at Indiana. He replaces Ty Neal, who left to become had coach at Cincinnati.
Simonds will serve as hitting coach and work extensively with the catchers at Indiana, where he’ll be reunited with IU head coach Tracy Smith. Simonds spent five years as an assistant under Smith at Miami (Ohio) from 2000-04, then spent 2005 as the head coach at Xavier.
“We hit a grand slam with this hire,” Smith said in a release. “Our familiarity having both coached and played together before, as well as his head coaching experience, will be huge assets for us. Moving forward, Dan’s high level of baseball background allows Indiana to continue its prominence on the national stage.”
Current RedHawks assistants Tom Kinkelaar and Jeremy Ison figure to be in the mix to replace Simonds as head coach. If the RedHawks look outside the program, they could consider former Georgia coach David Perno, Wright State’s Rob Cooper, or one of the region’s top assistants.
Other coaching news:
• The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Southern California made a run at luring John Savage away from UCLA with a deal that would have paid him seven figures annually, but that offer was rebuffed. As we reported on Twitter on Saturday night, the Trojans have decided to commit to Dan Hubbs as head coach, although contract details are still being worked out.
Hubbs was named head coach in February after Frank Cruz was fired in the wake of NCAA rules violations. His contract expired after the season, but he continued to act as USC’s head coach while waiting for the Trojans to decide upon his future. The Trojans figure to land a second straight strong recruiting class this fall, headlined by catcher Jeremy Martinez.
USC athletic director Pat Haden told the LA Times on Monday that he was working on a long-term contract with Hubbs, whom he called “unproven” as a head coach but said he has a “good future as a head coach.” A former USC player, Hubbs spent 12 seasons as an assistant at Cal, helping the Golden Bears reach the College World Series in 2011. He joined Cruz’s staff as an assistant in 2012.
• Tennessee hired former Oklahoma assistant Aric Thomas to be its recruiting coordinator. Thomas replaces Bill Mosiello, who left to join Texas Christian’s staff.
• Former North Carolina star Robert Woodard is leaving UNC Wilmington’s staff after one season to become pitching coach at Virginia Tech.
• Nevada coach Jay Johnson filled out his staff by hiring former Cal State Northridge assistant Mark Kertenian. Former Southern California assistant Dave Lawn was already on board as the Wolf Pack’s pitching coach.
• Pennsylvania promoted asssistant John Yurkow to head coach late last week. Yurkow spent the last seven years on John Cole’s staff at Penn. Cole’s contract was not renewed after this season.
• Also last week, New Orleans introduced Ron Maestri as its head coach once again. Maestri, 72, led UNO to nine NCAA tournament appearances (including a runner-up showing at the D-II level in 1972) during his first tenure, from 1972-85. He helped the Privateers become the first team from the state of Louisiana to reach the Division I College World Series in 1984. He also served as UNO’s director of athletics from 1979-2000. Maestri spent the last eight years as executive director and chief operating officer of the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs.
The Privateers have gone through some tough times in recent years, dropping out of Division I and then rejoining D-I as an independent, going 7-44 last season. UNO ousted coach Bruce Peddie after that season, and now it will look to Maestri to shepherd the program through its transition into the Southland Conference next season.
“This is going to be fun. We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Maestri said during his introductory press conference. “We are going to do something and we’re going to have fun doing it.”