Indiana announced Wednesday that it has hired Chris Lemonis as its head coach, replacing Tracy Smith, who left for Arizona State last week. Lemonis has spent the last eight years as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisville, playing a key role in building the Cardinals into a formidable national power in college baseball. He and Louisville pitching coach Roger Williams were co-recipients of the 2013 ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year award.
Lemonis has long been admired throughout the college baseball world for his incredible recruiting skills and his ability to lead an aggressive, productive offense. His enthusiasm and energy are contagious, and his gregarious personality is a major reason he is such a successful recruiter. He also has had tremendous success mining the states of Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky for talent, making him a great fit for IU.
Lemonis, who spent 12 years on the staff at The Citadel before joining Dan McDonnell at Louisville, has had other opportunities to become a head coach, but he waited for the right opportunity—and this is it. The Hoosiers went to Omaha in 2013 and earned a national seed this year; they have some of the best facilities in the region and burgeoning fan support. He should be able to win big in Bloomington.
“I am really excited for the opportunity to join one of college baseball’s hottest programs at Indiana,” Lemonis said in a release. “I am thankful (Indiana director of athletics) Fred Glass and the administration have faith in me to keep the momentum rolling and keep the Hoosiers at the top of the Big Ten.
“Our staff will do everything we can to recruit the state of Indiana and the entire Midwest to bring the best baseball players to Bloomington. We will play an exciting brand of baseball and are confident we can continue the championship tradition that has been established at IU.”