Michigan State announced Wednesday that Jake Boss will be its 16th head baseball coach. Boss, who was named Mid-American Conference coach of the year in his first season with Eastern Michigan, will bring postseason experience to the struggling Spartans, whose head coach David Grewe left for an assistant job at Louisiana State last week. Before taking Eastern Michigan to the NCAA tournament in his first season with the program, Boss was an assistant on Michigan teams that qualified multiple times. He has gone to regionals the last four years and five of the last six. It is his run with Eastern Michigan, though, that is most impressive.
The Eagles were picked to finish fifth in the division, but won 25 of their last 40 games, swept through the MAC touranment, winning the four games by a combined 21 runs, and returned to the regionals for the first time since 2003. He became the second coach in MAC history to win the conference tournament and qualify for the NCAA tournament in his first season. Boss, a 37-year-old Lansing native, said it was his goal when he began coaching to return to East Lansing as MSU's head coach. He'll join a Michigan State program that went 24-29 last year (12-18 in Big Ten play) and failed to qualify for the Big Ten tournament, but is in the midst of constructing a brand new ballpark.
"I firmly believe Michigan State baseball is in a current position that will allow for success for years to come," he said in a statement. "The players that we have in place, combined with the new stadium project which will be finished for the 2009 season, have created an excitement around the program with significant momentum as we move into a new era of Spartan baseball."
The College of Charleston also announced a new head coach, one with close ties with the program. Monte Lee, a CofC alumnus and four-year starting outfielder as a player was introduced as the new skipper in a news conference Thursday. After a brief stint playing in the minor leagues, Lee began his coaching career and eventually found his way to Columbia, where he served as an assistant at South Carolina for the past six seasons and recruiting coordinator last year. Thursday, though, it was announced that the first-ever College of Charleston position player to be drafted was returning to his alma mater as a head coach. He'll replace former coach John Pawlowski, who led Charleston to a 338-192-1 record in nine seasons, and to whom Lee gave credit for building the school into a national power. Pawlowski left June 20 to fill the vacant head coaching spot at Auburn.