Within the past week, one college coaching vacancy has been filled and another has been opened.
Victor “Bubba” Cates, a 15-yeard head coach for UT Martin, was to a full-time instructor position in the university’s department of mathematics and statistics. A national search for a new head coach has begun.
Cates’ overall record with UT Martin was 236-557-1 with a 92-277-1 record in the Ohio Valley Conference. While Cates got the Skyhawks into the OVC tournament, he couldn’t get them to a regional bid, or to their first winning season since their final Division II campaign back in 1992. They came the closest in 2010, going 24-31, and have had a player taken in the MLB draft each of the last three seasons.
In other coaching news, Valparaiso replaced head coach Tracy Woodson from within, promoting seven-year Crusaders pitching coach Brian Schmack. The move was announced two days after Richmond hired Woodson away from the Crusaders.
Under Schmack, the Crusaders have led the Horizon League in ERA in each of the last three seasons. Schmack pitched professionally in the White Sox, Rangers and Tigers organizations from 1995-2004 and pitched collegiately at Northern Illinois.
Valparaiso found recent success with Woodson at the helm, making back-to-back regionals in 2012 and 2013 after a 44-year NCAA tournament drought.
“Having Brian on my staff for the last seven years, I’ve seen one of the better pitching coaches that I’ve ever been around,” said Woodson in an official school release. “I think his move to being the head coach will be an easy transition. His knowledge of the game and his passion for the game will do him well as a head coach.”