In the latest example of a successful mid-major head coach leaving for an assistant job in a power conference, Oklahoma has hired Jamie Pinzino as its pitching coach. In his one season as head coach at William & Mary last year, Pinzino led the Tribe to a school-record 39 wins and its first regional appearance. In his previous head coaching stint, Pinzino helped Bryant transition from Division II to D-I, where the Bulldogs quickly became a Northeast Conference power. Pinzino replaces Jack Giese, who left the staff last month.
As college baseball has begun generating more and more revenue, power-conference programs have escalated salaries for assistant coaches, making moves like this more common. Other mid-major head coaches who have left to become assistants at BCS schools in the last three years include Old Dominion’s Jerry Meyers (South Carolina), UC Davis’ Rex Peters (UCLA), Oral Roberts’ Rob Walton (Oklahoma State) and South Dakota State’s Ritchie Price (Kansas). There is more money in power conferences, but there is also a clearer path to Omaha.
“To coach at Oklahoma is to have the chance to work with some of the best players in the country and compete for a national championship every year,” Pinzino said in a release. “Coach (Pete) Hughes is a proven winner and I look forward to the chance to work with him and the rest of the Sooner staff and players. I am eager to get started with practice, and to see what we can accomplish in the next few seasons.”
William & Mary replaced Pinzino by promoting Brian Murphy to head coach. Murphy spent last season as the Tribe’s top assistant, hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. He has previously spent three seasons as an assistant under Pinzino at Bryant from 2006-09, then spent three more season as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Brown. Murphy elevated pitching coach Brian Casey to the top assistant position and recruiting coordinator at W&M.
“In Brian Murphy, we have a rising young coaching talent to lead the program,” W&M athletics director Terry Driscoll said in a release. “Brian’s list of accomplishments over the last 11 years speak for themselves, most especially what he has achieved in his time at William & Mary. I am excited to see him continue to move the program forward.”