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Missouri signs baseball coach Tim Jamieson to 3-year contract

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Mack Rhoades' first official coaching decision as Missouri's athletic director was a bit of a surprising one: he re-signed head baseball coach Tim Jamieson to a three-year deal.

Jamieson's base salary will remain the same, but the program will receive a budget increase to further aid the program's growth.

"We are pleased Tim will continue to lead our program," Rhoades said. "This year's team made encouraging progress and we look forward to moving the program forward with the current roster of talented, young student-athletes in addition to the highly-regarded young men joining our program next year. We are committed to investing in our program and student-athletes in order to increase our competitiveness in the premier baseball conference in the country. Coach Jamieson led our program to high levels of success in the past and we anticipate the same in the future. Tim manages his program with great integrity and represents Mizzou in a first-class manner."

"First, I want to express my gratitude to Mack and the rest of our administration for having confidence in my staff and I as we continue to improve our program alongside the best in the nation in the SEC," Jamieson said. "We are coming off of a year that is more reflective of the success we saw throughout our tenure in the Big 12 and we will continue to get better as we take on the challenges of competing in the SEC. The commitment Mack and the administration have made to our program is reflected in the increase in our budget and I am beyond grateful to them for helping give us the resources we need to be even more successful in the SEC."

Jamieson's Tigers are coming off of a third-place finish in the SEC East Division after going 15-15 in SEC play with a starting lineup that featured as many as six underclassmen, including four true freshmen. Nearly half of the team's offensive production came from underclassmen in 2015. Mizzou exceeded the expectations of nearly every national pundit in 2015, earning its most conference wins since 2009 while winning six of 10 SEC weekend series and ranking as high as No. 14 nationally. The Tigers also boasted five wins over top-10 teams while playing the nation's fourth-most difficult schedule according to Three players - junior Breckin Williams and freshmen Tanner Houck and Trey Harris - earned All-SEC honors in 2015 as well.

Knowing what we (think we) know about athletic directors and their desire to bring in their own hires for certain sports, and knowing that Mack Rhoades has professed to be a "baseball guy" of sorts, it was easy to assume that, as Jamieson's contract approached expiration, it wouldn't be renewed. If forced to bet my life savings on a given outcome, I'd have bet on that one. But as trripleplay wrote in May, there's certainly some logic in bringing him back.

I've said it for years and have never doubted that Tim Jamieson is a good coach. He's a good man. He runs a clean program. He's experienced. He's produced many good high school, college, and professional baseball coaches from among his 21 squads.

If Mizzou is satisfied to have a good coach who runs a clean program and produces a middle-of-the-road semi-competitive team, Tim Jamieson is your man. Having shown he's adjusted somewhat to the SEC learning curve, I have no doubt he can return Mizzou Baseball to the level it was in the Big 12: generally finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack, occasionally rising higher, more occasionally dropping lower.

If that's what Mack Rhoades wants, he should keep Tim Jamieson around.

Rhoades' thinking could be along those lines. Jamieson's recent performance suggested that he could make Mizzou a middle-tier SEC team without any expanded administrative support; give him more support, and he could produce even more.

Jamieson is indeed a good guy, and while you get to know someone's flaws pretty well over the course of 21 seasons, he has plenty of strengths, too. And if a higher degree of athletic department support, in the form of better facilities, more expensive staff, a better strength and conditioning setup, etc., means a higher, more sustained level of play, that's even better. Rhoades may have thrown us a curveball on this one, but it isn't the craziest idea in the world. Now we just have to see if it works out.