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Missouri's baseball coaching search begins with two obvious names

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's On

Two potential Tim Jamieson replacements are standing out.

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The Trib: For Missouri, baseball isn't an easy fix

So as Missouri says goodbye to just its third baseball coach in 80 years — Hi Simmons (1937-73) and Gene McArtor (1974-94) were the others — Rhoades has the nation’s best conference to dangle in front of applicants but not much else.

Regardless of who Rhoades hires, he has to decide how serious he is about the sport. He could hire a replacement for roughly the same salary as Jamieson — $208,000 — with a similar assistant coaching salary pool and hope for the best. Or he could really invest in the sport, which would require spending twice as much and probably building a new stadium for a sport Missouri fans have never fully embraced.

Post-Dispatch: Jamieson out as Mizzou baseball coach

KC Star: Tim Jamieson resigns after 22 seasons as Missouri baseball coach

I highly encourage you to check out trripleplay's first two pieces on the coaching search. They are fantastic. Trrip is high on Dallas Baptist's Dan Heefner, and it's not hard to see why, but I guess it's also not surprising that the early "frontrunners" list (which in so many cases can simply mean "Let's think about the most obvious choices" instead of being any sort of sourced list) includes two guys with blatant Missouri ties: former Mizzou assistant Tony Vitello and SEMO's Steve Bieser.

If Rhoades called off the search today and hired Vitello, I'd be pretty happy. He's been an assistant at a few top-notch schools now, and he's the one candidate here that I can personally vouch for. Granted, this means next to nothing, but I was in MBA school with Tony about 15 years ago (holy crap, it's been 15 years), and he impressed me quite a bit. He was laid back and personable, but he also kept up on all of his school work (which was pretty time-intensive at times) while doing his part with the team. He was incredibly nice and organized.

So I already had a good impression of him before I saw how much reverence everyone else would have for him in the coming years. From a demeanor standpoint, he's basically the Barry Odom of Mizzou Baseball, only, with the work he's done at Mizzou, TCU, and Arkansas through the years, he might have even more valuable experience than Odom did when he was hired last winter.

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