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Mizzou Baseball: Trrip’s Comprehensive Coaching List

Mizzou Baseball Coaching Search: Trripleplay’s list & Links for Wednesday, May 31

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Before we get started, let’s first check back in on my poll from last week. Turns out, the majority of us thought Bieser at least semi-deserved another year. I realize now perhaps I didn’t give enough “can him” choices, but I felt the second choice was kinda all-encompassing. You want him gone, pick that. Otherwise, I wanted to know why you would want to keep him.

Turns out we were wrong, and Des didn’t see it the same way! Methinks she already had a name or two in mind before she pulled the plug. Or else WHY DO THIS?!? To me, it’s not even about Bieser, as much as it would be about any coach in this situation, ravaged by injuries and playing at a distinct disadvantage in all about every facet.

Per Dave Matter’s May 29 post at STL Today:

In Sunday’s prepared statement Reed-Francois said, ‘We are committed to further increasing our investment in the program.” How so remains to be seen, but it’s clearly in Mizzou’s best interest to explain those investments to any interested candidates, especially after firing a head coach who’s widely respected in the baseball community.

Anyway, our favorite plugged-in baseball tweeter/Rock M mod Trripleplay — hi, Trrip! — has been sharing a boatload of info about the search on his twitter (click the very winding thread) and in our Slack channel, and includes who he’s hearing and who he would personally include. He graciously allowed me to share what he’s put together, so let’s check in. Some of the notes/thoughts are mine; some are his. His are notated.

A Note: Whomever they choose, Desiree Reed-Francois should absolutely consult with former players, and per Trrip, not just the ones who are raking in the dough in MLB (cough, cough Mighty Max). Gotta make the alums feel like they matter to the program again, something that Bieser was trying to work on.


  • Tony Vitello (St. Louis, MO / Missouri): This ain’t gonna happen, but Des has to check in on him. There’s a lot of animosity there — I’ve heard both sides — seemingly between him and the school, as well as his partners in crime and the school. Gotta sort that s— out. The former infielder (2001-02) and assistant coach (2003-10) also coached at TCU and Arkansas before becoming the head coach at Tennessee in June 2017, where he’s amassed a 229-96 record. Again, they aren’t hiring him, so I shouldn’t waste my time researching.
  • Matt Hobbs (Alta Loma, CA / Missouri): Former Mizzou pitcher (1999-2002) and pitching coach (4 years). Currently a pitching coach for Arkansas (5th season), and has also been at USF, Wake, San Francisco, UC San Diego and Santa Barbara City College. Per Trrip, “He has produced high-quality pitchers in three different conferences who have been high draft picks and MLB stars. Someone is going to offer Hobbs a head coaching position in a power conference if Mizzou doesn’t.” Per, Arkansas has had more pitchers selected in the MLB draft than any program in the country, including a dozen in the top 10 rounds. Drafted by San Diego in 30th round of 2001 MLB Draft Hobbs was also mentioned in Matter’s piece:

The former Mizzou pitcher and assistant coach has thrived in Fayetteville as a recruiter and producer of talent on the mound. Under Hobbs’ watch, since 2019 Arkansas has produced more pitchers in the MLB draft (16) than any college program. Hobbs, a California native, pitched at Mizzou from 1999-2002 under Jamieson then coached the team’s pitchers for four seasons. With the Northern winds that swoop into Taylor Stadium, Mizzou’s facility is a pitcher’s park built for pitching and defense in the first couple chilly months of every season. Under those realities, who better to build a program and roster than a former Mizzou pitcher and pitching coach?

  • Jayce Tingler (Smithville, MO / Missouri): Former MU player, and Trrip’s all-time fave player. He’s got a long career coaching pro ball, encompassing the rookie leagues, Dominican lagues, minor leagues, and majors. Former manager of the Padres (2019-21), Texas Rangers (2015-19) and current Minnesota Twins bench coach (2021-present). Drafted in 10th round of 2003 MLB draft, and played in the minors for four seasons. **Downside: he has no college coaching experience. **Fun fact: He’s bilingual (English and Spanish)!
  • Rob Vaughn (Corpus Christi, TX / K-State): Current head coach at Maryland (160-108) and signed a 5-yr extension in July 2021 (under contract til 2027). Served as an assistant from 2013-17. Makes less than what Bieser did (450K). Loosely connected to Mizzou now that the new Associate AD of Development & Strategic Initiatives, Blair Debord, is here (he’s a big baseball guy). Vaughn played at K-State (2006-09) and was a volunteer assistant (2011-12) while Debord was catcher. Drafted by White Sox in 2009, and played in the minors for a few years. Per Matter’s piece, this would go against Mizzou’s current hiring trends, as in, they’re not normally going after the hottest coaches, but here we are.
  • Hunter Mense (Liberty, MO / Missouri): Hitting coach under Tim Jamieson. Current assistant hitting coach and Minor League hitting coordinator for Toronto Blue Jays (since 2022). Drafted in 17th round of 2006 MLB draft by the Florida Marlins and spent 5 seasons in their minor league system. Fun fact: He spent a lot of time with Vlad Guerrero, Jr.
  • Doug Mathis (Phoenix, AZ / Missouri): Former Tiger pitcher (2005), who originally attended Central Arizona College. Rangers pitching coach from 2019-22 (dismissed in 2022). Current AAA pitching coach for LA Dodgers. Former pitching coach in Seattle Mariners organization. Drafted in 13th round of 2005 June Amateur Draft. Played in minors (Cleveland, San Fran, Oakland, Boston, Tampa Bay), in KBO, Japan and China.
  • Kerrick Jackson (St. Louis, MO / Nebraska): Former Missouri assistant coach and recruiting coordinator (2011-2015). Former Southern University coach (2019). Current head coach at Memphis (2023-present). A jack-of-all-trades, has been a scout, coach and player rep. Also listed on the aforementioned linked post from Dave Matter:

He’s a St. Louis native who knows the state and the Midwest well, having coached at Emporia State, Coffeyville Community College, Jefferson College and St. Louis Community College-Meramec. He’s also been highly involved in multiple baseball organizations: He’s served as president of the MLB Draft League, served on the American Baseball Coaches Association Board of Directors and chaired the board’s Diversity in Baseball committee. Reed-Francois values coaches who aspire to serve in those kinds of roles.

  • Pat Hallmark (Houston, TX / Rice): Former pitching coach under Bieser (2017). Current head coach at UTSA (since 2019). Former head coach at UIW (2018-19) and assistant/pitching coach at Rice (11 seasons, 3 trips to CWS, 5 Supers). Played in minors for Kansas City and San Francisco. Trrip’s note: Probably prefers to stay in TX
  • Lance Rhodes (Sikeston, MO / SLU): Former assistant coach and head recruiter for Tigers (2017-19) & SEMO (2013-16), both under Bieser. Current SIU head coach (since 2020, 98-43 record). Played at SLU in 2005-06 and SEMO in 2007-08. Per the Salukis’ site:

A proven recruiter, Rhodes has signed nationally ranked junior college recruiting classes in each of his first two seasons at SIU, including the nation’s No. 10 ranked junior college class in 2020. This comes after he signed three-straight top-35 national recruiting classes as the recruiting coordinator at Missouri from 2016-19, and his 2019 class at Mizzou was ranked No. 17 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.

  • Dylan Kelly (Roswell, GA / Missouri): Former Mizzou catcher (2013-14) and current SEC baseball analyst (2023-present). Extensive minor league career in Frontier League, Arizona Fall League, and AA. Can’t find much on him so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he’s not a likely contender for the job. I could see him as a staffer though!


  • Rob Childress (Gilmer, TX / Northwood): Former head coach at Texas A&M for 16 seasons (1998-05, 622-336-3 record) until he was canned in 2021 by former Mizzou staffer Ross Bjork after finishing last in the SEC in 2021. He had led the Aggies to 14 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including 6 Super Regionals, and two CWS appearances. Current Nebraska Director of Player Development. Also coached at Nebraska (1998-05), Northwestern State, Texarkana College, Northwood. Matter’s recent “What’s next?” piece for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch mentions him as a possible candidate:

His teams were always competitive in the SEC. At 54, he’s older than the other names on this list but has far more experience, especially in the SEC. Childress served as a Nebraska assistant coach from 1998-2002 then returned to the Huskers’ staff when his contract wasn’t renewed following the 2021 season.

  • Scott Stricklin (Athens, OH / Kent State): Recently fired Georgia HC (took over in 2013, and amassed a 299-236-1 record with 3 NCAA Regionals appearances). Prior to UGA, coached at Kent State from 2005-13, where he also played in the early 90s. Played minor league baseball from 1993-97. Also coached at Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech.
  • Steve Smith (Gulfport, MS / Baylor): Former head coach at Baylor (1995-2015). After a 49-win season in 2012, Baylor had three losing seasons and was relieved of his duties. After Baylor, Smith was an assistant at Santa Clara and volunteer pitching coach at Auburn. Took the TN Tech head coaching job in 2019, and left in 2021 for a pitching coordinator position for the Detroit Tigers. Play in minor leagues for 4 years in the mid-to-late 1980s. Trrip’s note: if Des is looking for someone with that much experience, you go for Childress.
  • Kyle Crookes (Tucson, AZ / San Jose JC & Centenary): Current head coach at Central Missouri (303-108), and assistant two years prior. Led CMU to 46-9 record and was named NCBWA National Coach of the Year in 2022. Led CMU to D-II CWS in 2016, 2019 and 2021. Also coached at Hutchinson Community College (KS) and had a .640 winning%.
  • Justin Haire (Hamilton, OH / Bowling Green & Indianapolis): Current head coach at Campbell (since 2015, 240-175 record), and was an assistant from 2008-14. Reached Regional finals in 2021, and finished fourth in the country at 8.8 runs/game. **Fun Fact: Haire has coached or recruited every All-American in Campbell University history.
  • Jeff Duncan (Harvey, IL / Iowa State & AZ State): Current head coach at Kent State (304-189 record). Former OF for New York Mets, selected in 7th round of 2000 MLB draft. Also played for Padres, Dodgers, and Blue Jays organizations. Volunteer coach at Auburn (09-12) before leaving for an assistant position at Purdue.
  • Wes Johnson (Sherwood, AR / University of Arkansas-Monticello): Current LSU pitching coach (2022 to present). Prior to LSU, he worked at Central Arkansas, Dallas Baptist, and Mississippi State. Also worked in MLB as pitching coach for Minnesota Twins (2019-22), who were in first place at the time. Prior to taking over at LSU, 30 of Johnson’s pitchers have been drafted, including 3rd rounder Blaine Knight (Orioles). **Fun Fact: He also developed St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dakota Johnson, who was chosen 34th overall in the 2016 draft.

From “Wes Johnson is highly regarded both as an elite pitching coach and an outstanding recruiter. His detailed and innovative approach produced remarkable results as his pitchers consistently made big jumps during their collegiate careers. Wes’ staffs are known for having power-armed relievers with power breaking stuff but his versatility was seen in rotations that were more versed in pitchablity and command.” Mike Rooney, ESPN College Baseball Analyst

  • Monte Lee (Spartanburg, SC / Charleston): Associate head coach & recruiting coordinator for South Carolina (2023-present). Previously was the head coach at the College of Charleston from 2009-15 (276-145 record) and Clemson from 2016-22 (242-136 record). CofC reached four NCAA tourneys and one Super under his tutelage. Drafted by the the Cardinals in the 1999 MLB draft, and played two seasons in Single A.
  • Dave Tollett (Hometown: ? / Tusculum): Current head coach at Florida Gulf Coast since 2002 (675-409 record) and three-time A-Sun Coach of the Year. He’s had 20 players drafted, including Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale. Active member of the American Baseball Coaches Association.
  • Casey Dunn (Birmingham, AL / Auburn): Current head coach at UAB (2022-present, 48-61 record). Previously served as head coach of Samford (2005-21, 533-422 record). Played two seasons in minors (1999-2000).
  • Cliff Godwin (Snow Hill, NC / East Carolina): Current head coach at East Carolina (2014-present), where he also played from 1998-2001. Prior to ECU, he also was an assistant at UNC Wilmington, Vanderbilt (DBO), Notre Dame, LSU, UCE, and Ole Miss. His head coaching record is 345-168-1, including 15-12 in the NCAA tournaments. **Note: I can’t see how he leaves ECU. He’s done quite well there, and it’s his alma mater.
  • Chris Pollard (Amherst, VA / Davidson College): Current head coach at Duke (320-242 record). Former head coach at Pfeiffer (2000-04, also AD from 03-04) and App State (2005-12, 244-210-1 record).
  • Justin Parker (Hometown: ? / Wright State): Current pitching coach at South Carolina (2nd season). Prior to U of SC, was associate head coach/pitching coach at Indiana (3 seasons). Led IU to a regular season Big 10 title and a no. 2 seed in the NCAA tourney. 10 Hoosiers were drafted in the 2019 MLB draft. Also former pitching coach at UCF (two seasons) and Wright State. Drafted by Arizona Diamondbacks in the 6th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.
  • Skylar Meade (Louisville, KY / Louisville): Second season as head coach of Troy Trojans. Led Sun Belt conference in strikeouts (520) in 2022. Known before taking the the Troy job as one of the most respected and renowned assistant coaches in the country. Previous stops at South Carolina, Michigan State (led Big 10 in ERA), Middle Tennessee (pitching coach) and Eastern Illinois (GA & assistant).

Per He made an immediate impact in his first season with the Gamecocks as they held opponents to a .243 batting average and posted 542 strikeouts in 553.1 innings of work. In the shortened 2020 season, South Carolina pitchers combined for a 2.81 ERA with 184 strikeouts in just 144 innings pitched. In 2019, Kerry began his rise up the national pitching ranks under Meade’s guidance as he was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and a Freshman All-American by three different organizations.

  • Mark Calvi (Marco Island, FL / Nova Southeastern): Current South Alabama head coach (344-244 record). Worked for FIU for 11 seasons, helping the Golden Panthers to 7 NCAA tourney and a Super Regional in 2001. At South Carolina, he helped lead the Gamecocks to the 2010 National Championship and won the Collegiate Baseball Pitching Coach of the Year. Signed with the Mariners after graduating in 1992. Played in Class-A and then scouted in 1993.

Woooooooweeeee, that was long and once I got started I couldn’t stop so there you go. Who’s your favorites? I think mine are Lance Rhodes (SIU), Skylar Meade (Troy), and Kerrick Jackson (Memphis). Read more about Kerrick at the Commercial Appeal.

On to the Links!

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:


  • I see you, Memphis Tigers. Perhaps the home opener?
  • Crootin:
  • Love this.


  • New staffer alert!
  • This is incredible.

Other Mizzou Sports

  • SOFTBALL: The D1Softball staff has identified its All-America teams with one guiding principle: to identify the best and most valuable college softball players for the 2023 season. Guess who’s on it! And a FIRST TEAMER?!? ALEX HONNOLD, COME ON DOWN.
  • GYMNASTICS: Way to go, ladies!
  • HOCKEY: I mean... why not?
  • VOLLEYBALL: Great video to hype up a new season under a new staff

Former Tigers

  • In case you missed it, Mizzou hoops legend living the dream in Phoenix: What’s new with Sophie Cunningham

Read more at:

  • Back on the Old Man & The Three this week with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter: MPJ!
  • Congrats to everyone’s fave former walk-on, Jarrett Sutton, who got married this weekend.
  • Scroll thru for Michael Porter, Jr.’s comments on the importance of mental health (2nd slide)

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