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Indiana Baseball Coach Chris Lemonis Heading to Mississippi State

Indiana head baseball coach Chris Lemonis is leaving Indiana for Mississippi State after four years in Bloomington. (Mark Timko/HN)

Indiana baseball head coach Chris Lemonis is leaving Bloomington after four seasons with the Hoosiers.

It was announced Sunday night that Lemonis will be hired as the next Mississippi State baseball head coach. The Hoosier Network confirmed the report that was first broke by Kendall Rodgers from D1baseball.com.

He will be the 18th head coach in Mississippi State history.

“I will be forever grateful to Fred Glass and Indiana University for giving me the opportunity to be a head coach,” Lemonis said in a press release. “Our four years in Bloomington were better than we could have ever expected. The University and Bloomington communities wrapped their arms around our family from day one. It is tough saying goodbye to so many great friends, colleagues, fans, and most importantly, the players. I am confident that Fred is going to find a great replacement to continue the IU baseball tradition.”

Lemonis spent four seasons at Indiana after coming over from Louisville where he was assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for eight seasons.

In his time at Indiana, Lemonis compiled a 141-91-2 career record, three NCAA regional appearances and a single-season high 40-wins in 2018.

Mississippi State made their 10thNCAA College World Series appearance in 2018, but with an interim head coach.

MSU head coach Andy Cannizaro resigned from the program after three games into his second season at the helm in Starkville in 2018. Gary Henderson took over as interim head coach, steered a struggling program in the right direction and all the way to a CWS semifinals.

Lemonis replaced former Hoosier head coach, Tracy Smith, after departing for Arizona State in 2014. He became the first IU coach in school history to reach three NCAA regionals in his first four seasons.

Lemonis kept the program in the national spotlight following Smith’s tenure. The three tournament appearances were all at-large bids, the only at-large bids in school history, and IU was ranked consistently in the top 25 throughout the 2018 season.

“Chris Lemonis cemented Indiana’s reputation as the premier baseball program in the Big Ten by guiding our program to three NCAA Tournament appearances in four years,” IU Athletic Director Fred Glass said. “Chris cared deeply for his players, represented Indiana University with class and distinction, and is a good friend to so many of us here at IU and around the state. We wish him and his family the best at Mississippi State.”

During his time at Indiana, 13 players were selected in the MLB draft, including four this season.

Glass stated that assistant coaches Kyle Bunn and Kyle Cheesborough will remain in their positions until a successor is named and determines their roles. Cheesborough will be Indiana’s interim head coach for the time being.

The next head baseball coach hired by the Hoosiers will be the 25th in school history and the third in the last six seasons.

“Indiana University is committed to building upon our established excellence as a baseball program and have already begun a diligent and thorough process to find the next head coach,” Glass said. “This is a great job, with great facilities, at a world class university, and we will find a great leader for IU Baseball.”

Zain Pyarali

I am a junior from Edwardsville, Illinois majoring in Sports Media. I formerly worked for the Indiana Daily Student for two years serving as the Sports Editor and beat reporters for Men’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Field Hockey during my time with the student newspaper. Currently I am the Men’s Basketball beat reporter for IU Student Television while I also broadcast games for BTN Student U. Email me: zpyarali@thehoosiernetwork.com and follow me on Twitter: @ZainPyarali

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