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The John Cohen Era Begins

This Friday marks the start of the 2009 baseball season at Mississippi State.  Dudy-Noble will play host to the BankFirst Challenge with Northern Illinois, North Florida, and of course, Mississippi State.

This Friday marks another significant event as well. Former player John Cohen will make his debut as the head coach of the MSU baseball team. Cohen was hired after legendary head coach Ron Polk announced his retirement/resignation half-way through the 2008 season. There was a bit of controversy surrounding the Cohen hire. Polk had apparently made it clear that he wanted long-time assistant Tommy Raffo to succeed him as head coach. Athletic Director Greg Byrne had a different idea. What followed was a bit of drama between Polk and Byrne.

In the end, Byrne hired Cohen, Raffo left for a job at Arkansas State, and Polk decided to become a volunteer assistant coach at UAB, where former player Brian Shoop is the head coach. The MSU/UAB series should be interesting this year.

Watch The Games For Free

Can't make the trip to Starkville this weekend to cheer on the Bulldogs? Have no fear. Maroon To The Max, Mississippi State's online streaming service, will have all of this weekend's action (audio and video) for free. Just head on over to the Mississippi State Athletics website for more info.