Well, we weren't expecting this article to be written for years, but here goes.
Mississippi State baseball coach Andy Cannizaro was fired yesterday, reportedly with cause, after starting the 2018 campaign with an 0-3 weekend against Southern Miss. According to the report, pitching coach Gary Henderson will take over as interim head coach.
Obviously, this leaves a vacancy for the head coaching job at Mississippi State, and here are some possible names that be considered as candidates.
Nick Mingione, Kentucky head coach
Nick Mingione is in his second season as the head man at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to one of their best seasons in program history a year ago. They finished with a 43-23 record, 19-11 in the SEC, which placed them 2nd in the East. Furthermore, they made their first ever Super Regional appearance last season.
Mingione is best known by Mississippi State fans for his eight seasons as an assistant under John Cohen in Starkville from 2009-2016. That familiarity with the program, and Cohen himself, could lead him to be a legitimate candidate for the position.
Butch Thompson, Auburn head coach
Butch Thompson is in his third season as head coach at Auburn, helping instrument the turnaround of a program that was in turmoil when former coach Sonny Galloway was dismissed. Last season, Thompson led the Tigers to an NCAA regional, at the conclusion of a year in which they finished 37-25, 16-14 in the SEC. Furthermore, Thompson has been trademarked for his recruiting prowess, finishing with the 6th ranked class in the country a year ago, according to Baseball America.
Similar to Mingione, Thompson is a John Cohen disciple, serving as his pitching coach at Mississippi State from 2009-2015.
Lane Burroughs, Louisiana Tech head coach
Lane Burroughs is currently in his second season as the head coach at Louisiana Tech, taking over for Greg Goff upon his departure for Alabama after the 2016 campaign. A year ago, the Bulldogs finished 37-20, 17-13 in the C-USA, which placed them 5th in the conference. Prior to his arrival in Ruston, Burroughs was the head coach at Northwestern State from 2013-2016, finishing in the top 3 of the Southland Conference in his final three seasons.
Burroughs is yet another branch on the John Cohen coaching tree, serving as an assistant at Mississippi State from 2009-2012.
Scott Berry, Southern Miss head coach
Scott Berry is in his ninth season as the head coach at Southern Miss, proving himself to be one of the greatest coaches in program history. Berry has won three C-USA Tournament titles and the 2011 C-USA regular season title, with four NCAA regional appearances. In every season of his tenure, the Golden Eagles have finished in the top 3 of the C-USA. Furthermore, he was named the C-USA Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2017.
Berry is one of few possible candidates with no direct experience with John Cohen; although, his experience in the state of Mississippi, especially with the extent of success he's had in Hattiesburg, makes him a desirable candidate.
Gary Henderson, Mississippi State interim head coach
Since 2017, Gary Henderson has served as Mississippi State's pitching coach, and upon the dismissal of Andy Cannizaro, he will be the Bulldogs' interim head coach. Henderson helped orchestrate a pitching staff of miraculous proportions last season, helping guide the Bulldogs to a Super Regional, despite a multitude of injuries. He is considered one of the top pitching minds in all of college baseball.
Prior to his arrival in Starkville, Henderson was the head coach at Kentucky from 2009-2016, guiding the Wildcats to NCAA regionals in 2012 and 2014. He was John Cohen's pitching coach at Kentucky from 2003-2008.
Henderson is not the most desirable candidate amongst Mississippi State fans, but if he can right the ship and salvage this season, he can make his case to Cohen about being State's next skipper.
Editor's Note: We will be updating this article throughout the search, so stay tuned for updates.