I sit here working on this article after doing research and reading about who our new coach and what he is about. I, like many of you am trying to understand and rationalize the hiring of anyone other than Coach Henderson.
Most everyone expected it to be Henderson but I remarked Saturday night that I had a feeling it would not be. Why? Because if the job was to be Henderson’s I felt like John Cohen would have pulled that trigger last week. Cohen I felt had something worked out although I had no clue as to what. I think the decision was made before the CWS began.
At the presser on the SEC network Saturday night it sounded like Henderson was pleading for the job. Was he? I don’t know. Did he want it? Yes I believe he did. I don’t like to think that word had leaked out before the last two games but maybe it had. Maybe that was the last hardship this team had to battle through this season. We were really flat Friday night so? Saturday the fire was there again but it fell one big hit short.
Gary Henderson was the easy choice and one most all of us expected but I think Cohen worked through it with a lot of thought. Henderson and Cohen are good friends. This could not have been easy personally for him but I think Cohen did what he felt was the VERY BEST for Mississippi State long-term.
Staying in the comfort zone is easy. It requires doing nothing but if you do that how can you ever REACH HIGHER? Is it scary, NO! It is exciting to imagine what you can now achieve since you took that step to reach your dreams. Our kids are doing that in various sports. It is time we as alumni and as a fanbase do the same thing while we trust and support our leadership to get us there.
Yes magic happened this year with Gary Henderson in charge and we owe him so very much. He gave us his heart and bled Maroon with this team. I can’t say he couldn’t have worked but as AD, Cohen had to look into the future 10+ years down the road. He did the same thing with the hire of Joe Moorhead. Will it work? Who can say absolutely? But, I think the opportunities for a higher level in football and baseball are in place now. Execution will be the key. Both programs now have someone in charge who has a vision and drive to win championships. We have been right on the cusp of a National Championship in several sports in the last five years. It will come. IT WILL COME! I don’t know about you but I don’t like going to see somebody else walk away with the cake when we were there ready to sing and hold it up but that dang “Fat Lady” sang again and we left still hungry.
Myself, yes I am a little surprised but again I expected something was about to unfold. John Cohen, our AD, has a real backbone, a “set” as they say and a vision for leading Miss. State to a national championship. Maybe it doesn’t work but if you NEVER reach for it, BELIEVE it can happen and WORK for it then it will not happen. Gary Henderson I love you and appreciate you so much. John Cohen, I support you and salute you for what your trying to lead us to, HIGHER GROUND. I salute you for not being satisfied with where we are but working and trying to constantly REACH HIGHER!
Welcome to Miss. State Coach Lemonis and family. We are thrilled to have you join us in this exciting time at Miss. State as we strive for national titles in all sports.
Back ground on Chris Lemonis: Twitter @Lemo22
Married to Jill, two daughters, Marissa and Mackenzie
1990 - 93 Played @ The Citadel
1995 - 2006 Citadel assistant coach (Hittng, Outfield)
2007 - 2014 Louisville assistant coach (Hitting, Lead Recruiter)
3 World Series, 7 NCAA Regionals utilizing his recruits. Three 50 win seasons
2015 - 2018 Indiana Head Coach ( 141 - 91 -2 )
3 Regionals in 4 years
40 - 19 in 2018/ Lost to Texas 3 - 2 at Austin Regional in Championship game
Indiana salary in 2018: 250K
IU recently opened their “modern” stadium (Bart Kaufman Field) seats 2,500 max
The IU announcement: