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Softball Coaching Candidates

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Suggestions have been mentioned under the "resigns" topic but likely should have separate area for discussion.  A number of good names have been suggested.  Regarding Mickey Dean at James Madison U.......He is from that area and has family there....may be difficult to pry him away for that reason alone.  Current salary is $123.6K  Don't think AU would make immediate offer equal to what Coach Myers was making .  He signed a new 5 yr contract within the last year.  Regarding Oregon coach....salary $200K+.  May be that the best possibilities will be either an assistant from a top program or a lower tier successful coach.  If got an assistant then it would be good if Scott Woodard stayed in some capacity due to his administrative/compliance knowledge.  Hopeful that we can find a coach capable of keeping the program performing at a high level. 

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Haven't read all of that thread. Here are some names I've seen and some I'd like us to talk to. 

Kenny Gajewski: HC at OK St

Missy Lombardi: Pitching coach, OU

Jimmy Kolaitis: hitting coach, Oregon

Lonnie Alameda: HC, FSU

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IMO we should go after a HC with serious reputation and record.   As for salary, I don't see that Clint's salary should be a limit or a benchmark.  He had a long term contract and agreements affecting his family and I'm betting the salary issue was not that important to him.    He's probably under paid for what he accomplished.

Grasso at Oklahoma is over $300K and we should do what's necessary to get who we want...for example....Mike Smith at Ole Miss is at 200K and a few years ago bama reportedly matched LSU's offer of $300K for Patrick Murphy.  

The AU situation is one of the best in the nation now thanks to Clint and JJ....spent the money on the field and facilities and recruiting the talent.....so we need to take full advantage of those resources and if we brought in some Assistant to take the job we would see our players bailing out over night. JMO

Edited by AU64
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JJ needs to hit a home run on this hire.  You get what you pay for.

Edited by au75

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@AU64    I have been told that we should not be disappointed.  The investment and return of the softball program has proven to be more than a smart business decision.  I would expect a big time hire, but have not heard any names mentioned, yet.  I would be surprised if any names get leaked.

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I didn't realize Mike Smith made $200,000 at Ole Miss.  I like him and his pitching coach. If we're going for an assistant, I have some favorites from national powers:

1.  Lombardi at OU.  She's my favorite by far.  Been there 20 years and developed some very good pitchers.

2. Jennifer Rocha from Florida.  She has developed several outstanding pitchers as well and could recruit that area nicely.

3. Lisa Fernandez from UCLA.  Talk about a splash hire.  Probably the greatest fastpitch softball pitcher of all time.

Notice all my choices are pitching coaches.  That's where the game starts.

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12 minutes ago, saminbama said:

I didn't realize Mike Smith made $200,000 at Ole Miss.  I like him and his pitching coach. If we're going for an assistant, I have some favorites from national powers:

1.  Lombardi at OU.  She's my favorite by far.  Been there 20 years and developed some very good pitchers.

2. Jennifer Rocha from Florida.  She has developed several outstanding pitchers as well and could recruit that area nicely.

3. Lisa Fernandez from UCLA.  Talk about a splash hire.  Probably the greatest fastpitch softball pitcher of all time.

Notice all my choices are pitching coaches.  That's where the game starts.

Understand your view and a good list but I've seen too many one dimensional coaches who move up to HC...and seen them struggle to manage the entire process.  

Hoping we get a HC who knows the entire game and can hit the ground running with the talent he or she inherits at AU. There are some good ones out there and we should set our sights high.

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Lisa Fernandez would definitely be a jaw dropper to the softball world.  She would be in line for the UCLA job after Coach Inouye-Perez retires but she is not much older than Lisa.  I think she might leave her Alma mater for a good HC job.  

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49 minutes ago, around4ever said:

Lisa Fernandez would definitely be a jaw dropper to the softball world.  She would be in line for the UCLA job after Coach Inouye-Perez retires but she is not much older than Lisa.  I think she might leave her Alma mater for a good HC job.  

Heck.  Let's just get their head coach :) 

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4 hours ago, AU64 said:

Understand your view and a good list but I've seen too many one dimensional coaches who move up to HC...and seen them struggle to manage the entire process.  

Hoping we get a HC who knows the entire game and can hit the ground running with the talent he or she inherits at AU. There are some good ones out there and we should set our sights high.

OK, Rocha was a pitcher in college, but Lombardi was a catcher and when Fernandez wasn't pitching for the USA Olympic Gold Medal teams, she played third base, and was a pretty good stick.   I wouldn't call those 2 ladies one dimensional.  UCLA hasn't been as dominant lately as they were in the early years of women's softball, but Fernandez would add to the credibility Coach Myers has established as would the other 2 ladies.  Lombardi has worked under Patti Gasso for 20 years and been a part of 4 national championship teams.  She's seen what is needed to be successful and has had a pretty good mentor.  I believe she could step in with what we already have and be successful very quickly in addition to keeping the good recruiting going.

Edited by saminbama
Grammer

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25 minutes ago, saminbama said:

OK, Rocha was a pitcher in college, but Lombardi was a catcher and when Fernandez wasn't pitching for the USA Olympic Gold Medal teams, she played third base, and was a pretty good stick.   I wouldn't call those 2 ladies one dimensional.  UCLA hasn't been as dominant lately as they were in the early years of women's softball, but Fernandez would add to the credibility Coach Myers has established as would the other 2 ladies.  Lombardi has worked under Patti Gasso for 20 years and been a part of 4 national championship teams.  She's seen what is needed to be successful and has had a pretty good mentor.  I believe she could step in with what we already have and be successful very quickly in addition to keeping the good recruiting going.

Guess I'm influenced by guys like Gus and Butch who came here from assistant jobs and are having to learn that being the HC is not the same as being the OC or the :Pitching Coach.   That's what I meant by one dimensional.....whereas an experienced HC comes with experience in all aspects of the game...but Fernandez sounds like she has the depth to take over a program though interesting that she has not moved up after so long as an assistant.    

Whatever....I think there are some good coaches who would find the AU job very appealing and IMO we should be able to attract a top person...not like someone would have to rebuild a broken program....this is a team that with the right coach could be on the road to Oklahoma City again next year.

Edited by AU64
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We shouldn't have to settle for an assistant coach. We should be in a position to hire an established, successful head coach.

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10 hours ago, Mikey said:

We shouldn't have to settle for an assistant coach. We should be in a position to hire an established, successful head coach.

Agreed.  We should be able to get anybody except maybe the Top 5-10 programs' coaches.  Bur there are some very good assistant coaches who would love the opportunity as well. 

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11 hours ago, Mikey said:

We shouldn't have to settle for an assistant coach. We should be in a position to hire an established, successful head coach.

I agree as well.  We were just discussing good assistants who would be quality hires.  If we hire an established successful head coach, we are probably going to have to pay more than CCM was being paid.  Is our administration prepared to do that?  Someone has mentioned the guy at Ole Miss is making over $200,000.  I like the guy from James Madison.  They beat us 2 out 3 times in the last 2 seasons and our only win wasn't against their best pitcher.   

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14 minutes ago, saminbama said:

I agree as well.  We were just discussing good assistants who would be quality hires.  If we hire an established successful head coach, we are probably going to have to pay more than CCM was being paid.  Is our administration prepared to do that?  Someone has mentioned the guy at Ole Miss is making over $200,000.  I like the guy from James Madison.  They beat us 2 out 3 times in the last 2 seasons and our only win wasn't against their best pitcher.   

I did a little looking around an found that CM was not that highly paid compared to some his peers....made me think that he had some kind of "family" deal that spread the money around.  

Meanwhile...Arizona nailing their guy down...  https://www.azdesertswarm.com/softball/2017/8/14/16145680/arizona-softball-mike-candrea-contract-extended-2022-salary-hillenbrand-stadium-renovations-heeke

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5 hours ago, AU64 said:

I did a little looking around an found that CM was not that highly paid compared to some his peers....made me think that he had some kind of "family" deal that spread the money around.  

Meanwhile...Arizona nailing their guy down...  https://www.azdesertswarm.com/softball/2017/8/14/16145680/arizona-softball-mike-candrea-contract-extended-2022-salary-hillenbrand-stadium-renovations-heeke

You mention Arizona locking down Candrea.  Here's another assistant, but with HC experience.  Stacy Iveson at Arizona.  She won two NJCAA titles while at Pima Community College from 2002-07 and two in her most recent post as head coach at Yavapai College, including in 2011 with a 67-4 Roughriders club. She was head coach at Yavapai for four seasons and took all four teams to the national tournament’s final weekend. 

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14 minutes ago, saminbama said:

You mention Arizona locking down Candrea.  Here's another assistant, but with HC experience.  Stacy Iveson at Arizona.  She won two NJCAA titles while at Pima Community College from 2002-07 and two in her most recent post as head coach at Yavapai College, including in 2011 with a 67-4 Roughriders club. She was head coach at Yavapai for four seasons and took all four teams to the national tournament’s final weekend. 

Interesting....and I wonder how many coaches will get a raise if / when AU goes shopping for CCM's replacement?

Wondering if we will go for some one from the west.....lots of HS talent out there and might be interesting to bring more of it to AU? 

JMO but this will probably turn out to be on the of the better paying jobs out there and to come to a school with a loaded roster should be appealing.  Guessing that we will not know who is being contacted along the way.... but I'm thinking it should not take to long to make the move. :dunno:

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1 hour ago, WDE_OxPx_2010 said:

Pump the brakes on a coach. We're under the microscope.

Certainly casts some questions...but these things can take a long time to resolve....I mean years....and someone needs to be there to keep the team together.  

Gotta do something ....but yep....hard to know how fast to proceed but I think we have to do something....

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3 hours ago, WDE_OxPx_2010 said:

Pump the brakes on a coach. We're under the microscope.

We may be under the microscope, but we can't waste a lot of time.  Fall practice is about to start and present players and signees may start to think about other schools.  They have a valid reason for leaving when the head coach resigns. All they need is a release and they can play somewhere else next year.  

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We might not be able to get a big splash coach like we want. But a good assistant from a top program, or HC from a FCS program might be the best we can do right now. But whoever it is needs to be someone that can come in and establish trust!

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I don't know anything about softball but I assume we just had a new class of players start class. Is that true?  

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20 hours ago, Beaker said:

I don't know anything about softball but I assume we just had a new class of players start class. Is that true?  

Supposedly.  Class started last Wednesday.  Haven't seen any info as to whether all 8 showed up, or what.

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