There’s no shortage of quality candidates to be the next head baseball coach at Tulane University.
And, director of athletics Troy Dannen would not have to look very far.
At the top of the list should be Mississippi State assistant coach Jake Gautreau. Gautreau would immediately re-connect the school with past glories. One of the best players in school history, Gautreau was a first team All-American, who hit .353 for the 2001 team that reached the College World Series for the first time.
With resources, Gautreau would be a dynamite hire for Tulane.
But, financial aid could be a sticking point. Many private schools, including SEC power Vanderbilt, provide what is called “institutional aid.” If the prospective student/athlete gets 40 percent tuition from the baseball program, he would get the rest from the University.
It is a huge piece of the college baseball puzzle at a private school. At Tulane, would Gautreau be recruiting players that would be asked to pay more than 50 percent of the college tuition? And, would he leave a school like Mississippi State, where the baseball program is provided every avenue to succeed?
Tulane should also look in-state at McNeese head coach Justin Hill. Hill, who turns 43 in July, has coached the Cowboys to the Southland Conference regular season championship, and number one seed in the league’s tournament.
Hill, with a victory over UIW Thursday, would tie the late Tony Robichaux with 263 victories, the most in school history. In 7 of 8 seasons, Hill has led McNeese to 30 victories or more.
Hill was a pitcher at LSU, and an assistant coach at both Southeastern and Louisiana-Monroe.
A source said Hill is a “grinder” and a coach who connects with player and community. He earns about $120,000 a season, and could triple his salary at Tulane.
Former Mississippi State and Holy Cross school head coach Andy Cannizaro would, like Gautreau, connect the fan base to Tulane’s best teams. Cannizaro, a native of Mandeville, who prepped at St Paul’s school, hit .395 for the Wave’s 2001 College World Series team.
At Mississippi State, in one full season, 2017, Cannizaro led the Bulldogs to 40 wins, and an NCAA Super Regional.
One year ago, Cannizaro was courted by Nicholls, but declined.
Cannizaro still checks a lot of boxes. He is talented, a quality recruiter, and knows the high school game in Louisiana inside and out.
Delgado baseball coach Joe Scheuermann, a Tulane alum, has never received serious consideration. And, that is puzzling. Scheuermann celebrated his 1,000th career win at Delgado in 2019.
He is a native New Orleanian, and is universally respected by the high school coaches in the state.
And, two of his former players, Braydon Jobert and Tyler McManus, are having big seasons for the LSU Tigers.
Tuesday night, Jobert hit his 13th and 14th home runs of the season.
After a slow start, McManus is hitting .292 with 8 home runs.
The pair are just two of many who have developed under Scheuermann’s tutelage.