June 12, 2008


CBI honors Mainieri, Marquess


LSU and Stanford have built college baseball programs worthy of elite status. Yet, the Cardinal and Tigers had fallen on rather pedestrian times the past few seasons when compared to their traditions and expectations.


LSU and Stanford didn’t take a back seat for long, and both will be playing for another

College World Series title in Omaha.


CollegeBaseballInsider.com, in its seventh year of covering college baseball on a national level, today announces that LSU’s Paul Mainieri and Stanford’s Mark Marquess (right, photo by David Gonzales, Stanford Athletics) share national coach-of-the-year honors. The duo was selected from a group of five finalists, which included North Carolina’s Mike Fox, Nebraska’s Mike Anderson and Georgia’s David Perno, the CollegeBaseballInsider.com 2004 coach of the year.


LSU had missed the NCAA postseason the past two seasons but made huge strides in Mainieri’s second season. The Tigers (48-17) enter the College World Series with 19 more wins than they totaled last season and were picked to finish fifth in the SEC’s West Division (and ninth overall). Stanford took a season off from NCAA tournament play and was picked to finish sixth in the loaded Pac-10 by his coaching peers in the preseason. All the Cardinal (39-22) has done is won 11 more games than last year and made its 16th College World Series appearance.


“While there were many exceptional coaches again this year, we take special interest in coaches who exceed expectations,” said Phil Stanton, co-founder of CollegeBaseballInsider.com. “Not many thought at the beginning of the season that LSU could overcome the likes of Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Ole Miss or that Stanford could battle UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona and Oregon State. All we can say is welcome back LSU and Stanford. We congratulate Paul Mainieri, Mark Marquess, their staffs and their clubs on a fantastic season.”


After finishing as national runner-up the past two seasons, expectations again were high for North Carolina. Fox and his Tar Heels have welcomed the challenge and are back in Omaha for a third straight year. Nebraska’s Anderson endured a rough 2007 on and off the field but led the Cornhuskers to nine more wins and is a finalist for this award for the third time (2003, 2005). All Perno did was lead Georgia to 19 more wins than in 2007 and has the Bulldogs in Omaha for the second time in three years.


Honorable mentions and tips of the cap this year go to: Canisius’ Mike McRae (21-win improvement); Coastal Carolina’s Gary Gilmore; Michigan’s Rich Maloney; Rice’s Wayne Graham; and Fresno State’s Mike Batesole.