It looks like Purdue has its first new baseball coach this century. A few moments ago GBI posted that Mark Wasikowski, a top assistant at Oregon, will be hired as the new Purdue baseball coach:
Sources say #Purdue will hire Oregon assistant Mark Wasikowski as its new baseball coach. pic.twitter.com/Iam7mgOndl— GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) June 23, 2016
This is a very interesting hire because as recently as 2008 Oregon did not even have a baseball program. The program was shut down after the 1981 season, but revived in 2009 under George Horton who won the College World Series in 2004 with Cal State Fullerton. With Horton (and a crapload of Nike money) the Ducks quickly became a solid team. In just year two they went 40-24 and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1964. Two years later they were a national seed at 46-19 and would have hosted Purdue had the Boilers won the Gary regional. Instead, they were upset by the same Kent State team that upset Purdue.
In 2013 they were 48-16 and once again a national seed before getting upset at home by Rice. In the eight seasons since restarting their program Oregon has made the NCAA Tournament five times and twice been a top 8 national seed.
In that, Wasikowski had a large role. He has been the team's recruiting coordinator for the past five seasons and helped maintain a solid program that had four straight NCAA appearances before going 29-26 this year. From his Oregon bio:
In his four seasons at Oregon, the Ducks have compiled a 176-80 record (.688) while earning four straight NCAA tournament appearances. Wasikowski helped lead Oregon to school records in wins during his first two seasons with 46 in 2012 and 48 in 2013. With 44 wins in 2014, Oregon became one of just eight teams in the nation to record three consecutive 40-win seasons from 2012 to 2014. The Ducks just missed the 40-win mark in 2015, but still reached the NCAA tournament after winning 14 of their last 18 games and nine of their last 10 to earn an at-large bid.
Oregon's recruiting classes have been amongst the best in the country with Wasikowski leading the charge. Each class that Wasikowski has brought in has been ranked in the top-25 in the nation, with the 2013 class being ranked sixth by Perfect Game and the 2015 class coming in at eighth in the Collegiate Baseball rankings.
In addition to being a talented recruiter, Wasikowski is a proven developer of talent. During his 20-year coaching career, Wasikowski has coached 112 players who have been selected in the MLB Draft, including 25 that have played Major League Baseball.
Oregon Live also spoke very highly of him:
Wasikowski knows all about winning. From Seal Beach, Calif., he played third base for Pepperdine's 1992 national championship team coached by Lopez. Wasikowski became Lopez's assistant for one season at Pepperdine and for three at Florida before both ended up at Arizona.
There, Wasikowski served as Arizona's recruiting coordinator, a job he now has at Oregon, and had several recruiting classes ranked among the Top 10 in the nation. The Wildcats, led by lineups that produced numerous MLB draft picks, made seven postseason appearances, reaching the College World Series in 2004.
It also should not be overlooked that the players he recruited to Arizona won the 2012 College World Series when Wasikowski was in his first season at Oregon.
Well, I have to tip my hat here. While my personal choice was Greg Lovelady, it looks like ol' Morgan Burke went out and got a good one here. Purdue's baseball recruiting should get a major boost here with a premium facility. Wasikowski has won a CWS as a player and recruited a wealth of players that went out and won another. It looks as if he can bring in the talent we need.
Good job, Morgan.