Some surprising news just broke per Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com:
BREAKING: @OregonBaseball has hired @PurdueBaseball head coach Mark Wasikowski as George Horton’s replacement. Wasikowski guided the #Boilermakers to the NCAA postseason two years ago and has had a lot of success on the West Coast. #GoDucks #Pac12— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) June 11, 2019
Wasikowski just finished his third season at Purdue and he had done quite a job in his brief time in West Lafayette. In his first season the Boilers went 29-27 and qualified for the Big Ten Tournament just a year after a dismal 10-44 season. Purdue was even better in year two, going 38-21 with a strong second half that propelled us into the NCAA Tournament for only the third time in school history. The 38 wins stands as the second best total for a single season and Purdue even won a game in the NCAA Tournament. This season was a step back at 20-34, but the Boilers lost quite a bit and there were several close games that went the wrong way.
The move is not totally surprising, as Wasikowski was Horton’s top assistant at Oregon when we hired him. Horton was the head coach at Oregon for all 11 years since it revived its program in 2009 and they reached the NCAA Tournament five times in that span, but not at all since 2015 when Wasikowski was there. The Ducks reached the NCAA Tournament in all four years he was on staff in Eugene.
Obviously Purdue now has an opening and one wise place to look would be Illinois State. The Redbirds just finished their first season under Steve Holm, who was Wasikoswki’s top assistant in his first two years at Purdue. That year was a huge success, as Illinois State went 36-26 a year after going 21-29. They made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. They also gave Louisville quite a run in its own regional, beating Indiana and the host Cardinals before losing twice to Louisville 11-2 and 4-3 to fall just short of knocking off the No. 7 national seed.
Holm would also go a long way in preserving some stability with the team, as recruiting had picked up under Wasikowski. Josh Mears was the No. 48 overall pick in the MLB Draft this year and he was a Wasikowski signee (though he is very likely going pro now). Regardless of what happens, Purdue baseball’s once promising future is now in flux.
UPDATE: It looks like we will need a whole new staff as now our pitching coach and top assistant is also gone: