By Tiger Rag News Service
DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball named LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri the manager for the 2018 Collegiate National Team on Tuesday. An American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Famer, Mainieri led LSU to a national championship in 2009 and five NCAA College World Series appearances overall, including a runner-up finish in 2017.
2018 will be Mainieri’s second coaching stint for Team USA after serving as an assistant coach on the Collegiate National Team in 2015, and he will be tasked with continuing an exceptional run of success. USA Baseball is coming off its 2017 season where it became the first federation in history to sweep its international competitions, highlighted by a World Baseball Classic title, two World Baseball Softball Confederation Baseball World Championships and three international friendship series victories by the Collegiate National Team over Chinese Taipei, Cuba and Japan.
“USA Baseball is delighted to welcome Paul Mainieri to the USA Baseball coaching ranks in 2018,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. “Paul has done an outstanding job over his thirty-five seasons coaching collegiate baseball and we are excited to have him bring his exceptional resume of success to our Collegiate National Team as we look to build off last season’s unprecedented achievements.”
Mainieri begins his 12th season at the helm of LSU and has posted a 512-202-3 record (.716) since arriving in Baton Rouge in 1997. He was named the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2015, and has led the Tigers to 29 team championships, including an NCAA title, five Super Regional championships, seven NCAA Regional championships, six SEC Tournament titles, four SEC championships and six SEC Western Division crowns.
Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball tabbed Mainieri as the National Coach of the Year in 2009 and he was also honored with national coach of the year honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, in addition to being awarded the Skip Bertman trophy, in 2015.
As the head coach at LSU, he has coached 11 First Team All-Americans and 15 players who have played in Major League Baseball. Additionally, he has coached five players who have participated on the Collegiate National Team: Micah Gibbs (2008), Mikie Mahtook (2010), Kevin Gausman (2011), Alex Bregman (2013, 2014) and Alex Lange (2016).
“Words cannot adequately describe how honored and proud I am to have the opportunity to lead the USA Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2018,” said Mainieri. “It has been a goal of mine since I went in to coaching thirty-six years ago to one day coach our nation’s team and to now have that dream realized is almost overwhelming. When you pull that jersey on over your head and it says ‘USA’ across the front, your emotions are impossible to describe. We live in the greatest country in the world and I am so proud to be an American, and I also love college baseball. To combine those two things is as good as it gets for me.
“My three mentors throughout my coaching life – Tommy Lasorda, Ron Maestri, and my father, Demie Mainieri – all took their turn in coaching Team USA. And now I get the opportunity to follow in their footsteps. I’m thrilled beyond words to have this wonderful experience.”
Mainieri currently sits at No. 4 on the career wins list for active NCAA coaches, No. 10 in all-time NCAA wins and is one of only seven coaches in NCAA baseball history to have won over 1,300 games and a national championship. He has led the Tigers to the nation’s highest win total over the last 10 seasons with 484 victories.
The remaining Collegiate National Team staff and schedule will be announced at a later time on USABaseball.com.
About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, Olympic, Premier12 and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. The organization is responsible for the continued proliferation and health of the sport, and leads a number of amateur initiatives including PLAYBALL and Pitch Smart. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit the organization’s official websites: USABaseball.com, PLAYBALL.org, PitchSmart.org, GoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseballShop.com.