LSU will have a new hitting coach next season.
Volunteer assistant and hitting coach Sean Ochinko will not return to the program next season, multiple sources close to the situation told Tiger Rag.
Ochinko, a former Tiger, just completed his second season on the job. He served as LSU’s undergraduate assistant before that.
Tulane recruiting coordinator Eddie Smith will replace Ochinko as LSU’s volunteer assistant and serve as the hitting coach, sources confirmed. The move was first reported by D1Baseball.com.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said he could neither confirm or deny the report when reached for comment by phone. Mainieri said last month that he did not anticipate staff changes going into the offseason.
Smith is a well-respected assistant in the baseball community. He spent the past three assistants as a full-time assistant at Tulane and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator.
The Washington native played his college ball at Notre Dame, where he played for Mainieri for two years and helped the Fighting Irish to two Big East Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances.
Smith began his coaching career under Brian O’Connor at Virginia, earning three ACC Championships and two College World Series appearances in five years.
It’s worth noting that O’Connor coached under Mainieri at Notre Dame (1995-2003) before Smith’s time with the program.
Before coming to Tulane, Smith served as the head coach at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash. Smith compiled a 146-49 record in four years and led the Red Devils to three straight West Region titles and Northwest Athletic Conference championships in 2015 and 2017. He was named the 2015 ABCA/Diamond Pacific Association Division National Coach of the Year.