The Kentucky Wildcats have announced the hiring of Nick Mingione as the school's next head baseball coach.
Mingione, who spent the last eight seasons as an assistant to former UK coach John Cohen at Mississippi State, spent two seasons at UK as an assistant under Cohen from 2006-07. During that time, the Wildcats won 33 SEC games across two seasons, including in 2006 when UK claimed its first regular-season SEC Championship.
Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart had the following to say on Mingione:
"Nick Mingione is exactly the kind of coach we hoped to hire when we began our search," Barnhart said. "His passion, tactical mind and tireless recruiting efforts made him an important part of Mississippi State's staff during some great years for the program. More than that, he is a man of substance who is committed not only to developing young men as baseball players, but as students and people. We are excited to welcome Nick, his wife, Christen, and son, Reeves, to the UK Athletics family."
Mingione has been serving as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Cohen at Mississippi State since the 2009 season. Working with the team's outfielders, first basemen and hitters, Mingione helped lead the Bulldogs to the program's first SEC regular-season crown since 1989, a runner-up finish in the College World Series in 2013 and an SEC Tournament championship in 2012.
"This is an opportunity I've dreamed about for more than a decade," Mingione said. "From the moment I first stepped foot on campus I knew it would be a place I could call home. What an incredible feeling to be back. Kentucky is a special place and this baseball program has had great moments over the years, including some that I have been a part of. I can't wait to get to work on building toward an even brighter future.
"I want to thank President (Eli) Capilouto and Mitch for entrusting the program to me, John (Cohen) for the mentorship that has prepared me for this moment and the unending support of my family, especially my wife, Christen."
Over nine seasons at UK and MSU, Mingione has helped land classes with an average ranking of 14th, including top-three classes in 2013-15.
"Nick Mingione has been preparing for this opportunity for the last 13 years and I absolutely know that he will make the most of it," Cohen said. "He is one of the nation's elite recruiters. He is a brilliant tactician of the game. His ability to prepare kids for success in the SEC is of the highest level.
"He will make himself an irreplaceable part of the Kentucky baseball community and his wife is one of the finest people I've ever met. You try and surround yourself with people who make you a better coach and a better person. Nick Mingione has been that kind of person for me and like a member of my family."
Prior to his time at UK, Mingione spent three years as an assistant coach at Embry-Riddle University, his alma mater. The Eagles appeared in the NAIA College World Series in each of those seasons, culminating in a runner-up finish in 2005.
Before rejoining Cohen at MSU, Mingione spent a season at Western Carolina as the program's recruiting coordinator.