Kentucky baseball had one of it’s most successful seasons of all time in 2017, and this year they have their sights set on the College World Series in Omaha. But drama has already found its way into the fold in the first week of the season as coach Nick Mingione is being rumored as a candidate for the opening at Mississippi State.
Hailstate Baseball HC short-list:— Left Field Lounger (@LFLatMSU) February 21, 2018
• Butch Thompson (AUB head coach)
• Nick Mingione (UK head coach)
• Kirk Saarloos (TCU pitching coach)
• Gary Henderson (if 40+ wins)
• Kevin McMullan (Virginia asst. coach)
Mingione has history in Starkville and Mississippi State is a great baseball job, but given the money being poured into the Kentucky program and the talent he has been able to bring to Lexington, would he consider leaving? He spoke to Matt Jones on Kentucky Sports Radio about the rumors this morning.
“No, I don’t see that happening and here’s why: Christen and I, we love this place. Lexington is our home,” he said.
While it was not a blatant denial that he would “never” consider taking the job, it was just about as strong of a statement as you can expect outside of that.
He went on to talk about how much his family and his faith are growing in the Lexington community.
“I’ve been really clear about how, you know, how important my faith is to me. We’re growing. Right, like, me and my wife are still growing. Heck, she hosted a Bible study at our house this morning. Right, like, so we’re growing. Right? And then you start thinking about our family; our son loves this place. The people have been amazing to us.”
Given the importance he has placed on these issues throughout his time in Lexington, it seems like his family’s fit in the community and their ability to grow their faith may be a bigger hook to stay at Kentucky than the baseball. But we he was sure to address that as well.
“If I didn’t think we could win here, or win a national championship, I wouldn’t have came here to begin with,” he continued. ”I would’ve never put my family in the position of coming here if I didn’t believe this was possible.”
You can listen to the full interview over at KSR. While it is unlikely Mississippi State will start chasing candidates any time soon, the shadow of these rumors could be enough of a distraction to derail this baseball season for the Kentucky Wildcats. Let’s hope Mingione’s comments put this issue to bed so the team can focus on reaching the program’s first ever College World Series.