Indiana hires Chris Lemonis as head baseball coach

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BLOOMINGTON –  It’s been almost a decade since Indiana had to look for a new baseball coach, but when they did they made sure to pick someone who knows the territory.

Plus they didn’t have to go that far to find him.

On Wednesday athletic director Fred Glass announced that Louisville assistant coach Chris Lemoris will become the Hoosiers’ new manager. He replaces Tracy Smith, who last week took the head coaching job at Arizona State.

“We are extremely pleased with the extensive interest in this position, from head coaches to assistant coaches and others associated with collegiate and professional baseball,” Glass said in a statement released by the school. “From those outstanding candidates, we are confident we have selected the right one to lead Indiana Baseball.”

Lemonis served as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator for the Cardinals and in his eight years at the school helped them to three College World Series appearances. In the time he was in Louisville, the Cardinals had a combined record of 359-159 with the team winning 50 or more games the last two seasons.

“I am really excited for the opportunity to join one of college baseball’s hottest programs at Indiana,” Lemonis said in a statement released by the school. “I am thankful Fred Glass and the administration have faith in me to keep the momentum rolling and keep the Hoosiers at the top of the Big Ten.

“Our staff will do everything we can to recruit the state of Indiana and the entire Midwest to bring the best baseball players to Bloomington. We will play an exciting brand of baseball and are confident we can continue the championship tradition that has been established at IU.”

Once Lemonis arrives in Bloomington he will have to keep up a strong tradition started by Smith, who guided the school to it’s first College World Series appearance in 2013 and this past year helped them earn a No. 4 National Seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers also had the No. 4 pick in the MLB Entry Draft in catcher Kyle Schwarber and had a few others selected in the draft as well.

Glass praised those over the past week who helped the Hoosiers pick a head coach, including a former major league third baseman.

“I’d like to personally thank all involved in the process of helping us land this outstanding head coach, especially our student-athletes and Scott Rolen, who served as a special advisor in our search,” Glass said in a statement.