Tonight a new college baseball champion will be crowned and if anything, the 2021 College World Series is a perfect example of why Texas A&M is so desperate to elevate this program to an elite level. We’ve had to watch SEC teams like Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, and rival Texas, compete for a title in Omaha while our team’s season has been done for almost a month.
But major strides are happening to put A&M back in this national conversation, and do so quickly. That obviously started with the hiring of longtime TCU coach Jim Schlosnagle, but the Aggies have made equal waves in the coaching world by who they have brought in to fill out Schloss’s staff.
The first name on this list is Michael Earley, who comes to College Station after serving as Arizona State’s hitting coach for the past four years. Just days later, A&M added former LSU player and coach Nolan Cain to the fold, who has proven himself to be one of the best recruiters in college baseball. And the most recent addition is Arizona pitching coach Nate Yeskie, fresh off a trip to the College World Series with the Wildcats.
I’m far from the expert on the quality of college baseball coaches, but the consensus is that these are some fantastic hires. And most notably, it likely took a sizeable financial commitment to lure them away from their respective schools. Even moreso than football, SEC baseball is an absolute meatgrinder, and in order for A&M to rise above the middle of the pack, they needed to invest heavily in baseball, and with these coaching hires, it appears that is exactly what is happening.
Schloss took a TCU baseball program that had essentially zero winning history and brought them to Omaha five times (including four straight from 2014-2017). While the initial challenge at A&M may not be as great, the mountain he has to climb is even higher. That’s not a knock on the Big 12, as there are some great programs there like Texas Tech and Texas. But it simply does not have the volume of historically great programs that the SEC has in Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, LSU, Florida, etc. It’s a monumental challenge, but one the athletic department seems committed to tackling.