Kent State’s magical run came to end in Thursday afternoon in the College World Series.
Now, the pursuit of Kent State coach Scott Stricklin begins for athletic directors across the country. And, you have to believe Michigan AD Dave Brandon will be among them.
Kent State defeated No. 1 Florida Monday in the CWS before suffering a 4-1 loss to two-time national champion South Carolina to end its impressive season.
Stricklin has done a remarkable job in his eight years at Kent, winning several Mid-American Conference titles and averaging 44 wins the last four years. The Golden Flashes earned a spot in the NCAA regional final last year, defeating No. 5 Texas on its home turf to get there.
Stricklin showed his ability to beat the big boys this season with Kent State knocking off Big Ten champion Purdue in the regional, and also defeating SEC power Kentucky twice in the same tournament, 7-6 in a 21-inning marathon, then 3-2 in the regional title game.
Brandon has to have Stricklin on his radar or he already would have named Michigan’s next head baseball coach. After all, it was a month ago when Rich Maloney and the Wolverines parted ways.
It doesn’t take an athletic director a month to make up his or her mind on an individual … unless that person’s season is still in progress, like Stricklin’s at Kent State.
Brandon has a lot to offer Stricklin at Michigan, the resources to help him make more trips to the CWS, like a tremendous facility, name recognition to get quality recruits and a salary – Maloney was earning $350,000 – to grab his interest.
And, Stricklin knows how to recruit. He was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech 10 years ago when it had the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation according to Baseball America.
Brandon wants to be playing for championships and Stricklin has proven over and over again that he has the ability to get the job done.