Thursday, August 5, 2010

MU Coaching Shuffle

We've now heard from more than one source that a full-scale shuffle is taking place in the Mizzou Baseball coaching staff. Some of the following details I know for a fact. The rest of it has all been confirmed by a number of disparate sources:

■ We know for sure (although MU has not officially announced either of these moves) that Tony Vitello is leaving his job as pitching coach and chief recruiter to take an assistant coaching position at TCU. Also, Luke Cassis is leaving his position as Operations Director to return to his hometown of Chicago, to enroll in graduate school.

■ Earlier this week we reported that former Tiger pitcher Matt Hobbs is apparently going to be the hire as the Pitching Coach.

■ We've also heard from more than one source that long-time Assistant Coach Evan Pratte is going to be moving into the Operations Director position vacated by Cassis.

■ We are also hearing from more than one source that Pratte will be replaced as Hitting/Fielding coach by Kerrick Jackson. Jackson currently is a regional scouting coordinator for the Washington Nationals, and has a long record of assistant coaching experience.

■ It's not certain who will be the Head Recruiter, but both Hobbs and Jackson have a great deal of experience and high recommendations as recruiters. Both have ties in Missouri, Hobbs has many connections on the west coast, and Jackson has played, coached and scouted in the Midwest, the Northern Plains, Louisiana and Florida, and in the Cape Cod League.

Again, none of this is officially confirmed by MU. The departures of Vitello and Cassis are confirmed by TCU and by Luke himself. I expect an announcement from MU soon. As someone who works for the University, I am fully aware that the wheels of UM Human Resources can move very slowly.

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