P is for Polk
. . .as in former Mississippi State Baseball Coach Ron Polk, considered the "Father of SEC Baseball".
Polk began as head coach of the Bulldogs in 1976 and went on to win 1,218 games and 5 SEC regular season championships.
But what distinguished him most in the SEC was his endless push to bring not only Mississippi State but all of SEC Baseball into into the modern era and into the forefront of college baseball. He fought to change the SEC's governing by-laws that were more restrictive than the NCAA's, limiting teams to fewer practices and fewer games than their competitors in other conferences. He set fire to a facilities expansion race that is still going on in the SEC (and which Mizzou will find themselves obligated to join - or be left in the dust).
For more details about Ron Polk, read SEC Baseball Needed a Well Placed Polk (SECDigitalNetwork.com)
It was at Mississippi State where he put a saddle on the tired state of SEC baseball and whipped it toward the finish line like a jockey trying to get a thoroughbred to the winners’ circle. Rewind to the 1960s and ’70s, and SEC baseball was the black sheep of each school’s athletic family. Most schools had embarassing playing venues, mostly splintered wooden bleachers with rusted handrails.Polk's published his Baseball Playbook in 1982, which became a standard of baseball coaching and training throughout the NCAA and beyond..
For more on the history of SEC Baseball, check out this video by Eric Sorenson of ESPN and CollegeBaseballToday.com: A Stitch in Time: The Rise of the SEC