Paul Mainieri Biography
LSU Tigers head baseball coach Paul Mainieri was born on August 29th, 1957 in Morganstown, WV. He starred at Christopher Columbus high school as a second baseman and earned a playing berth at LSU. Mainieri attended LSU in 1976, transferred to Miami-Dade North CC in 1977, then the University of New Orleans in 1979, and finally finished his undergraduate degree in Physical Education at Florida International University in 1980.
Following his collegiate playing career, Mainieri earned a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in 1982. He then accepted the baseball head coaching position at St. Thomas in 1983. He remained there until 1988 and went 179-121 in his six seasons, which made him the winningest coach in St. Thomas’ history. This exceptional performance led Air Force to offer him their head coaching job; a position he accepted in 1989. Mainieri remained at Air Force from 1989-1994 and, though his teams had a cumulative losing record of 152-158, this actually marked a significant improvement over Air Force’s past performance and convinced Notre Dame to hire him as its head coach in 1995.
Mainieri enjoyed the most success (thus far) of his career in his twelve years at Notre Dame. He compiled an exceptional 533-213 record and his teams both attended the NCAA nine times and had 40 plus wins in every season except 2005 (when they went 38-24 and were still invited to the tournament). His teams also won four Big East Championships (1999, 2001, 2002, 2006) and won the Big East Tournament five times (1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006). Notre Dame also won two conference tournaments in 2002 and 2004 and attended the College World Series in the latter year. Moreover, Mainieri enjoyed a significant degree of personal acclaim; he won the CBI National Coach of the Year award in 1999. Ultimately, all of this success led perennial national powerhouse LSU to hire him as its head coach in 2007.
Thanks to Shoshanah at flickr.com for the picture.
Though Mainieri had a shaky first season, his tenure at LSU has been tremendously successful since then. In 2008-9, LSU went 49-19 and attended the College World Series and in 2009-10 the Tigers went 56-17 and won the national championship. They enter the current season as the defending champions and at the pinnacle of college baseball.
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