The NCAA Division Council is turning volunteer coaching roles across college baseball and softball into full-time positions, according to a report from D1Baseball. If there is any doubt about how coaches feel about the change, Mississippi State’s Chris Lemonis summed it up in a tweet:
Coaches across the two sports have long advocated for the change. Teams are currently allowed three full-time coaches − typically a head coach, pitching coach and hitting coach − while having a fourth volunteer assistant. That will change on July 1.
CWS:Mississippi is the capital of the college baseball world. Again. Get used to it.
OLE MISS:5 unforgettable moments from Ole Miss baseball’s College World Series championship run
COHEN:Former Mississippi State AD John Cohen serving as chairman of college baseball committee
Despite their title, volunteers are immensely important for on-field results. In a profile of Tennessee volunteer coach Ross Kivett by the Knoxville News Sentinel in May 2019 − a month after the council voted against moving to a full-time role − the role Kivett played was apparent. UT coach Tony Vitello called the label of volunteer disrespectful in the report.
Despite not receiving benefits, only getting a “handful” of paychecks and not being permitted to recruit off-campus, Kivett was often up early organizing players’ schedules, helping with drills and much more. Kivett, who estimated in 2018 he earned about $35,000, is well off compared to most volunteer assistants at smaller schools.
The Big Ten − where Lemonis previously coached at Indiana and advocated for a fourth full-time assistant − and Big 12 were among the key votes against the change in 2019. It appears viewpoints have shifted since.
Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @skrajisnik3.
Leave A Comment