KENT: Despite overtures from the University of Michigan, baseball coach Scott Stricklin is staying at Kent State.
The final details are being worked out, but Stricklin and his top two assistants — longtime pitching coach Mike Birkbeck and assistant coach Scott Daeley — are each expected to sign contract extensions after leading the Golden Flashes to their first College World Series.
“We sat down and talked on Friday and we’ve had a couple of conversations since then,” KSU Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen said. “So we’re working hard to put together some parameters surrounding a new deal that will encompass everything — from years to dollars.
“We’ve been working on it basically ever since we got back from Omaha and actually before that. So we were prepared with some thoughts and ideas and anticipate something sooner rather than later because both Scott and I want to see something get done soon.”
In his eighth season, Stricklin and his staff led the Flashes to several program milestones including a team-record 47 wins and the CWS berth that made the Flashes the first Mid-American Conference team to reach Omaha in 36 years.
Although Stricklin, a former KSU catcher, was contacted by Michigan and other schools, a mass email letter he sent out late Tuesday afternoon to KSU faculty, staff and program supporters clearly indicates where his heart lies.
“I know some of you have been speculating that the coaching staff might be moving after our historic season,” wrote Stricklin, who has a 314-165 record with the Flashes. “A certain school up north came calling and we decided that Kent State and what we have built here was too good to leave. We are all staying at Kent State and I can promise you that our administration, from the top down, is all in!”
Now, it’s simply a matter of hammering out the fine points, letting the ink dry and posing for the ceremonial handshakes.
“Keeping Scott and that staff together — don’t think we aren’t working hard to keep both of his assistants, too — is critical,” Nielsen said. “If those three stay together and we continue to do some of the things we’re doing facility wise, there’s no reason we can’t be like Wichita State and Cal State Fullerton.”
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