Report: LSU Has Narrowed Focus to Two Coaching Candidates for Baseball Program

Ole Miss’ Mike Bianco, East Carolina’s Cliff Godwin on the short list for LSU baseball position
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LSU is likely the most attractive job in the country for any baseball coach with championship aspirations. For the first time in 15 years that position is open and it appears that the athletic administration has narrowed its focus to two candidates.

According to a report from The Advocate, LSU is having serious conversations with East Carolina head coach Cliff Godwin and Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco about becoming the Tigers' next baseball coach. These are not two new names as both Godwin and Bianco came up almost immediately after Mainieri announced his retirement decision. 

The only issue until this past weekend was that both were still in the playoff hunt with their respective teams but now that their seasons are officially over, LSU can move quickly on a decision if it wants. Godwin has spent the last seven years at East Carolina and led his team to five postseason appearances, including three super regionals. 

Godwin is also on the younger side as he's just 43 years old and has a reputation as a strong recruiter, even spending three years in Baton Rouge as an assistant coach at the very beginning of Mainieri's tenure. In his last season with LSU in 2008, that team made it to Omaha and hit over .300 for the season with 100 home runs. He's also a coach who, much like Mainieri, isn't afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve from time to time. 

Bianco is the longest tenured coach in the SEC, regardless of sport, as he's spent the last 20 years coaching the Rebels and making them a pretty consistent force in the conference. A former catcher for the Tigers who went to a College World Series in the late 1980's under Skip Bertman, Bianco has LSU ties as well and would make a lot of sense for the program as he does have that SEC experience. 

More is sure to be revealed in the coming days about who the team could settle on but there are two strong candidates with backgrounds in Baton Rouge who make sense to take over the baseball program.