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Aggies' Jim Schlossnagle "Ready To See" What SEC Baseball Is All About

Jim Schlossnagle prepares for his first season in the SEC following the 2020 season.

Jim Schlossnagle knew the challenges ahead when electing to leave TCU for College Station. One conference saw only one club head to Omaha while the other saw three — including the two teams who played for the championship. 

The SEC is a new game. Then again, Schlossnagle is ready for anything coming his way. 

“It’s exactly what we signed up for,” Schlossnagle said Wednesday. “I left a super-comfortable situation, and there were definitely things left to do at TCU, and I’m sure they’ll do a great job of working toward those goals.

“But, for me, it was about, ‘Let’s see what we can do in the SEC West.’”

READ MORE: Top OT Recruit Kelvin Banks On Aggies: "I Could See Myself Playing With Them"

Schlossnagle's record speaks for itself as he prepares to take over Texas A&M baseball. The Horned Frogs found its rhythm for the first time in team history during his 18 seasons at the helm. 

In recent memory, TCU hit its stride at the right moment. Schlossnagle took the Horned Frogs to five College World Series from 2010-17, four of which were consecutive. 

The Aggies are looking to regain around the SEC diamond following the departure of Rob Childress. Although Childress took A&M consistently to the postseason, the team struggled to win in Omaha, Neb. 

Childress went 0-4 at the CWS. All-time, A&M is 2-12 in Omaha. 

Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither will new Aggies. 

“I’m not naive enough to think it’s going to happen overnight,” Schlossnagle said. “I surely hope it does, and we’re laying the groundwork of a great staff, which is going to help attract good players and develop good players.”

READ MORE: Texas A&M Rises to No. 6 In SI All-American's 2022 Recruiting Class Rankings

It's a new staff in College Station to go along with Schlossnagle. Associate head coach Nate Yeskie, who last was with Arizona, will lead the pitchers. New hitting coach Michael Earley come from Arizona State.

Yeskie might be the name to watch as Childress' work with pitchers helped A&M remain competitive in the SEC. Yeskie spent two seasons at Arizona,  helping lead the Wildcats to this season’s CWS. In his first season, Arizona's ERA lowered from 6.21 to 3.87.

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Pitching for the Wildcats nearly had Jay Johnson's squad ruin Vanderbilt's chance for a title. Prior to that, he was an associate head coach for Oregon State, helping the Beavers pick up a national title in 2018. 

“He’s widely known as one of the premier pitching coaches in the country at any level, both in professional and amateur baseball,” Schlossnagle said.

Earley spent the past five seasons in Tempe working with the Sun Devils. During his time with, he mentored No. 1 batter in baseball with former top pick Spencer Torkelson.

Torkelson batted .340 in his final season with the Sun Devils, recording six home runs and 11 RBIs while drawing an impressive 31 walks in 17 games.

READ MORE: ‘I Found Home’ – Top Recruit Jarred Kerr Commits To Texas A&M

“The SEC is such a huge draw for anyone,” Earley said. “On the recruiting front (at A&M), you want to try and win the state of Texas, and then go grab guys from here and there. … The goal is a national championship."

Two names won't change the outcome for Texas A&M, who missed the postseason for the first time since 2006. The SEC saw Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Mississippi State represent the conference in the CWS. Mississippi State took home its first championship in school history since 1991. 

When the NCAA tournament began, nine SEC schools had the chance to win it all. LSU is expected to remain a contender with Johnson taking over. Florida won't be losing much. Tennessee and Ole Miss are top 10 clubs. 

Alabama seems to be gearing up for a breakout season. Arkansas is still Arkansas and the Bulldogs should be heavy favorites to repeat. 

Can the Aggies contend with that? Maybe. Schlossnagle though has bought into the culture at Blue Bell Park. Now, it'll be his job to find players looking to buy in to that same plan. 

“Laying the groundwork of a great staff will: a) help attract good players and b) develop good players,” Schlossnagle said. “That just puts us in the (national championship) conversation. All of those teams are going to still be doing the same thing. It’s not like we’re leapfrogging anybody."

CONTINUE READING: Texas A&M Commit Conner Weigman "Excited" For Chance With 12th Man

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