Sunday evening, Times Pic-Nola Advocate writer David Folse broke news that LSU would be hiring Tulane assistant coach Eddie Smith away from the program to replace Sean Ochinko on the Tiger baseball staff:
The Advocate later confirmed the report, although all LSU has confirmed is Ochinko’s departure as of press time.
A native of Olympia, Washington, Smith played for two years at Notre Dame. He was a senior in 2006, a member of the last Fighting Irish team that Mainieri coached before coming to LSU.
Before joining the Tulane staff, Smith was the head coach at Lower Columbia College, a junior college in Longview, Washington. He also has been an assistant at Virginia, Notre Dame and Santa Clara.
Smith has tutored 48 players that were chosen in the Major League Baseball draft. Twenty-three have gone in the first 10 rounds, and he has coached 13 players who have made it to the majors.
Smith would be leaving a full-time gig for a “volunteer” role at LSU, but volunteer assistants do profit from the very lucrative baseball camp business — a business that I would guess is more prosperous at LSU versus Tulane. The program also has resources to help volunteer assistants.
Or Smith may just view the job here as a better bridge to a bigger full-time role than his current spot at Tulane under Travis Jewett.
***UPDATE — Now Official:
“We’re extremely excited to add Eddie Smith to our staff, and we’re very fortunate to have him,” Mainieri said in a statement. “Eddie is a very experienced coach with a proven track record of success. He combines his intelligence and coaching ability with a tremendous work ethic, and he is going to be a very impactful asset to our program.”
Smith, 35, worked as Tulane’s hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for the past two seasons. Under his direction, the Green Wave set American Athletic Conference records this season for home runs (89), batting average (.302), runs per game (7.69), runs scored (446), total bases (1,055), slugging percentage (.518), extra-base hits (241) and walks per game (4.88).