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Jason Kelly, Dan Fitzgerald Joining Baseball Staff

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Jay Johnson has his two paid assistant coaches

Jay Johnson’s first LSU coaching staff is nearing completion.

On Wednesday it was reported that Dallas Baptist associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Dan Fitzgerald will be LSU’s new recruiting coordinator. This comes on the heels of a Tuesday report that Jason Kelly, formerly the pitching coach at Arizona State, will join Johnson at LSU as the Tiger pitching coach.

Fitzgerald helped turn Dallas Baptist University into quite the reputable baseball program. The Patriots made seven NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the Super Regionals this year. DBU finished the 2021 season ranked 14th nationally.

Being a recruiting coordinator means you have to have an eye for talent and Fitzgerald certainly does. As The Advocate’s Wilson Alexander wrote, Fitzgerald would go on to recruit nine players who would become All-Americans at Dallas Baptist, and 11 players that would be taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft. Fitzgerald fills the void left by Nolan Cain, who Texas A&M hired to be the Aggies new recruiting coordinator.

Kelly, on the other hand, is the first official hire of the Johnson era. The two have competed against each other numerous times with Kelly previously coaching at both Arizona State and Washington. Kelly spent the past two seasons with the Sun Devils and before that spent seven years with the Huskies, where Washington made three NCAA Tournaments and the College World Series in 2018. Kelly replaces Alan Dunn who left LSU after season’s end.

All that’s left for Johnson is to hire a hitting coach and support staff. Because NCAA rules only allow two paid assistants, the hitting coach will strictly be a volunteer position.