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Saw some interesting things in Kendall's weekly piece. Did you know Gene Stephenson was still the coach at Wichita State? He's been there for like 120 years. East Carolina is 11-13. Wow. Arizona is struggling worse that we are right now. They've started 0-6 in the PAC 10. I had no idea how horrible Georgia is. I knew they were 0-6 in the SEC but I didn't realize they were 8-16 overall. LSU is rolling at 22-2 right now.
Wow! Would have bet a lot of money Stephenson retired at least a decade ago. He's got to be near some sort of record.
Checkout Stephenson's bio, this is his 36th season, 2nd all time winningest coach behind Augie Garrido, over 1700 victories. Actually took the Oklahoma job in 2004 for a day, then changed his mind and went back.
The landscape of baseball has changed during his career. The midwest - Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Wichita State - used to be the center of the college baseball universe, other than Southern Cal I guess. Now the southeast and west coast have blown up and the midwest isn't what it once was. It's been nearly 20 years since WSU has been to the CWS and nearly 25 since their only title. He'll go down as one of the greats, but he probably should hang them up soon.
7 or 8 years ago Stephenson agreed to leave Wichita to become the head coach at Oklahoma. I think was actually the head coach at Oklahoma for a few hours, then changed his mind and went back to Wichita.
Yep...it sure has changed MCR. It's guys like Stephenson and Ron Fraser (RIP) from Miami who have developed the platform of college baseball in to what it is today. I think you could throw in a couple more teams like Creighton,Oral Roberts, and Tulane in that mid west bracket and almost have yourself a CWS back then. One of the things that I remember back then was that Wichita State had 2 years where they played 88 and 87 games in a single season but I don't believe they made it to the CWS either year. Gene was the Bobby Bowden of baseball. Your place, my place, I don't care.... let's just play.
I bet they played 20-30 every fall to avoid the nasty midwestern February and March.
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