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Kentucky Wildcats have their new head baseball coach

Kentucky has found its new head baseball coach.

Nick Mingione, a former UK assistant under John Cohen currently serving on Cohen's Mississippi State staff, has agreed to take the job in Lexington.

“Nick Mingione is exactly the kind of coach we hoped to hire when we began our search,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement released by the school. “His passion, tactical mind and tireless recruiting efforts made him an important part of Mississippi State’s staff during some great years for the program. More than that, he is a man of substance who is committed not only to developing young men as baseball players, but as students and people. We are excited to welcome Nick, his wife, Christen, and son, Reeves, to the UK Athletics family.”

“This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed about for more than a decade,” Mingione said. “From the moment I first stepped foot on campus, I knew it would be a place I could call home. What an incredible feeling to be back. Kentucky is a special place and this baseball program has had great moments over the years, including some that I have been a part of. I can’t wait to get to work on building toward an even brighter future."

Mingione, 37, was born in New York and raised in Florida. He was with the Wildcats when they won their first and only SEC championship in 2006. Since then, he has developed a reputation as one of the nation's top talent evaluators and recruiters, having worked with 53 MLB Draft picks, 35 All-Americans and five league players of the year prior to this season.

He helped Mississippi State win the SEC regular season championship this season and was part of the Bulldogs' run to the 2013 College World Series finals against UCLA.

Mingione replaces Gary Henderson, who resigned earlier this month after spending eight seasons as UK head coach. The Wildcats finished the 2016 season at 32-25 overall and 15-15 in the SEC, just narrowly missing the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season.

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