LSU Baseball assistants report to campus

LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri welcomed his two full-time assistants to Baton Rouge Thursday, as pitching coach Terry Rooney and hitting coach Cliff Godwin arrived on campus. Rooney and Godwin, who both worked for Mainieri at Notre Dame, join volunteer coach Blair Barbier on the LSU staff.

Mainieri and his coaches toured the campus Thursday and were introduced to university administrators and athletics personnel.

"I'm very excited to have these three outstanding coaches on our staff at LSU," Mainieri said. "They are first-rate young men who will represent LSU with great dignity and class, and they will bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to our program."  

Rooney, Notre Dame's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, will serve in the same capacity at LSU. Godwin, the Irish hitting coach in 2006, will supervise the Tigers' offense and work with the LSU catchers.

Barbier, a member of LSU's 1997 and 2000 national championship teams, joins Mainieri's staff after one season at McNeese State, where he worked with the outfielders and catchers, and assisted with hitting and recruiting. 

Rooney, 32, arrived in the fall of 2003 at Notre Dame, where his primary role centered on instructing the program's highly-regarded pitching staff while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator. His earlier eight seasons as a Division I assistant included serving as pitching coach with four programs - George Washington, James Madison, Old Dominion and Stetson - with additional recruiting coordinator responsibilities in four of those seasons.

Rooney's recruiting skills and guidance as a pitching coach have combined to yield several noteworthy success stories. In each of the past nine seasons, at least one of his former pitchers has gone on to sign a professional contract despite not being drafted out of high school.  Sixteen of his former pitchers have been MLB draft picks, with seven selected in the first 10 rounds.  

Rooney, a Fairfax, Va. native, has been involved in seven recruiting classes that have been ranked among the national leaders, including Notre Dame's group of 2006 freshmen that were rated as the nation's seventh-best recruiting class.

Upon his arrival at Notre Dame, Rooney set about educating the Irish pitchers on the concept of "offensive pitching" that focuses on aspects that the staff can control - being mechanically sound, working to advantage counts, high first-pitch strike percentages and controlling the running game.  

Rooney's 2006 staff set or tied four Notre Dame records -- strikeouts thrown (504), saves (18), staff strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.95; 504/171) and fewest wild pitches (0.38/gm).

The 2006 Irish staff also allowed just 18 home runs all season for the best HR average by Notre Dame in the 12-season Mainieri era (0.29 HR allowed/gm). The '06 staff ranked third-best in the Mainieri era in ERA (3.52; 27th in the nation for '06) and opponent batting average (.249).   

Rooney supervised the development in 2006 of right-hander Kyle Weiland, who was third in the nation in with 16 saves and earned first-team Freshman all-America recognition.

The 2006 Major League Baseball Draft marked the first time three Irish pitchers were selected by MLB clubs – righthander Jeff Samardzija (fifth round, Chicago Cubs), righthander Jeff Manship (14th round, Minnesota Twins) and lefthander Tom Thornton (21st round, Detroit Tigers). 

A 1996 Radford graduate with a degree in social science, Rooney ranks second in Radford history with 79 appearances and posted an 8-2 career record. He played one season at Davis & Elkins (W.Va.) College, compiling a 4-2 record.

Godwin, a former a standout catcher at East Carolina, joined the Notre Dame staff as an assistant coach in the fall of 2005. Godwin served as Notre Dame's hitting coach, worked directly with the team's catchers and assisted Rooney in the baseball program's recruiting effort.  

Under Godwin's direction, the 2006 Notre Dame hitters compiled the program's best plate discipline ratio (BB + HBP - Ks) since 1990, finishing at +66 with 247 walks, 100 times hit-by-pitch and just 281 strikeouts (4.5 per game).

The ‘06 Irish squad totaled the second-most sacrifice bunts in school history (65, one shy of the team record) while finishing with the program's third-best totals in two other categories: 10.81 hits per game and 100 times hit-by-pitch.  

Prior to serving as director of baseball operations at Vanderbilt during the 2004-05 academic year, Godwin spent one season as a volunteer assistant coach at UNC Wilmington ('03-'04). His duties at Vanderbilt included helping organize daily activities associated with the baseball program and serving as liaison to the Bullpen Club support group.

Godwin was part of the historic UNCW season in 2004, as the Seahawks claimed their first Colonial Athletic Association conference title and advanced to the final game of the NCAA regional in Kinston, N.C.

An all-region catcher and two-time Academic All-American at East Carolina ('97-'01), Godwin was a three-year team captain who started 126 games in his final three seasons. He earned all-East Region honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2001 after batting .322 with 15 home runs and 45 RBI. The lefthanded-swinging Godwin was also named first team all-Colonial Athletic Association in ‘01, when his other season stats included 14 doubles and 23 walks in 57 games played.

Godwin - who spent 2003 as an assistant coach at Kinston (N.C.) High School - played two seasons of professional baseball (2001-02) for the Frontier League's Gateway Grizzlies (based in Sauget, Ill.).  

The Snow Hill, N.C., native was a three-sport standout at Greene Central High School, earning all-conference honors in football, basketball and baseball. He also was an all-state performer in baseball, starred on the hardwood as a shooting guard for his father's team and quarterbacked the Greene Central football team to the best season in the school's history, receiving 1995 conference player of the year honors.

Godwin graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina in December of 2000, with a science degree in management information systems. He received the Pat Draughon Postgraduate Scholarship and - after completing his final season - received his MBA from ECU in 2002.  

Barbier joins Mainieri's staff as volunteer coach after one season at McNeese State, where he helped lead the Cowboys to the 2006 Southland Conference title.

The 28-year-old New Orleans native was a four-year letterman for the Tigers and started for the 1997 LSU national championship team as a second baseman and for the 2000 NCAA championship squad as a third baseman. He was the driving force behind the Tigers' drive to the World Series title in 2000, as he was named to the CWS all-tournament team.  

Following his collegiate career, Barbier played four years of professional baseball in the Chicago Cubs organization.

A 2002 graduate of LSU with a degree in finance, Barbier was a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He played both second and third base during his LSU career and was named Freshman all-America and all-SEC in 1997. He posted a .307 career batting average with 46 home runs, 62 doubles, 260 runs and 199 RBI in 259 games. 

He was a four-year letterman at Brother Martin High School in both baseball and football, earning all-district and all-state honors in baseball.

Barbier is married to Lacie Callais, a former LSU Golden Girl.  

______________________________________

The Terry Rooney File

Hometown: Fairfax County, Virginia
Education: 1996 - B.A. in social science (Radford)
 

Playing Career

Radford University (1994-96)

Davis & Elkins (W.Va.) College (1993)

Coaching Career

Notre Dame assistant (2004-06)

Stetson assistant (2002-03)

Old Dominion assistant (2000-01)

James Madison assistant (1998-99)

George Washington assistant (1997) 

 

The Cliff Godwin File

Hometown:  Snow Hill, N.C.

Education:    2000 – B.S. in management information systems (East Carolina)

                    2002 – Master's in business administration (East Carolina)

Playing Career

East Carolina University (1997-2001) 

Coaching Career

Notre Dame assistant (2006)

Vanderbilt director of operations (2005)

UNC-Wilmington assistant (2004)           

Kinston (N.C.) High School assistant (2003)

 

The Blair Barbier File

Hometown:  New Orleans, La.

Education:   2002 – B.S. in finance (LSU) 

Playing Career

LSU (1997-2000)

Coaching Career

McNeese State assistant (2006)


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