Cohen, who will turn 50 on September 21, is now locked-up as Diamond Dog coach through the 2020 season. He took over his alma mater’s program in June 2008.
Along with the contract extension, Cohen has a new title. The head baseball coach is also Associate Athletic Director, the only Bulldog coach to have such an administrative title.
In a statement provided by MSU Media Relations, “I am grateful for every opportunity here at Mississippi State,” Cohen said. “It’s been a tremendous journey so far and I am excited about our future as we strive for more championships.”
Cohen’s 2016 team added to the program’s legacy with a regular season SEC championship, the first at State since 1989 when Cohen was himself playing on Dudy Noble Field. This team also surpassed the ’89 club’s record for conference victories, with 23, and won a record nine of ten SEC series including all five played on the road.
The ’16 Bulldogs also earned the first national seeding (#6) by the program since the NCAA went to this format in 1999. And another record was set with 11 underclassmen drafted this June, ten of them signing professional contracts along with one free agent signing.
Cohen teams have played in the NCAA Tournament as either at-large or automatic qualifiers in 2011, ’12, ’13, ’14, and ’16. The Bulldogs have won regionals in ’11, ’13, and ’16; and a super regional in ’13 to advance to the College World Series. That team scored the program’s best-ever Omaha finish as national runners-up to champions UCLA.
A 17-year head coach, Cohen has a 605-399-1 record. His Kentucky team shared the 2006 SEC Championship, and he is just one of two SEC coaches ever to be named league Coach of the Year at multiple schools…joining his own MSU mentor Ron Polk.
As for the addition to his job title, athletic director Scott Stricklin said “John has been a valued resource for our entire department in my six years. During our conversations he has indicated an interest in working in administration once he has finished coaching—which I expect will be a long time from now.
“John’s focus will remain on coaching Bulldog baseball, but because of his passion for Mississippi State he will also be an invaluable asset to the administrative team on issues that directly impact our student-athletes and coaches.”