Wednesday Morning Coffee Break

Gene's Page talked with Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne about the coaching search, the head coaching and assistant coaching contracts for football and basketball and the basketball indoor practice facility.

How is the baseball coach searching coming along?
"It's really early in the process, but we've already had a lot of our fanbase express their opinions. And, at the same time, we've already started hearing some potential ideas for coaches from people within the business.

"As for as how the process goes, the thing that we have as an advantage is time. We can spend our time doing due diligence to find the right person to be the best coach for our baseball program and our university."

Will this be a national search?
"Yes, because we don't want to limit ourselves by geography."

Will there be a search committee?
"No, there will only be a couple of us involved. Because you are potentially dealing with head coaches of other schools you want to keep your scope down very small to protect the integrity of what the coaches are doing at other institutions."

What part will you play in the search?
"I will be leading it. And all the information will go through me. I'll have another person or two doing leg work, helping me out with the research on our candidates."

Will you do interviews with the candidates?
"Yes, there will be an interview process with a small number of candidates. And there will be just a couple of us who will go out and do the interviewing."

How will you know if someone is interested in the job?
"If coaches are interested they will reach out, and, at the same time, we will reach out to coaches that we are interested in. It's a combination of the two."

Where will finances figure in the job?
"We will be competitive with our salary for baseball coaches."

Who will actually hire the new coach?
"I'll recommend him and (MSU interim president) Dr. Watson will have to approve him."

Based on the responses that you have received, is the head baseball coaching job at Mississippi State looked upon as among the top 5, 10 or 20 best college baseball positions in the country?
"Absolutely, I think it is certainly one of the best jobs in college baseball."

What is going on with the contract situation with Coach Croom and Coach Stansbury?
"It is a top priority to get Coach Croom's and Coach Stansbury's contracts handled so that we can focus on other things. Coach Croom has a four-year contract now, but we haven't come to an agreement on the financial terms."

What about the contracts for the assistant football and assistant basketball coaches?
"The financial terms for the football assistant coaches are agreed upon, but it hasn't been done in men's basketball."

What is going on with the basketball practice facility?
"We are working on it right now. It's still in the quiet phase, but we have received some more gifts."

Do you still think you will break ground on it within a year?
"I hope it will be earlier than that, but I think a year's time would be a good estimate."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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