Rob Reinstetle had some solid recommendations for becoming an assistant coach with the Ole Miss baseball program.
"Dan (McDonnell) and Stuart (Lake) both know me very well," said the former South Alabama and College of Charleston assistant who was named Thursday as the new top recruiter for the Rebels, replacing six-year UM veteran McDonnell, now the head coach at Louisville. Lake, in Oxford three years, also left the program for other opportunities.
"I replaced Stuart when he left College of Charleston to come to Ole Miss (three years ago)," Reinstetle said. "And before that when I was coaching in junior college (at Okaloosa-Walton in Niceville, Fla), Dan was one of the few SEC coaches who would really talk to me. He kinda took me under his wing. I really looked up to Dan and appreciate how he helped me in my career."
Reinstetle, 30, said he learned a lot from McDonnell and others, but he's his own man.
"I'm not Dan. I took a lot from him, but I'm my own coach and person. That's the best thing for me to be."
Knowing Dan and Stuart weren't the only reasons he got the job but it might have been a start. Having been in Oxford recently was yet another.
"We (South Alabama) played in the Regional here, and Coach (Mike) Bianco was very complimentary of the way we played and hit the ball," Reinstetle said.
It was a weekend Reinstetle said left a lasting impression.
"I've been involved in Regionals at LSU, Clemson, and now Ole Miss," he said. "Ole Miss was the best. To have 7,500 people in the stands, and they are such good fans. They know the game. They understand it. It was the best environment I've ever been around.
"Walking to the bus after we lost, there were Ole Miss fans lining the sidewalk shaking hands with us and the players and complimenting us. It was just a first-class environment, a place I knew that if I ever had a chance to coach I would jump at it."
That chance came just a few days ago.
"I'm obviously very excited to be here, elated to be here," he said. "To be able to coach at Ole Miss and in the SEC is what you work for."
"Work" being the key word. Again not to overstate the comparisons to McDonnell, but Reinstetle said there are some.
"I approach recruiting similarly to Dan," he said. "I'll be very aggressive with my recruiting. I want to be the first there and the last to leave. Of course we still have to coach them when we get them, and I'll work very hard to get them."
Reinstetle will likely be the Rebels hitting coach, infielders coach, and coach third base during the games, but that has yet to be completely decided.
But today is all about recruiting. July 1 is the first day rising seniors can be contacted officially by phone. Reinstetle and the Rebel staff will be working today and into tonight, contacting prospective players they hope will sign with Ole Miss.
So after a week of whirlwind activity in the baseball offices, things have settled down nicely, although the place will always be a hub of activity. With Bianco, Bunn, Carl Lafferty and now Reinstetle on board, the Rebel baseball express can continue to roll.
"I'm impressed with everything here," said Reinstetle. "I'm impressed with Coach Bianco. He's so hands-on and has so much energy. He brings so much to the table toward having a successful program. I'm very excited to be working at Ole Miss."
Reinstetle settles in as July 1 is big day
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