Longtime LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who led the Tigers to the 2009 national championship and is No. 1 among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories, will retire at the end of the 2021 season, according to an LSU announcement.
Mainieri, whose collegiate career spans 39 seasons—including the past 15 years at LSU—will coach the Tigers in the 2021 NCAA Tournament should they receive a berth in the 64-team field.
“I have been the luckiest guy in the world to have lived out a childhood dream of becoming a college baseball coach,” says Mainieri, in a prepared statement. “I’ve worked at four wonderful institutions, and it’s been the honor of my life to have served as the head coach at LSU for 15 years. To have carried the torch of a program built by Skip Bertman, the greatest college baseball coach of all time, has been a tremendous privilege. It has always been my unwavering goal to sustain the excellence that was created here.”
The 63-year-old Mainieri is one of only five coaches in NCAA Division I Baseball history to win 1,500 games and a national championship. The others are Augie Garrido (Cal State Fullerton/Texas), Gene Stephenson (Wichita State), Jim Morris (Miami, Fla.) and Mark Marquess (Stanford).
During Mainieri’s LSU tenure, the Tigers captured 30 team titles, including the 2009 NCAA title; eight NCAA Regional titles; and made it to the College World Series five times. His six SEC tournament titles tie him with Bertman and former Alabama coach Jim Wells for the most in league history.
Mainieri will address the media at a 4:30 p.m. press conference today. Over the last few seasons, Mainieri has had a few neck surgeries and in the announcement it was revealed that health was a major factor in this decision, Sports Illustrated reports.