Penn State has a new baseball coach following Rob Cooper’s resignation back in May. Earlier today, it was reported by Kendall Rogers of the college baseball website D1 Baseball that PSU was hiring Boston College head coach Mike Gambino for the same position in Happy Valley. Aside from having a badass name and fulfilling PSU’s quota of having at least one Italian head sports ball coach, Gambino brings a track record of success, as the tweets listed below illustrate:
SCOOP: @PennStateBASE is hiring @BCBirdBall’s Mike Gambino as its new head coach, @d1baseball has learned. Gambino spent the last 13 seasons with #BC and guided the program to a Super Regional appearance, and most recently, a regional this past season. #PennSt #B1G pic.twitter.com/QZ2kYivX1D— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) July 3, 2023
Gambino led Boston College to a program-record 37 wins, 16 ACC wins and an NCAA Regional appearance in 2023!— Penn State Baseball (@PennStateBASE) July 3, 2023
Gambino has collected 291 wins in 13 seasons at Boston College, while coaching 33 MLB Draft picks!#WeAre https://t.co/lwMMKUwWdo
The NCAA baseball tournament consists of 64 teams and 16 brackets of four teams, who play in a double-elimination format which is also known as the “Regionals.” Each of the 16 Regionals winners then partake in what’s called the “Super Regionals” where they are split into eight different brackets and play a best-of-three series against each other, with the eight Super Regionals winners moving on to the “College World Series” which is split into two brackets of four teams in a double-elimination format, with the winners of each bracket then meeting in the College World Series Championship, which is a best-of-three series.
Gambino’s BC squad is coming off an NCAA Regional appearance this past season and also made it to a Super Regional back in 2016, which is a lot than PSU can say, as the Nittany Lions last made the NCAA Tournament in 2000, when they made it to the Super Regionals. Although he was not hired by current Penn State Athletic Director Pat Kraft, Gambino certainly has familiarity in having Kraft as his boss, so this hire makes sense from that standpoint. More importantly, he seems like someone who has a track record of squeezing success out of programs that don’t have much of it, historically-speaking.
Penn State has long been a difficult place to win at in baseball, given its climate (hard to play ball outside year-round unlike down south or out west) and general lack of enthusiasm behind the program, but perhaps Gambino could be the guy who finally brings some tangible, sustainable, success that the program has long lacked.
Welcome to Penn State, Coach!