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    LouLife

    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Baseball Facebook Page
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    Tom Jurich has made many great coaching hires in his time as the University of Louisville Athletic Director.

    Rick Pitino, Bobby Petrino, Jeff Walz, Charlie Strong and Ken Lolla to name a few, but his best hire to date may very well be Dan McDonnell (with Walz and Lolla close behind).

    Since being named the Cardinals head baseball coach on June 27, 2006 all McDonnell has done has win, win, win, no matter what, what, what, taking the program to new heights in the process.

    UofL will try to continue that climb - and its quest for third straight trip to the College World Series and a first-ever national championship - this weekend when it hosts an NCAA Tournament regional. The Cards (43-16), the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season champs and overall No. 3 seed in the tourney, will host in-state rival Morehead State (38-20) at 6 p.m. Friday evening in their first game of the double-elimination tourney at Jim Patterson Stadium. Bradley (35-19) will meet Michigan (37-23) at 2 p.m. Friday in the first game. Play will continue Saturday, Sunday and Monday, if necessary.  

    When McDonnell arrived in 2006, after being an assistant at The Citadel and Mississippi, he was a relative unknown, to the UofL fan base at least, but not to A.D.’s around the country.

    “When we met him, he was the most prepared of any candidate that I have brought in on an interview in any sport,” Jurich said nine years ago. “Recommendations for him came from across the country about his ability to recruit and handle student-athletes.”

    McDonnell has lived up to those endorsements, and exceeded all expectations, in leading the program to unprecedented success. In his nearly nine seasons on the job he has guided the Cards to 402 wins against just 175 losses (a 69.7 winning percentage), eight NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the CWS in Omaha, Neb. Additionally McDonnell, the national coach of the year in 2007 (when he became the first rookie head coach to lead his team to the World Series in 27 years), has also produced 18 All-Americans, 61 all-conference selections, five conference Pitcher of the Year winners, three conference Player of the Year winners and has had 40 players sign professional contracts after being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.

    In short, and in the words of memorable rap duo Kris Kross, “Coach Mac” has been the “miggida, miggida, miggida Mac Daddy.”

    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Baseball Facebook Page

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