Oregon Picks Mark Wasikowski As New Head ManCoaching Buzz
Oregon has named former Ducks assistant and Purdue head coach Mark Wasikowski as its new head coach, replacing former boss George Horton, whose contract wasn’t renewed at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign.
Wasikowski, 48, spent three seasons as the Boilermakers head man, and made some waves during his time in West Lafayette, Ind. While Purdue went 29-27 overall in his first season, the Boilers made a massive improvement in 2018 with a 38-21 overall record and a trip to the NCAA tournament, just the program’s third ever.
Purdue had some turnover in the offseason, which led to a disappointing 2019 campaign. But the statement by Wasikowski and his coaching staff was made last season with that trip to the postseason. Wasikowski ends his Purdue tenure with an 87-82 overall record and 36-34 mark in the Big Ten.
“We are excited to add a high-energy and experienced coach in Mark to lead our baseball program,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said. “He has an outstanding work ethic and a track record as an excellent recruiter, and we expect to compete for championships under his leadership. Mark has a wide breadth of experience in both the Pac-12 and beyond, and we are confident that the success on the horizon as well as his high level of engagement will provide a first-class experience for our baseball student-athletes.”
Oregon had success during Wasikowski’s previous stint with the program as an assistant, but times have certainly changed in Eugene. Though the Ducks have plenty of talent in the program, like many teams, they haven’t tasted success in a while, and changing that culture will be the top priority for Wasikowski and his new staff.
The Ducks finished this season with a 27-29 overall record, 10-19 Pac 12 mark, which was good for ninth place in the conference. Furthermore, the Ducks haven’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2015, all while heated rival Oregon State won the national title last season. Combatting the Beavers for state supremacy will be a goal for the new UO staff, but first, they need to establish a winning formula. Oregon made four-straight NCAA tourney appearances from 2012-15, so the ability is there.
As for Purdue, the Boilermakers will have several intriguing head coaching options, including former Boilers assistant Steve Holm, who did a remarkable job in his first season as the head man at Illinois State this past season, while Kent State’s Jeff Duncan would have interest in the opening as well. We will have more on the Boilermakers search for a new head man soon.
As for the Ducks, it’s a new era in Eugene, and it’s Wasikowski’s turn to make things happen.