The first publicly confirmed interview for the Texas Longhorns in the search to replace legendary head baseball coach Augie Garrido is now out in the open, as there are multiple Thursday reports that the ‘Horns have been in contact with LSU Tigers head coach Paul Mainieri.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, Texas “has approached” the head man of the 2009 national champions from Baton Rouge, but D1Baseball.com first reported the interview, which was confirmed by The Advocate.
Of course, this could be a leverage play from Mainieri, who has been the head coach for the Tigers since 2007 after a successful run at Notre Dame — he received a two-year extension in 2015, but his $750,000 salary didn’t receive an increase.
The fact that LSU is one of the few jobs in the country that is close to, on par with, or arguably better than the Texas job provides some further basis for that belief.
And Mainieri would hardly be the first successful coach to use the opening in Austin to get a raise.
However, the difference with LSU is that the state is facing a $1 billion shortfall this year and doesn’t even have enough funding currently allocated to remain operational through the end of the fiscal year. So that raise probably isn't happening.
LSU’s inability to further compensate a head coach SB Nation’s LSU site believes just finished a season that featured the best coaching job of his career could provide Texas the opening it needs to convince him to leave Baton Rouge.
However, there is a complication — Mainieri is on record as saying that he wants to retire in 2025 and the Longhorns may want longer-term stability than that.
The Statesman believes that UCLA’s John Savage also remains a candidate.