STARKVILLE – After helping the Mississippi State baseball program to consecutive trips to the College World Series for just the second time in program history, assistant coach Jake Gautreau was tabbed as the D1Baseball National Assistant Coach of the Year on Tuesday (July 9).
Arriving on campus in the summer of 2017, Gautreau has been a part of each of the Diamond Dawgs runs to Omaha during the past two seasons and is a major reason for the record-setting numbers that the team put up offensively during the 2019 campaign. His abilities as a recruiter are also unmatched, as the former All-American third baseman at Tulane has landed a pair of nationally ranked recruiting classes in his first two cycles in Starkville.
“Jake has done a great job working with our hitters and infielders, along with serving as our recruiting coordinator,” said head coach Chris Lemonis. “He was instrumental in transitioning from one coaching staff to another, helping both teams reach the College World Series. Those of us who are around him every day know the type of person he is, how hard he works and how much he cares, and it is nice to see Jake get the recognition he deserves.”
After helping the offense find its footing late during the 2018 campaign, riding the momentum and solid pitching all the way to the winner’s bracket final versus Oregon State at the College World Series, Gautreau’s hitters put up numbers at an almost unmatched pace in 2019.
During the 2019 campaign, the offense led the NCAA in doubles (166), ranked second nationally in hits (755) and was fifth in Division I as a team hitting at an SEC-leading clip of .315. The Diamond Dawgs also sat among the top 20 nationally in runs per game (11th; 7.9), on-base percentage (18th; .397) and slugging percentage (19th; .472).
The 166 doubles in 2019 are a Mississippi State single-season record and rank No. 4 on the SEC’s single season charts, while the Diamond Dawgs also finished among the top 10 in school history in hits (6th), RBIs (7th; 482) and batting average (9th). Defensively, MSU posted the seventh-best fielding percentage in program history at .973.
On the recruiting trail, Gautreau helped Mississippi State land a top-25 recruiting class in 2017 after being on campus for just two months prior to classes starting. The 2017 class ranked as high as No. 21 (Perfect Game) and received top-25 rankings from three other publications. In 2018, MSU’s incoming class was ranked as high as No. 5 nationally (D1Baseball) and was a consensus top-15 ranked class by all four major publications that release recruiting rankings.
The national assistant coach of the year honor gives Mississippi State two members of its staff to earn the award, as Lemonis was tabbed as the nation’s top assistant by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Baseball America in 2013 during his final season at Louisville.