The other day, I read this free article via Zach Osterman, talking about some of the changes IU baseball wants to implement this coming offseason. I found it interesting because you wouldn't really think that the program needed to change a whole lot coming off their groundbreaking year. However, it's clear that Fred Glass wants to keep the momentum going in the program and really invest more money to help IU become the top baseball school in the B1G. Some of the changes:
1) Director of Baseball Operations-the Hoosiers want to add this position, similar to what Calbert Cheney does with the basketball program. I think this would be a very smart move; very few B1G schools have this position. It's really something you only tend to see in the SEC, so the addition of this job would help cement IU as an up and coming baseball school. The only question is, do we have the budget to afford such a position?
2) New video board at The Bart-this is a cool possible addition to an already state-of-the-art facility. BKF is a great place already, but something like this would really help set it apart. I don't think this is an altogether necessary thing at the moment, but if it sways recruits and gets more butts in the seats, I say bring it on.
3) Filling the assistant coach position-former pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Ty Neal recently left the program to take the head coaching job at Cincinnati. This was a tough loss for the team; Neal was considered one of the top assistants in the country. However, Tracy Smith mentioned that he's fielding a whole lot of interest for the vacant position, including SEC coaches and guys from the professional ranks. Let's hope the position is filled quickly, with someone at least equal to Neal when it comes to recruiting.
All in all, I think these are great moves for the program, mainly because they show Tracy Smith that the IU athletic department is invested in Hoosier baseball. It proves that Tracy Smith will continue to get the resources that he needs to field a competitive team, one that makes trips to Omaha more often. I'm sure Coach Smith is a hot commodity right now. To avoid other schools from sweeping him away, things like investment are very important. With the return of Dustin DeMuth and Ryan Halstead next season, a return trip to Omaha seems like a very real possibility for the Hoosiers.