Many times a successful season means opportunities for those who participate in it.
In the case of Mississippi State, a 40-win season created an opportunity for an assistant coach to become a head coach.
MSU assistant coach Lane Burroughs was hired as the new head coach for the Demons of Northwestern State University, a member of the Southland Conference.
Burroughs returns to the university where he served as an assistant coach under John Cohen.
“Our goal is to bring Northwestern State back to being the premiere baseball program in the Southland Conference, and in the process, prepare young men for unlimited possibilities in their future,” said Burroughs.
While Cohen admits the Bulldogs will miss their hitting coach, the people of NWSU will love their new head coach.
“People there are going to love Lane Burroughs!” said Cohen, who had a record of 146-84 from 1998-2001 as the Demons’ coach with SLC titles in 1998 and 2001. “He has worked hard for this head-coaching opportunity and can handle all aspects of that job at Northwestern State.
“He relates to well to our players. I asked him step in for me and give a pre-game speech during a tough stretch for us this past year and he knocked it out of the park to the point that I had him speak several more times during the season. He is that guy that I can envision speaking to the Kiwanis Club and immediately winning over fans and alumni.”
Burroughs takes over the winningest program in the Southland Conference since 1990 with an average of over 35 wins per season and nine conference titles during that span.
“It’s time to get back to Demon baseball, which means having a program that will challenge for conference titles and postseason berths, and Lane Burroughs’ background and personal qualities make him the person to help achieve that goal,” said Northwestern State athletic director Greg Burke.
Burroughs, a coaching veteran of 17 years, follows some pretty big names in college baseball as Jim Wells, Dave Van Horn, Rob Childress, Cohen, and Mitch Gaspard among other have all coached at Northwestern State.
Burroughs will be officially introduced as the Demon’s head coach next Monday.
As for the Bulldogs, Cohen will begin to look for a replacement immediately.
“We’ll take it very seriously and yeah, since I learned of this possible opportunity for Lane, I’ve started thinking about the candidates of replacement,” said Cohen. “Mississippi State is a place that will attract great coaches and we will continue to improve going forward.
“Sure the candidate has to really clearly understand what we’re doing, they’ve got to work with our catchers and be a huge portion of our recruiting effort. I just don’t like labels that could limit you as a future coach down the road. Our next coach must be a hitting, base-running guy, work with outfielders and understand what we’re doing here offensively.”