LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri undaunted by task of replacing eight everyday starters _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU baseball head coach Paul Mainieri greets fans as the team arrives to TD Ameritrade Park for their game against Cal State Fullerton in the College World Series

LUBBOCK, Texas — The National College Baseball Hall of Fame announced Monday that LSU coach Paul Mainieri is the winner of the 2015 Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year award.

The award is named for Bertman, who coached at LSU from 1984 to 2001. During his tenure, he won five national championships and was named National Coach of the Year six times.

“I am so very happy,” Bertman said, “to be giving the award to a great coach and to my great friend, Paul Mainieri.”

“I am so honored as this award means more to me than any award that I have ever received,” Mainieri said. “I say this because of the respect I have for Skip Bertman and all he has done for college baseball. In addition to that fact, he is my dear friend, and he brought me to LSU when he was the athletic director. When he hired me, I told him my only goal at LSU was to make him proud of me.”

The National Coach of the Year designation is the second this season for Mainieri, who earlier this month was named Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He has received Coach of the Year recognition in two previous seasons at LSU (2008, 2009) and in one season at Notre Dame (2000).

Mainieri led the Tigers to the College World Series for the second time in three years and for the fourth time in his nine-season tenure. The Tigers posted a nation’s-best 54 wins and were ranked No. 1 in the country for 10 consecutive weeks.

Lange honored

LSU ace Alex Lange was named a first-team freshman All-American by D1Baseball.com on Monday.

It was just the latest honor for Lange, who received similar nods from Collegiate Baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Baseball America, among others.

The Missouri native finished his freshman year with a 12-0 record and 1.97 ERA. He struck out 131 and walked just 46 in 114 innings.

Former women’s basketball assistant Romero dies

Former LSU women’s basketball assistant coach Maggi Romero, who was on Sue Gunter’s staff from 1982-86, died Saturday in Lafayette.

Romero, 73, was a member of Gunter’s staff for a quartet of 20-win seasons that were highlighted by the first two of the program’s 24 NCAA tournament appearances.

Before joining LSU, Romero was a successful coach at New Iberia High School, where her teams produced six district championships, four state runner-up finishes and a state title.

Romero is survived by three sisters and many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in New Iberia.