There won’t be many familiar faces in the Tulane baseball coaches’ office.
Not only is newly-hired coach David Pierce replacing Rick Jones after 21 years on the job, but Pierce has also chosen not to retain any Jones’ three assistants.
Jake Gautreau, the Green Wave’s hitting coach and recruiting coordinator, told The Advocate he was released on Tuesday night. He joins pitching coach Chad Sutter and volunteer assistant Shooter Hunt, who are also not returning to Tulane next season.
All three staff members played under Jones at Tulane.
Instead, Pierce will bring along his full set of assistants from Sam Houston State: Sean Allen, Phil Haig and Philip Miller, according to various reports.
Gautreau’s departure was particularly noticeable since the former All-American third baseman served as an interim coach last season and interviewed for the head coach position last week. He was also the favored candidate for many of Tulane’s current players, who were mostly recruited by Gautreau.
“I want Jake to get the job,” freshman outfielder Lex Kaplan said following Tulane’s final game of the season. “He is a great coach. He came in under a lot of pressure, and he proved that he could do it. When everything changed in the middle of the season, it was tough on the players, and no one was sure what to do.”
Pierce and his new staff members will be introduced to the Tulane community Thursday afternoon at a press conference scheduled at Turchin Stadium and a two-hour meet-and-greet with fans at Bruno’s Tavern on Maple St.
The staff’s first responsibility will be to maintain a roster which featured 14 freshmen last year, including seven potential starters. With 10 of them competing in summer leagues across the country, there won’t be many opportunities for a face-to-face meeting before the fall semester opens.
The staff will also need to secure commitments from eight signees, including left-handed pitcher Zach Warren who was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 23rd round of last weekend’s Major League Baseball draft.