College World Series-finalist Texas A&M names Michael Earley as head baseball coach

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Michael Earley has been named the head baseball coach at Texas A&M to cap a wild six days since an Aggies rally fell short in the national title game.

Last Monday night, the Aggies lost to the Tennessee Volunteers 6-5 in Omaha to end their best season. By Tuesday, the head coach who led team to the brink of their first title accepted a job to become the head coach of the rival Texas Longhorns.

Jim Schlossnagle was introduced as head coach of the Longhorns in Austin last Wednesday. On the same day, the Longhorns announced that three Aggies assistants — including Earley — would also make the move to Texas.

All that changed over the last few days as the Aggies pursued Earley, an Indiana native, who had built a reputation as a hitting coach at both Arizona State and Texas A&M.

At Arizona State, Earley was credited with helping slugger Spencer Torkelson become a No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

At A&M, Earley served as the hitting coach for the Aggies for the past three seasons, helping the squad to two College World Series appearances. In his tenure, he developed Texas A&M into one of the most powerful and potent offenses in the Southeastern Conference.

This season, the Aggies were led by sluggers Jace LaViolette, Braden Montgomery and Gavin Grahovac, and they set program records for home runs with 136 and walks with a nation-leading 422. In the last three seasons, the Aggies have belted 306 homers, 704 extra-base hits and have reached base on 1,178 walks.

“Michael is a very talented coach and recruiter, but what stood out to me was his character and the relationships he has built with his current and former players,” Texas A&M athletic director Trev Alberts said in a release.

Earley was an All-Big Ten player at Indiana University. In 2010, he batted .352 with 13 home runs and was the only player in the conference to reach double-digits in home runs and stolen bases.

He was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 29th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and played six seasons in the White Sox organization, reaching the Triple-A level with the Charlotte Knights. He completed his professional career with the Southern Illinois Miners in the independent Frontier League in 2015.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity,” said Earley, who thanked administrators for the opportunity.

“For putting your trust in me,” he said. “Being a part of this university and this program are a dream come true. I will not let you down. See you in Omaha!”

Next season, the Longhorns will join the Aggies in the SEC. The two bell-weather programs in the state will reunite as conference rivals for the first time since a decades-old rivalry developed in the Southwest Conference and the Big 12.

The Aggies fled the Big 12 and started play in the SEC in all sports in the 2012-13 academic year.