A day after meeting with the University of Tennessee about their head coaching position, Michigan Baseball Head Coach Rich Maloney agreed to a 5-year contract with the University of Michigan. The Free Press and common sense both indicate Maloney's new contract will make him the highest paid baseball coach in the Big Ten.
As MGoBlog and the rest of the Michigan press were reporting yesterday, Tennessee's vacant head coaching position would appeal to anyone, even a guy who said Michigan was his dream job. As a southern school with a noteworthy baseball history, Tennessee was able to offer not only a better climate but significantly more money than Maloney was making at Michigan.
The question for Michigan fans was whether it was important enough to the University to step up to the plate and secure the baseball program's future by keeping Maloney. His results speak for themselves. Three straight trips to the baseball national championship playoffs and a Regional Crown. Two Big Ten regular season titles and a Big Ten Tournament title. Michigan beat the No. 1 team in the country, twice, on Vanderbilt's home turf. Michigan has averaged 42 wins over the last three years and has never finished with a losing record. For the first time in twenty years Michigan is recruiting top baseball talent, has a major renovation of Fisher Stadium underway, and enough momentum to make the major baseball powers take notice that a northern school can play ball.
Michigan's AD Bill Martin didn't miss his chance to secure that future, and signed Maloney to the long term deal he wanted and deserved. However, the credit for this deal goes to both men. Martin for ponying up the cash and time to a coach who was worth it and to Maloney for actually meaning what he said when he declared Michigan his dream job.
A good day for Michigan.