By Todd Golden & Craig Pearson
TERRE HAUTE — Lindsay Meggs turned heads when Indiana State’s baseball program into a Missouri Valley Conference contender last season.
Now the former ISU coach and reigning Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year has turned to a new challenge.
Meggs has accepted the head coaching job at the University of Washington.
No official announcement has been made by Washington that Meggs was hired or by ISU that he’s left. An official announcement will be made by Washington on Monday. ISU will have a press conference today regarding the coaching situation.
When reached Saturday by the Tribune-Star, Meggs declined comment.
However, Meggs told Sycamore players on Saturday that he had accepted the Husky job. The Washington position was offered to him on Thursday and he accepted it late Friday.
“He got a pretty big offer and he thought that would be best for him. I don’t blame him,” said ISU infielder Koby Kraemer, a former standout at Terre Haute South. “Yeah [it’s disappointing], I mean after we had a really good year this year … looking forward to coming back.
“Right now, all the players are trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s going to come back and all that. We’re all a pretty tight bunch so we’ll be all right.”
Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman declined comment on the coaching situation on Saturday.
Meggs had an overall record of 77-79 in three years at ISU. The Sycamores hit their high water mark in the Meggs era in 2009 with a 33-21 mark and a second-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Meggs, who was born in San Jose, Calif., has long ties to the West Coast. His stint at ISU is the only coaching position he’s had outside of California. Meggs also has ties to the Pacific-10 Conference, having played at UCLA in the early 1980s, receiving All-Pac 10 honors as an infielder in 1983. Meggs was a candidate for the Cal-Irvine job in 2007, but did not get the job.
Meggs was hired in July 2006 to replace long-time coach Bob Warn and was the first head coach hired by Prettyman. Meggs had made eight Division II NCAA Tournament appearances at Cal State-Chico, winning the national championship in 1999 with runner-up finishes in 2002, 2003 and 2006.
Meggs went 26-26 in his first season at ISU, taking the Sycamores to .500 after ISU had been 20-34 the previous season. After an 18-32 record in 2008, the Sycamores blossomed in 2009.
ISU’s 33-21 record was its best overall mark since 2003. ISU finished with a MVC record of 15-7. The .681 conference winning percentage was ISU’s best since 1999 and Meggs was named MVC Coach of the Year, the first time an ISU coach had earned the honor since Warn won it in 1984. ISU was also nationally-ranked in one of the four national baseball polls.
The season ended on a disappointing note. ISU had a chance to win the conference outright for the first time in school history, or, had a chance to clinch a tie for the conference title for the first time since 1985, but were swept in the last series of the season at Missouri State. The Sycamores then went 0-3 in the MVC Tournament.
ISU had five players chosen in the June MLB Draft with Nick Ciolli, Brady Shoemaker and Bronco Lafrenz all taken in the first 20 rounds.
Meggs was also instrumental in getting the Sycamore Field stadium project off the ground. He was active in preliminary plans involving the project long before it was publicly announced.
Washington was 25-30 in 2009 and were 13-14 in the Pac 10. The Huskies have not finished over .500 in the Pac 10 since 2004 also the last time the school earned a NCAA Tournament bid. Meggs will replace former coach Ken Knutson, whose contract was not renewed.
Whoever is hired to replace Meggs will be just the third person to coach in the program since 1976. When Meggs was hired in 2006, Lincoln Trail coach and ISU alumnus Mitch Hannahs was the other finalist for the job.
Meggs’ era at ISU
year W-L MVC W-L, place
2007 26-26 7-17, 8th
2008 18-32 6-18, 8th
2009 33-21 15-7, 2nd