BATON ROUGE – LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who led the Tigers to the 2009 national championship and is No. 1 among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories, announced Friday that he will retire at the end of the 2021 season.
Mainieri, whose collegiate career spans 39 seasons – including the past 15 years at LSU – will coach the Tigers in the 2021 NCAA Tournament should they receive a berth in the 64-team field.
“I have been the luckiest guy in the world to have lived out a childhood dream of becoming a college baseball coach,” Mainieri said. “I’ve worked at four wonderful institutions, and it’s been the honor of my life to have served as the head coach at LSU for 15 years. To have carried the torch of a program built by Skip Bertman, the greatest college baseball coach of all time, has been a tremendous privilege. It has always been my unwavering goal to sustain the excellence that was created here.
“I’ve been blessed throughout my career to coach unbelievable young men of great character and skill, and to have worked with talented and dedicated assistant coaches, support staff and administrators. It’s very difficult to leave a profession that I truly love, but I’m so grateful for the amazing opportunities that have been presented to me through the years.”
“Paul Mainieri has made an immeasurable impact not only at LSU, but across college baseball,” said director of athletics Scott Woodward. “Every day he has taken the field, he has honored the game he loves with his class, his character, and his commitment to excellence. We are forever grateful for the championships he has won, the student athletes he has inspired, and memories he has gifted our fans over 15 seasons.”
The 63-year-old Mainieri has a 1,501-774-8 (.659) career record that includes six seasons at St. Thomas (1983-88), six seasons at Air Force (1989-94), 12 seasons at Notre Dame (1995-2006) and 15 seasons at LSU (2007-21). He is No. 7 all-time among NCAA Division I Baseball coaches in career wins.
During Mainieri’s LSU tenure, the Tigers have captured a remarkable 30 team championships, including the 2009 NCAA title, eight NCAA Regional championships, five College World Series appearances/NCAA Super Regional championships, four Southeastern Conference championships, six SEC Tournament titles and six SEC Western Division crowns. His six SEC tournament titles tie him with former LSU coach Skip Bertman and former Alabama coach Jim Wells for the most in league history.
Mainieri is the second-winningest coach at LSU with a 637-282-3 (.693) mark, and he has the third-highest career winning percentage in SEC history, trailing only Bertman, who was 870-330-3 (.724) from 1984-2001, and former South Carolina coach Ray Tanner, who posted a 738-316 (.700) mark from 1997-2012
Under Mainieri, the Tigers earned an NCAA Tournament Top 8 National Seed in six consecutive seasons (2012-17), making LSU and Stanford (1999-2004) the only schools in NCAA history to capture six straight Top 8 National Seeds. Since 2008, LSU has earned nine NCAA Tournament National Seeds, the second-best mark in the country over the past 13 seasons.