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Alabama Baseball Coach Mitch Gaspard Retained for 2016

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More Mitchball in 2016.
More Mitchball in 2016.

Reports have surfaced that Mitch Gaspard will return to the Bama dugout for his seventh season as the head man.

2015 was a rough year for the Crimson Tide as they were forced to play all their home games 50 miles away at the Met in Hoover, AL due to ongoing construction of Sewell-Thomas Stadium. They finished with a disappointing 32-28 overall record, 12-18 in the SEC, and 19-15 at "home".

With preseason All-American Mikey White and five other returning position starters leading the team, Bama fans were expecting a return to the post-season. The Tide had some shining moments on the year but were plagued by inconsistency.

Gaspard met with Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle on Wednesday and was assured that the current coaching staff would stay on for the 2016 season. Gaspard current contract will expire after the coming season. With no extension in place, the 2016 season in the new and improved Joe is likely a make or break season for him.

In his seven seasons, Alabama has gone 202-167 (.547) with NCAA Regional appearances in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014. In Gaspard's first season at the helm, the Tide was one win away from a tRip to the College World Series, after winning the NCAA Atlanta Regional (Georgia Tech) before losing the rubber match to Clemson in the Super Regional.

2010 42-25 Atlanta Regional Champions, Clemson Super Regional Loss
2011 35-28 Tallahassee Regional Loss
2012 21-34 no post-season
2013 35-28 Tallahassee Regional Loss
2014 37-24 Tallahassee Regional Loss
2015 37-23 no post-season

EDITORIAL: After the bittersweet retirement of Jim Wells in 2009, Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Mitch Gaspard was promoted to the head spot. Some fans like myself were not too excited about the move but he turned in a memorable run in his first season. Since then, the results have been underwhelming. The Tide followed 2010 with three Regional defeats and two DNQs.

The excitement of next season at the brand new state-of-the-art stadium will go along way towards attracting fans. But in the end it all comes down to what happens between the white lines. In 2016, this team MUST get back to a Regional and win some games while they are there.

If this happens and Battle deems it necessary to extend Gaspard's contract, my hope is that it is only a one year extension. The euphoria of the new stadium can wear off after a year and Bama does not need to be tied down to Gaspard for multiple years if he can not continue the improvement in 2017.

*ed - Former player Brent Carter weighed in on the decision to bring Gaspard back in an open letter to Alabama fans. Very well written and worth the read.