Mississippi State

Mississippi State baseball assistant takes top job at Kentucky

Nick Mingione
Nick Mingione

Nick Mingione - who spent the last eight seasons as an assistant to John Cohen at Mississippi State - was named the Kentucky basketball head coach on Monday.

Mingione takes over the Kentucky program after serving as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Cohen at Mississippi State starting before the 2009 season.

"Nick Mingione is exactly the kind of coach we hoped to hire when we began our search," UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a press release. "His passion, tactical mind and tireless recruiting efforts made him an important part of Mississippi State's staff during some great years for the program. More than that, he is a man of substance who is committed not only to developing young men as baseball players, but as students and people. We are excited to welcome Nick, his wife, Christen, and son, Reeves, to the UK Athletics family."

Working with the team's outfielders, first basemen and hitters, Mingione helped lead MSU to a run of success, including the program's first SEC regular-season championship since 1989 this season, a runner-up finish in the College World Series in 2013 and an SEC Tournament championship in 2012.

"This is an opportunity I've dreamed about for more than a decade," Mingione said. "From the moment I first stepped foot on campus I knew it would be a place I could call home. What an incredible feeling to be back. Kentucky is a special place and this baseball program has had great moments over the years, including some that I have been a part of. I can't wait to get to work on building toward an even brighter future."

Prior to his time at Mississippi State, Mingione spent two seasons at UK as an assistant under Cohen in 2006-07. UK won 33 SEC games in those two seasons, including in 2006 when UK claimed its first SEC championship. After the historic regular season, the Wildcats hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time. Mingione worked extensively at UK with the likes of Collin Cowgill and John Shelby III.

Cohen wished his former assistant well at Kentucky.

"It's been a privilege to watch Nick develop as a person and a coach for a decade," Cohen said in a statement. "He's a tireless recruiter who values relationships, and he's done an outstanding job developing our players. We are grateful for what he has helped us accomplish at Mississippi State, including a national runner-up finish at the 2013 College World Series and the 2016 Southeastern Conference championship. I've always thought he would make a terrific head coach. Just like our former pitching coach Butch Thompson, I am glad Nick is getting an opportunity to become a head coach in the SEC."

Mingione replaces Gary Henderson, who stepped down at Kentucky after eight seasons.