Robert Inskip and Matt Ryan here at Foley Field. We’ll be bringing you blog entries at every half inning throughout this game between the #1 Georgia Bulldogs and the #5 LSU Tigers. Thanks for joining us!
49-7. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the combined record of the #1 ranked baseball (24-3) and #6 ranked softball team (25-4). If you have not had the opportunity to check either of these teams out, before any of you go home for the summer in another month seriously take advantage of the opportunity to see two of the nation’s finest.
With that in mind, this weekend’s matchups are probably the biggest/most hyped pairings I have seen in quite some time. #2 LSU (according to the Baseball America Poll, they are #5 in the other major polls) comes into town to play the #1 baseball team, with the first game starting at 7 pm tonight and the #6 softball team (which is the 2nd highest ranking in school history) travels to #4 Alabama, with the 3-game series starting tomorrow afternoon at 2pm.
The baseball and softball team are both 7-2 in the SEC and with each of their seasons about a third of the way into conference play, this weekend’s games become that much more important when it comes to the big picture. Tickets to either of their games are free and I will be the first to tell you that I have had a blast sitting back and enjoying some high-quality baseball over my tenure at UGA.
Former Nevada head basketball coach Mark Fox was named the successor to Dennis Felton by Athletic Director Damon Evans at an 11am press conference.
Mr. Evans called Fox one of the “brightest, up-and-coming coaches” who has “dignity and class.”
Fox , who comes from the University of Nevada were he went 123-43 (66-16) during his five year tenure, flew under the radar for most of the coaching search. “We looked at many candidates, some who you guessed, some who you didn’t,” said Evans.
Fox’s contract is reportedly worth 1.3 million dollars for six years.
Fox said that it’s always been a dream to come coach at Georgia, and that he wasn’t surprised that everything happened so fast. He came to Atlanta on Wednesday night, was offered the job on Thursday, then returned to Reno Thursday late afternoon. He was there for “an hour or so” before he, his two kids and his wife started to make their way to Athens.
Fox spoke with the team this morning and said that he is excited to get started. He would not comment specifically on his plans for the current personnel because he hasn’t had ample time to evaluate them. Fox plans to bring some of his staff, but also hire someone who is familiar with the area.
The initial focus will be on rebounding and defense. As for the offense, he was quick to point out that to be competitive, you have to be able to play many different styles, but he wants to play as “fast as [they] can play well.”
Fox brings an impressive resume to Athens. In all five of his seasons, he reached post season play, three of which were the NCAA tournament. Fox’s teams won the Western Athletic Conference in four of his five seasons, finishing behind Utah State this season.
The 40-year-old coach has spent his entire career east of the Mississippi River. He has been an assistant at Washington, Kansas State, and Nevada before taking over for current LSU coach Trent Johnson in 2004. He has the reputation of being a strong recruiter having recruited all-conference, all-American, and Player of the Year recipients. Two of his most notable players are All-American and 3-time Player of the Year Nick Fazekas and Player of the Year and NBA first-round draft pick Kirk Snyder.
“I truly loved being the coach at Nevada and forever will cherish my time in this community,” he said Thursday night through the University of Nevada athletic department.
Fox’s teams have played Georgia twice, both times in Athens. They won 58-47 in 2004 and 68-62 in 2005.
Fox has two children with his wife, Cindy, who also works in the Nevada athletic department. Parker is 8, and Olivia is 6.