June 13, 2012 1:02:09 PM
STARKVILLE - Lane Burroughs has agreed to join a very exclusive and successful club.
The Northwestern State University baseball program named Burroughs, an assistant on the Mississippi State University staff, as its 10th head baseball coach in school history.
Burroughs will be replacing J.P. Davis, who resigned earlier this month.
An announcement from the university is set for Wednesday.
"Anytime one of your assistants becomes a head coach somewhere else,
it's exciting because they get to finally pursue their dreams," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "However, the bitter part of that is you have to replace a really good coach. We'll take it very seriously and yeah since I learned of this possible opportunity for Lane, I've started thinking about the candidates of replacement. Mississippi State is a place that will attract great coaches and we will continue to improve going forward."
Multiple attempts to reach Burroughs over the last two days were unsuccessful.
Burroughs was an assistant at MSU under former Northwestern State head coach John Cohen for the past four seasons. Burroughs' previous stops as an assistant included Kansas State University (2008), University of Southern Mississippi (1999-2007), Northwestern State (1997-98) and East Mississippi Community College (1997).
Burroughs' one-year stint with the Demons program came as an assistant on Cohen's staff. He joined the Demons' staff under Dave Van Horn, who took the head-coaching job at Nebraska prior to the 1998 season, and stayed on when Cohen was named head coach.
The list of former Northwestern State head coach that have eventually moved on to major programs includes Cohen, Van Horn (currently at University of Arkansas), Mitch Gaspard (currently at University of Alabama), Jim Wells (former Alabama head coach). Texas A&M University coach Rob Childress was also an assistant under Van Horn at NSU before moving with him to Nebraska.
"Northwestern State is a program that I obviously have a fondness for," Cohen said. "It's a special club that have had that job from Dave Van Horn to myself, to Mitch Gaspard, to Jim Wells and Texas A&M head coach Rod Childress. Lane gets to be part of a really cool club."
The Demons finished 19-32 in Davis' fifth and final season, missing the Southland Conference tournament for the second straight season while Burroughs helped lead Mississippi State to a second straight NCAA Regional appearance.
"There's no doubt Lane will have challenges and simply put, those challenges are you're coming off a 18 and 19-win seasons," Cohen said. "So Lane will have to identify the problems and fix them quickly. The good news is they are next to Texas and there's always a bunch of D-1 players in that area to recruit."
Burroughs has been a vital part of the recruiting efforts in making the MSU program relevant again since Cohen took over four years ago. He has been a key assistant in building three consecutive top-25 recruiting classes for the Bulldogs program.
As an assistant coach, Burroughs enjoyed the most success at Southern Miss, which made six NCAA regional appearances with him as an assistant.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
2. Good times roll for Market Street music ENTERTAINMENT
5. W music students present An Evening of Classics ENTERTAINMENT