Penn State has hired former Boston College coach Mike Gambino to lead its baseball program, the school announced Monday morning.
Very excited to welcome our new head coach, Mike Gambino!
— Penn State Baseball (@PennStateBASE) July 3, 2023
Gambino will be replacing Rob Cooper, who resigned in May near the end of this past season.
He comes to Happy Valley after 13 seasons at Boston College, where he won the second most games in program history (291) and made it to two NCAA Tournaments, the most recent coming in 2023.
The Eagles went 37-20 overall, 16-14 in the ACC and made it to the NCAA Tournament, where they won two games before being eliminated by Alabama in the Tuscaloosa regional.
In a press release, Gambino said he and his family are “honored and humbled to be a part of the Penn State baseball program, athletics department, University and the State College community.”
“I want to thank Athletics Director Pat Kraft, (deputy AD) Vinnie James and President Neeli Bendapudi for giving me this opportunity. I couldn’t be more excited to get to work with these young men and develop this program into a national contender and challenge to make the College World Series. We will work tirelessly each and every day to make our alumni, former players and everyone involved in the program proud.”
Gambino’s best season at Boston College came in 2016, when the Golden Eagles made it to the NCAA Super Regional. Additionally, three of Gambino’s players became first-round draft picks, including 2021 ACC Player of the Year Sal Frelick, who is now in the Brewers’ organization.
Gambino worked with Penn State athletic director Pat Kraft for two seasons while Kraft was in the same position in Boston. In a press release, Kraft said he’s “thrilled to welcome Mike and his family to Happy Valley as our new baseball coach.”
“We worked with Mike at Boston College and know how he grows a program to find success on a national stage. Mike guided BC to the best season in program history this past season, which is impressive in a conference with historical baseball success like the ACC. Mike is a tremendous teacher and has a track record for developing players’ skills to prepare them for the next level.”
Gambino has a lot of work to do. Penn State has only made the Big Ten Tournament once in the last decade, and hasn’t made an NCAA Tournament since 2000.