Lemonis signs contract extension with Mississippi State

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2021

STARKVILLE ­— When several baseball coaching jobs around the Southeastern Conference came open this spring, Mississippi State’s Chris Lemonis had his name thrown into the rumor mill.

Rest easy, Bulldog fans. Lemonis isn’t going anywhere.

Lemonis, who led Mississippi State to its first-ever national championship in 2021, has signed a long-term contract extension with the university, it was announced Tuesday.

Lemonis will make a base salary of $1.25 million beginning in 2022 and receive a $25,000 increase each year after that. The length of the contract was not specified, but the maximum allowed by state law is four years.

Lemonis’ assistants will also be the highest paid baseball staff in the country.

“Never a day passes that I am not honored to be the head baseball coach at Mississippi State,” Lemonis said in a statement. “I want to thank Dr. Mark Keenum, (athletic director) John Cohen and our administration for their belief in me, and I am looking forward to many more years in maroon and white. We are proud of what we have accomplished so far, and we are excited about the future as we strive for more championships.”

Lemonis was named the 2021 National Coach of the Year after taking Mississippi State all the way to its first national championship. It was the second time in three seasons he has gotten the Bulldogs to the College World Series, with the other year being the COVID-interrupted 2020 campaign.

He is the first Division I head coach to reach the College World Series in his first two seasons as head coach of a program in the Super Regional era (since 1999).

In three seasons at Mississippi State, Lemonis has a 114-37 record (.755 winning percentage). Mississippi State’s pitching staff set the single-season NCAA record with 817 strikeouts this season.

“Chris has made an immediate impact on Mississippi State Baseball, leading our program to a national championship in just his second complete season,” MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said in a statement. “Chris, his staff and student-athletes continue to raise the high bar of excellence both on and off the field, and we are thrilled about our program’s future. We look forward to having Chris and his family in Starkville for a long time.”