Oregon State’s search for a permanent head baseball coach appears to have reached a conclusion, as the team is expected to name Mitch Canham to the position; according to Kendall Rogers of D1 Baseball.
BREAKING: @BeaverBaseball is expected to hire former catcher and current @Mariners Double-A manager Mitch Canham as the new #GoBeavs head coach, multiple sources tell @d1baseball. Current assistants Pat Bailey and Nate Yeskie were the other interviews. #Pac12— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) June 13, 2019
Mitch Canham is most notable to Beavers’ fans as the catcher of back to back NCAA Championship teams in 2006 and 2007. He went on to be a 1st round supplemental draft pick in the 2007 MLB Draft (#57). After a stint in the pros ended without Canham making a Major League squad, he began a coaching career. He has since spent four years coaching in the Mariners minor league system, and is currently the manager of the Arkansas Travelers, the Double A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
The Beavers also interviewed interim Head Coach Pat Bailey and Pitching Coach Nate Yeskie for the position. Bailey, who had been an assistant under Pat Casey for 10 years before becoming the interim head coach, led a team that had lost much of its starting lineup and one of its best pitchers back to the postseason, but a late season slump and an 0-2 exit from the Corvallis Regional led to whispers that he might not be the man for the job.
Yeskie has been the team’s pitching coach for 11 years, during which team the team produced such stars as Andrew Moore and Matt Boyd. Yeskie was considered the favorite for the job if Bailey didn’t return, and has turned down head coaching offers from major schools in the past, including Mississippi State last year.
With Pat Casey declining to return to the team, it is apparent that the school is preparing to move on from Casey and the coaches who have shaped the team for the past decade and a half. It’s a bold move, and a very risky one.
This decision is sure to send out ripples through the Oregon State baseball program, and all of college baseball. Check back with Building the Dam for more breaking news as it happens.