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Paul Mainieri

  • position Head Coach
  • position Head Coach

Paul Mainieri

Paul Mainieri has been named the head baseball coach at the University of South Carolina, Athletics Director Ray Tanner announced today (Tuesday, June 11). He becomes the 31st head coach in the history of Gamecock baseball.

Mainieri, who is the active leader in career wins in Division I (1,505), guided LSU to a 2009 national championship and a 2017 runner-up finish. He has made six College World Series appearances, five with LSU and one with Notre Dame, four SEC championships, six SEC Tournament championships and 10 NCAA regional championships. Mainieri is a two-time SEC Coach of the Year and a four-time National Coach of the Year (2000, ’08, ’09 and ’15).

Mainieri spent 15 seasons at LSU, guiding the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series national championship and five CWS appearances. During Mainieri’s tenure, LSU captured a remarkable 31 team championships, including the 2009 NCAA title, nine NCAA Regional championships, five NCAA Super Regional championships, four Southeastern Conference championships, six SEC Tournament titles and six SEC Western Division crowns.

In 11 of his 14 full seasons at LSU – the 2020 season was canceled after only 17 games due to COVID-19 – Mainieri led the Tigers to at least one team championship.

Mainieri posts a 1,505-777-8 (.659) record in 39 seasons of collegiate coaching at St. Thomas University (1984-88), Air Force (1989-94), Notre Dame (1995-2006) and LSU (2007-21). Mainieri is No. 7 in all-time NCAA Division I Baseball wins, and he is one of only five Division I coaches in NCAA history to have won over 1,500 games and a national championship.

He has guided his teams to 46 team championships – 31 at LSU and 15 at Notre Dame. As head coach at Notre Dame from 1995-2006, Mainieri directed the Irish to an NCAA Super Regional title and an NCAA Regional championship, eight regular-season conference championships and five league tournament titles.

Mainieri recorded a 641-285-3 (.692) mark at LSU, and he has the fourth-highest winning percentage in SEC history, trailing only former LSU coach Skip Bertman, who was 870-330-3 (.724) from 1984-2001, current Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello, who has a 290-111 (.732) record from 2018-current and former South Carolina coach Ray Tanner, who posted a 738-316 (.700) mark from 1997-2012.

Under Mainieri, the Tigers earned an NCAA Tournament National Seed in six consecutive seasons (2012-17), making LSU and Stanford (1999-2004) the only schools in NCAA history to capture six straight National Seeds. Beginning in 2008, LSU earned nine NCAA Tournament National Seeds, the second-best mark in the country over the past 14 full seasons.

Mainieri’s LSU players earned First-Team All-America recognition on 13 occasions, and 25 of his former Tigers have played Major League Baseball. LSU players were chosen in the MLB Draft on 90 occasions during Mainieri’s tenure, including a first-round selection in seven of the past 13 seasons.

He served as the head coach of the United States Collegiate National Team for its 2018 summer tour, and he led Team USA to a 12-3 record that included series victories over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba.

His sincere commitment to everyday excellence was recognized in a substantial way on January 3, 2014, in Dallas when he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Mainieri, a four-time National Coach of the Year, joined in the Hall of Fame his father, Demie Mainieri, who coached Miami-Dade North Community College to 1,012 wins and a national title in his 30-year career. Demie and Paul Mainieri are the only father-son combination in the ABCA Hall of Fame.

Mainieri’s commitment to academic achievement was illustrated by the Tigers’ performance in the classroom, as 103 LSU baseball players earned their degrees during his tenure. Twenty-five of the graduates were players who signed professional contracts before completing their college eligibility and returned to LSU to finish their degree requirements. In addition, LSU players received SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition on 151 occasions during Mainieri’s tenure.

He established an active community service function within the baseball program, as the Tigers regularly visit hospitals and schools in the Baton Rouge area. The team also participated in events like the in the ALS Walk — promoting awareness of the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s Disease — and in the Buddy Walk, which is designed to encourage acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.

Mainieri is personally involved in several philanthropic causes, including Cancer Services of Baton Rouge, the ALS Association, the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center, the Knock Knock Children’s Museum, Prostate Cancer Awareness and the Kelli Leigh Richmond Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

A four-year letterwinner in college, Mainieri played one season at LSU, one season for his father – legendary JUCO coach Demie Mainieri – at Miami-Dade North Community College, and two seasons at the University of New Orleans. The second baseman helped the Privateers win two Sun Belt Conference titles and advance to the 1979 NCAA Tournament during his senior season.

After completing his undergraduate degree requirements at Florida International (1980), Mainieri played two minor-league seasons before earning a master’s in sports administration from St. Thomas in 1982.

Mainieri’s coaching career began at his alma mater, Columbus High School in Miami, where he served as assistant baseball and football coach for three years before taking over as the head coach at St. Thomas in the fall of 1982. He also spent the final three years at St. Thomas as director of athletics. Mainieri was inducted into the Columbus High School Sports Hall of Fame in October 2009. He is a member of the St. Thomas Athletics Hall of Fame, and the St. Thomas baseball facility in March 2013 was named Paul Demie Mainieri Field in his honor.

Born August 29, 1957, in Morgantown, W.Va., Mainieri and his wife, Karen, have four children – Nicholas, Alexandra, Samantha and Thomas – and four grandchildren – Holden, Jonathan, Wren and Rocco.

Coaching Awards
2023 – Hall of Fame Induction (Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame)
2022 – Hall of Fame Induction (La. Baseball Coaches Association)
2022 – Selected as a “Louisiana Legend” (PBS)
2018 – USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year Award
2018 – USA Collegiate National Team Head Coach
2017 – Stan Musial Sportsmanship Award
2017 – Louisiana Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year
2015 – USA Collegiate National Team Assistant Coach
2015 – National Coach of the Year (Skip Bertman Award, NCBWA)
2015 – Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year
2015 – Louisiana Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year
2014 – Hall of Fame Induction (American Baseball Coaches Association)
2013 – Baseball field at St. Thomas University renamed in his honor
2013 – Finalist for the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year Award
2013 – Louisiana Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year
2012 – Louisiana Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year
2009 – Hall of Fame Induction (Christopher Columbus High School)
2009 – Hall of Fame Induction (St. Thomas University)
2009 – Hall of Fame Induction (La. American-Italian Sports HOF)
2009 – National Coach of the Year (ABCA, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball,
2009 – Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year
2009 – Louisiana Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year
2008 – National Coach of the Year (,
2008 – Louisiana Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year
2006 – ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year
2002 – ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year
2001 – Big East Conference Coach of the Year
2001 – ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year
2000 – National Coach of the Year (College Baseball Insider)
1984 – Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year

The Paul Mainieri File
Pronunciation: Muh-NAIR-ee

Career Record: 1,505-777-8 (.659, 39 seasons)
at LSU: 641-285-3 (.692, 15 seasons)
at Notre Dame: 533-213-3 (.714, 12 seasons)
at Air Force: 152-158 (.490, six seasons)
at St. Thomas: 179-121-2 (.598, six seasons)

Birthdate: August 29, 1957
Hometown: Miami, Florida

1980 – B.S. in physical education from Florida International University
1982 – M.S. in sports administration from St. Thomas (Fla.) University

Wife: Married to the former Karen Fejes of Belle Chasse, La.
Children: Nicholas, Alexandra, Samantha and Thomas
Grandchildren: Holden, Jonathan, Wren and Rocco

Mainieri’s Coaching Record

Year School Record Pct. Notes/Honors
1983 St. Thomas
1984 St. Thomas
Set school record for wins, Sunshine State Conference Coach of Year
1985 St. Thomas
1986 St. Thomas
1987 St. Thomas
Led nation with .340 team batting avg.
1988 St. Thomas
6-yr St. Thomas Totals
Winningest coach in St. Thomas history
1989 Air Force
Set school records for Western Athletic Conference wins (13)
1990 Air Force
1991 Air Force
1992 Air Force
1993 Air Force
Team led nation in triples, second-most wins in team history, best AFA record since ’82
1994 Air Force
Team led nation with .360 batting average
6-yr Air Force Totals
Second-winningest coach in Air Force history
1995 Notre Dame
Midwestern Collegiate Conf. Western Div. champs, most wins by first-year ND coach
1996 Notre Dame
Participated in NCAA South I Regional ( Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
1997 Notre Dame
BIG EAST National Division champions, top winning percentage (15-6) in Big East
1998 Notre Dame
Notre Dame’s 10th straight 40-win season; Irish finish 12th in nation for team ERA
1999 Notre Dame
National Coach of the Year (CBI); BIG EAST regular-season champ (20-5); NCAA host
2000 Notre Dame
Reached title game of NCAA Starkville Regional; fourth-most wins in school history
2001 Notre Dame
Big East/Midwest Region Coach of the Year; #1 ranking; Big East champs; NCAA host
2002 Notre Dame
Mideast Region Coach of the Year; Big East champs; College World Series participant
2003 Notre Dame
First Big East Tournament repeat champion since 1986; NCAA Regional participant
2004 Notre Dame
First team to win three straight BIG EAST Tournament titles; NCAA Regional participant; school-record win total for 3rd time in 4 years
2005 Notre Dame
Extended unprecedented run of Big East Tournament titles to 4; NCAA Regional finalist
2006 Notre Dame
ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year; Extended unprecedented run of Big East Tournament titles to 5; NCAA Regional participant; Big East reg.-season champs; set ND record with 23-game win streak (nation’s longest in ’06)
12-yr Notre Dame Totals
Has seen 50 of his ND players be drafted or sign professional free-agent contracts
2007 LSU
LSU wins four SEC series against Top 25 teams, including CWS participant Mississippi State
2008 LSU
LSU wins SEC West and SEC Tournament; advances to College World Series for first time since 2004
2009 LSU
LSU wins College World Series for sixth time; first time since 2000; Wins SEC Tournament and SEC Regular Season
2010 LSU
LSU wins third straight SEC Tournament title; first team to win three in a row in current tournament format
2011 LSU
LSU wins 12 of final 15 games and posts a 23-3 mark in non-conference action.
2012 LSU
LSU wins its second SEC title in four seasons and is selected as the NCAA Tournament No. 7 National Seed.
2013 LSU
LSU advances to the College World Series and ties the SEC record for single-season victories with 57.
2014 LSU
LSU earns the NCAA Tournament No. 8 National Seed; Tigers win fifth SEC Tournament title in seven seasons.
2015 LSU
LSU wins SEC championship and advances to the College World Series; Tigers post the nation’s highest victory total with 54 wins.
2016 LSU
LSU becomes just the second school in NCAA history to earn five straight NCAA Tournament National Seeds.
2017 LSU 52-20 .722 LSU finishes as College World Series runners-up; Tigers win SEC regular-season and tournament titles
2018 LSU 39-27 .591 LSU plays in NCAA Tournament for seventh-straight year and advances to NCAA Regional final
2019 LSU 40-26 .606 LSU wins the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and plays host to an NCAA Super Regional
2020 LSU 12-5 .706 LSU posts victories in nine of its final 11 games and ends pandemic-shortened season on a five-game win streak
2021 LSU 38-25 .603 LSU wins NCAA Eugene Regional; earns Super Regional berth for 15th time
15 yrs. LSU Totals 641-285-3
39 yrs. Overall 1,505-777-8