Southeastern Louisiana’s commitment to baseball makes head coach opening highly desirable

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Pat Kenelly Diamond At Alumni Field

Coach searches are peculiar things.

There is always the list of potential candidates circulating in the media. Then often times, there’s the real list.

On that latter list is a group of coaches who are keenly interested in a job but want to make sure their current school isn’t aware of their interest.

And the clandestine search is one to watch with the baseball opening at Southeastern Louisiana.


Because, other than LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette, Southeastern is one of the most desirable jobs in the state of Louisiana.

Last Friday night as the opening ceremonies for Special Olympics Louisiana took place at Strawberry Stadium, the parking lot was packed.

A lot of those folks were there for Special Olympics but many of them were there for Southeastern’s second to last home game of the season. The Lions were already eliminated from making the postseason but the support for the team showed up.

Southeastern baseball is big in the Hammond community. The program has had more than its share of success.

Former head coach Matt Riser went to four NCAA tournaments in 10 seasons, a strong accomplishemt at a double directional school.

What also makes the Southeastern job attractive is Director of Athletics Jay Artigues, who also is the school’s former baseball coach. The coaching profession respects Artigues, a man heavily invested in the success of a program he once led.

Earlier this month when LSU played in Hammond, Tigers head coach Jay Johnson went out of his way to praise Artigues and head coach Matt Riser. Johnson said whether it was in Baton Rouge or Hammond, LSU would always schedule Southeastern.

Artigues is also in the middle of a four-year run on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee which determines many of the schools who play in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

It does not hurt that Southeastern is also in the middle of an impressive run in the high profile sports.

Football won the Southland title in 2022. Under head coach Frank Scelfo, the Lions have reached the second round of the FCS playoffs three times in the last four seasons. The Lions are 11th in the preseason FCS rankings by Athlon Sports.

Women’s basketball won the league crown and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Softball won 47 games. Men’s basketball won a very respectable 18.

And in baseball, a college baseball source told me that the Southeastern job is extremely well-funded and that whoever is the coach at Southeastern has financial resources that many in his league do not.

Since 2014, Matt Riser won at least 37 games in five seasons. This is very solid.

Baseball coaches know the vacancy in what the natives call ‘Hammond America’ is a good one.

When the search is over, Southeastern Louisiana should be able to hire a proven head coach with a winning pedigree.

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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