MSU announces resignation of Cannizaro

Andy Cannizaro
Staff Writer

Andy Cannizaro is officially out as Mississippi State’s head baseball coach after just over one season on the job.

MSU officially announced on Tuesday that Cannizaro resigned effective immediately. State gave no definitive reason for Cannizaro’s resignation, even as online rumors and speculation regarding Cannizaro ran rampant over the course of Monday and Monday night. However Cannizaro’s words through a university-released statement did shed a bit of light.

“I had a wonderful opportunity at Mississippi State, but unfortunately I made some poor decisions,” Cannizaro said. “I hope Mississippi State University and all of the fans and people affected will one day forgive me.”

MSU pitching coach Gary Henderson will immediately assume the responsibilities as Mississippi State’s interim head coach.

“Earlier (Tuesday) I accepted Andy Cannizaro’s resignation as the head baseball coach at Mississippi State,” MSU director of athletics John Cohen said. “While the circumstances are difficult, we are fortunate to have a coach of Gary Henderson’s caliber to assume leadership of the program on an interim basis during our transition.”

Henderson has 29 years of collegiate coaching experience and spent eight years as the head coach at Kentucky from 2009 through 2016. Henderson won the 2012 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year Award.

“Although I have taken this position under some unfortunate circumstances, I have been with this team for two years,” Henderson said. “We have great student-athletes and a tremendous staff who proudly represent our tradition-rich program. We will move forward, focusing on the things we can control and give Mississippi State fans a team they can be proud of.”

Cannizaro steps away from State only months after he led the Bulldogs to the Super Regionals in his only full season at the helm. Despite a plethora of injuries to the MSU pitching staff in 2017, the Bulldogs went 40-27 last year and came up only two wins short of a College World Series berth.

MSU’s 2018 season got off to a rocky start last weekend however. The Bulldogs were swept on the road at Southern Miss in what is now known to be Cannizaro’s last three games with the school.

Mississippi State players were officially informed of Cannizaro’s departure on Tuesday morning, though most if not all were aware of the situation as news broke online Monday night.

Cannizaro’s MSU tenure ended with an overall record of 40-30. The team he leaves behind will now be forced to try and pick up the pieces starting Wednesday with a 6 p.m. road game at Jackson State.