College Baseball Coach Wants Name Off Stadium

Outgoing Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk lobbied hard for one of his assistant coaches to succeed him. But a power struggle led to that school bringing on a replacement from outside the program.

Ron Polk Mississippi State Baseball

Polk, aside from threatening to ruin the athletic director’s life and pledging to take his name off the school in every conceivable form, is taking the news pretty well.


Polk campaigned for assistant coach Tommy Raffo, a former player who was college teammates with [Kentucky’s John Cohen, the guy that eventually got the job], since he announced his retirement in March. The outspoken 64-year-old said he warned athletic director Greg Byrne of the consequences if he did not promote Raffo.

“Now he’s got me on the war path and all I can do is hurt him,” Polk said of Byrne in a phone interview with The Associated Press from Athens, Ga., where he is watching Georgia play North Carolina State in an NCAA super regional. “I’m going to do everything I can to make his life miserable.”

Polk has promised quite a power play against the new athletic director, including personally removing signage from Mississippi State’s ballpark, which was named after him.

“Now our new athletic director throws me under the bus, slaps me in the face, punches me in the stomach,” Polk “Technically, he did the same thing with Tommy Raffo … and all our coaches, all our signees, returning players and their parents who wanted Tommy all the way.”

In addition to taking his name off the stadium, Polk said he will personally take down the banners that display his name and number. He also will use his influence to scuttle a number of support programs, such as the foster parent program and the Dugout Club.

And he’s taking Mississippi State athletics out of his will.

“That’s coming out,” Polk said. “I’m going to go up to Tupelo and design the first ‘Until Greg Byrne is Gone’ clause.”

WIKIPEDIA tells us that Polk has coached Mississippi State for almost 30 years and his winning percentage is the highest of all Southeastern Conference coaches, in any sport. One could understand why Polk would want more of a hand in choosing his successor, but sometimes the guys sitting in the bigger offices can’t understand that.