Chris Massaro called around.
The Middle Tennessee State athletic director put together a pool of candidates. He even talked to some of the “most accomplished baseball coaches” in the country.
Then he decided to go with a familiar face, one who has been associated with Blue Raiders baseball for two decades.
Massaro chose continuity over hiring externally and on Thursday named longtime assistant Jim McGuire MTSU’s new baseball coach.
McGuire replaces Steve Peterson, who retired last month after 25 years.
“From the beginning, I knew the great qualities of Coach McGuire, and he was able to demonstrate them further during the interview process,” Massaro said. “I am confident he will lead us to national prominence and a trip to Omaha. I am proud to announce him as our next coach.”
McGuire has been at MTSU since 1992 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2000. He has served as recruiting coordinator and coached hitters and infielders.
In 20 years he helped Peterson lead the Blue Raiders to 626 wins and a .546 winning percentage. He also contributed to six trips to the NCAA Tournament, seven Sun Belt Conference championships and five conference tournament titles.
This is his second head coaching job. He had a .655 winning percentage at Rend Lake Junior College in Illinois from 1989-92.
The Belleville, Ill., native, played briefly at Rend Lake before he spent his final two years at Cumberland University in Lebanon under legendary coach Woody Hunt.
McGuire is just the third head coach at MTSU since 1974. John Stanford led the Blue Raiders from 1974-87 before Peterson took over.
The Blue Raiders are coming off a 31-28 season in which they finished with a losing record in the Sun Belt. They haven’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 2009.
“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to serve as Middle Tennessee’s head coach,” McGuire said. “Throughout the process, I have been humbled by the outpouring of support from the entire Blue Raider baseball family. I look forward to getting started and building upon the tradition that John Stanford and Steve Peterson established.”