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June 11, 2008

Rooney to be named UCF baseball coach

LSU associate head coach Terry Rooney will be named UCF's next baseball coach, multiple sources have confirmed to UCFSports.com. The announcement may come as early as Thursday.

Rooney, who will replace longtime skipper Jay Bergman, won't be able to get started at his new job right away. LSU is one of eight teams in the College World Series, which gets underway this weekend in Omaha, Neb. The SEC Champion Tigers will face North Carolina Sunday evening at 7 p.m. EST.

Rooney, 34, is in his second season at LSU and also serves as the Tigers' pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. His 2007 recruiting class at LSU was ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball.

Prior to coming to Baton Rouge, Rooney spent three years as Notre Dame's pitching coach. He followed former Irish head coach Paul Mainieri to LSU, who landed that job in the summer of 2006.

Rooney, a 1996 graduate of Radford and a native of Fairfax County, Va., does have coaching ties to Central Florida. He was Pete Dunn's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Stetson in 2002 and 2003. He left after the 2003 season to take the Notre Dame pitching coach job.

Rooney is also a former pitching coach at Old Dominion (2000-01), James Madison (1998-99) and George Washington (1997).

While he doesn't have any UCF ties, Rooney isn't exactly a stranger to the program. He has actually coached against the Knights in five of the last seven seasons.

UCF, then a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, played annual league series against Stetson in 2002 and 2003. In Rooney's first year at Notre Dame in 2004, the Knights played a two-game series in South Bend and the Irish returned the trip to Orlando in 2005. UCF also played a road series at LSU in 2007.

Rooney will be just UCF's second head baseball coach in the Division I era. Bergman, who was fired May 1 after allegations of harassment, spent 26 years in Orlando and led the Knights to nine NCAA Regional appearances.

UCF officials interviewed a handful of candidates, including interim head coach Craig Cozart, Chipola Community College head coach Jeff Johnson, Florida State associate head coach Jamey Shouppe, former LSU head coach Smoke Laval and former Major League Baseball pitcher Frank Viola before offering the job to Rooney.



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