Official: Finwood to ODU

22 06 2011

Chris Finwood is leaving for a familiar place – and a familiar face.

A Western Kentucky source told the Daily News early this morning that Finwood – WKU’s baseball coach for the past six seasons – has resigned and will accept a head coaching position at Old Dominion, meaning that he will once again work under former Hilltopper athletic director Wood Selig.

The story was initially reported by The Virginian-Pilot late Tuesday night.

The move to Old Dominion will be a move back home, so to speak, for Finwood – as the now former WKU coach graduated from Hampton High School in Virginia, roughly a 30 minute drive from the Old Dominion campus.

Finwood’s departure also reunites him with Selig – who resigned as WKU’s AD in February of 2010 for the athletic director spot at Old Dominion. While at WKU, Selig hired Finwood be to the program’s baseball coach in May of 2005.

Last August, Selig named former Monarchs assistant Nate Goulet as Old Dominion’s baseball coach – but on an interim basis. Goulet replaced former ODU coach Jerry Myers, who left the program following the 2010 season to become the pitching coach at South Carolina.

In his only season at ODU, Goulet led the Monarchs to a 30-26 record and a second seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament before eventually losing in the tournament final. Foulet was also named CAA Coach of the Year.

The Pilot reported that Goulet once again interviewed for the full-time coaching position following this season. But in the end, Selig chose Finwood to lead his program – one that hasn’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 2000.

Finwood will leave the WKU baseball program in better shape than he found it, as he compiled a 190-54 record in six seasons on campus that saw NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009 – as well as a Sun Belt Conference regular season title in 2009, the school’s first ever.

Finwood’s 2009 team also had the program’s first 40-win season in 21 years while earning the first NCAA Tournament at-large bid in Hilltopper baseball history.

Finwood also brought in and churned out plenty of talent during his tenure at WKU, as WKU has had a total of 15 players drafted by Major League Baseball teams over the past three years – including six this past season.

The Hilltoppers have also had five players earn All-America honors during Finwood’s tenure, along with 10 All-Sun Belt nods. Finwood’s first season in 2005 marked the biggest one-year turnaround in Sun Belt history – as he took at WKU team that had won just five league games the year before and led the Hilltoppers to a 15-15 record.

A graduate and member of the Virginia Military Institute Athletics Hall of Fame, Finwood came to WKU after five years as an assistant coach at Auburn. He also served as an assistant coach at Radford, VMI and Virginia Commonwealth – and had his first head coaching job at his alma mater from 1992-94.

Finwood’s contract with WKU ran through 2015, per a recent addendum, and the buyout was set at $100,000.

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