|Organization:||Delta State University (MS)|
Mike Kinnison completed his 23rd and final season as head baseball coach at Delta State University in Mississippi in 2019. Kinnison, who will continue to serve as Delta State’s Director of Athletics, took over the program in 1997 following in the shadow of 1988 ABCA Hall of Fame inductee Dave “Boo” Ferriss and Bill Marchant.
Kinnison, a 2010 inductee into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, compiled a career record of 981-313-2 (.757) at the helm of the Delta State program, averaging over 42 wins per season. Including a stellar prep head-coaching career, Kinnison’s record is 1,273-396-2 (.762).
In 15 of his 23 seasons as head coach, Kinnison guided the Statesmen to 40 or more wins. Under Kinnison, the Statesmen made six College World Series appearances (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2017) and 16 NCAA South Regional appearances (1999-2005, 2007, 2008, 2012-14, 2016-19). His teams captured 11 Gulf South Conference Western Division titles (1997-2005, 2007, 2008), eight Gulf South Conference titles and seven NCAA Regional championships.
In 2004, he earned ABCA/Diamond Sports National Coach of the Year honors after leading the Statesmen to the program’s first-ever NCAA Div. II Championship. He was also named the Gulf South Coach of the Year six times and named “Coach of the Decade” by the Gulf South Conference in 2010.
Kinnison’s players earned ABCA/Rawlings National Player of the Year honors four times: Dee Haynes (2000), Jud Thigpen (2004) and two-time recipient Zack Shannon (2017, 2018).
Before taking over the reins as head coach, Kinnison served as an assistant coach for three seasons under Bill Marchant. Kinnison was an important component to the 1994 and 1996 teams, which made trips to the Gulf South Conference Championships and the College World Series. In his three years as an assistant, the Statesmen compiled an impressive 138-36 (.793) record.
The Benton, Mississippi, native was a standout shortstop for the legendary Dave “Boo” Ferris from 1977-78. Kinnison garnered ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-America honors during the 1978 season, leading the Statesmen to a runner-up finish at the NCAA College World Series.
Before returning to his alma mater, Kinnison was an accomplished high school coach in Mississippi. He coached at Lee Academy (1979-81), Jackson Prep (1982-92) and Madison Central (1993). He claimed three Mississippi Private School Association state championships at Jackson Prep in 1982, 1990 and 1991. During his prep head-coaching career, Kinnison achieved an overall record of 292-83 (.779).
Kinnison earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mathematics education from Delta State University in 1977 and 1978, respectively.