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4/19/19 5:35 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Yesterday’s report started with the news of Joe Alleva being officially out as LSU’s Athletic Director, and today’s starts with Scott Woodward being officially in. LSU confirmed earlier reports of Woodward’s hiring with the following press release:

LSU NAMES SCOTT WOODWARD TO LEAD ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

BATON ROUGE – Baton Rouge native and LSU alumnus Scott Woodward was named athletics director at his alma mater today after serving in the same position for the last four years at Texas A&M University.  

Woodward will be formally welcomed back home on Tuesday at a time and location to be announced later. The community is invited to attend along with members of the media.

“We are happy to welcome a fellow Tiger back home,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Scott brings a strong track record of winning championships, graduating student-athletes and building an infrastructure for future achievement. His leadership will take us into a new era for Tiger Athletics.”

During Woodward's tenure at Texas A&M, every sports program participated in postseason play and the Aggies won nine SEC titles, including men’s basketball, baseball, men’s tennis (twice), soccer, women’s swimming and diving (three times), and men’s outdoor track and field. He also spearheaded the construction of a world-class track & field stadium, as well as a state-of-the-art softball stadium, in addition to renovations of the basketball locker rooms and planned redesign of the swimming and diving facility, nutrition areas and a weight room.

“Returning home to the LSU family to lead the department of athletics is incredibly humbling and exciting,” Woodward said. “The state university has been a part of my life for more than five decades, and I know – and I embrace – the high expectations of Tiger Nation. We will win championships and we will do it the right way, representing LSU with pride and dignity every step of the way. I want to thank President Alexander for the opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot wait to get started. Geaux Tigers!”

Woodward was named to the athletics director’s position vacated by Joe Alleva, who announced he stepped down from the post this week but will remain at LSU as special assistant to the university president.

Woodward, who previously served as LSU’s Director of External Affairs from 2000-2004, served as the Vice President of External Affairs at the University of Washington, prior to being named Director of Athletics in 2008. During Woodward’s time leading the Husky athletic programs, UW captured seven national championships and multiple conference titles during his tenure.

Prior to working in higher education, Woodward co-owned a government and public relations firm in Baton Rouge and provided strategic policy direction to Fortune 500 corporations, including clients in the education, insurance and oil industries. He also worked on behalf of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and served on the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Food Bank.

Woodward earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from LSU in 1985.  He is married to Nanette Dicharry and has two adult sons, Michael and Josh Evans.

The appointment is contingent upon the approval of the Board of Supervisors in accordance with their Bylaws and internal procedures.

Personally, I’m thrilled with this hire and how it went down. As the publisher of this website, I’ve been on the receiving end of messages from a passionate fanbase that suffered some division with the firing of Les Miles, the hiring of Ed Orgeron, and the handling of the Will Wade situation. I can say without hesitation that the Tiger nation is as unified as I’ve ever seen it in support of Woodward’s hire. I’ve seen it written that this is the best move LSU has made since the hiring of Nick Saban, and it may very well be.

Now, turning to baseball…

In a game that was pushed back to an 8 p.m. start time, it didn’t take long to see it would be a very long night in more ways than one. Florida jumped out to a big lead in the second inning and by the time 11:35 came around, the final score was 16-9 Gators. 

With Zack Hess still not fully healthy, Ma’Khail Hilliard got the start on the mound and was hit hard. After giving up a harmless one-out single in the first inning, Hilliard was hammered for six runs on five hits in the second. Unfortunately, it didn’t get much better from there. Chase Costello entered in the third inning and gave up four runs in two innings of work, including a three-run dinger in the fourth. Tommy Moffitt, who hadn’t given up a run all year,  gave up another three-run homer in the fifth, and just like that the Tigers were down 13-0 before the game’s midway point. Will Ripoll and Aaron George combined to pitch the final four innings and gave up one run and two runs, respectively. All told, the LSU pitching staff gave up 20 hits, four home runs, and seven walks. 

Offensively, the Tigers ended up having a pretty good night at the plate but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome a disastrous night on the mound. LSU batted .372 as a team and recorded 16 hits, including four singles by Antoine Duplantis, triples by Daniel Cabrera and Brandt Broussard, and Saul Garza’s first homer of the season.  Unfortunately, LSU’s bats didn’t get going until the fifth inning, which allowed Florida to preserve much of its bullpen by sticking with starter Tommy Mace through seven innings. 

“In my time here at LSU, I don’t remember having more than handful of these kind of games,” said coach Paul Mainieri after the loss. “Our pitching wasn’t at the efficient level it needed to be, and we dug ourselves a big hole early in the game. Unfortunately, the game got of hand, but we fought back to get 16 hits and score nine runs. We just got off to a bad start, Florida was putting the bat on the ball, and they just got to us.”

Here’s the complete box score.

LSU will look to even the series tonight at 7 p.m. with freshman right-hander Cole Henry (3-2, 3.45 ERA) on the mound. Florida will counter with sophomore right-hander Jack Leftwich (4-2, 4.50 ERA) The game will air on the SEC Network.

It’s a big weekend – no, scratch that – a huge weekend in gymnastics as Coach D-D Breaux’s Tigers are set to battle for a national championship. No. 3 LSU (24-3) will compete in the first semifinal today at noon CT inside the Fort Worth Convention Center. The meet will be televised live on ESPN2 with Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke on the call. The Tigers will be going up against No. 2 UCLA, No. 7 Michigan, and No. 6 Utah in the first session. The second session, which gets underway at 6 p.m., will feature No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 5 Denver, No. 8 Georgia, and No. 13 Oregon State. The top two teams from each NCAA Semifinal will advance to the first ever “Four on the Floor,” which takes the place of the “Super Six” used prior to the NCAA adopting a new championship format this year. That National Championship meet will be tomorrow at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Bring home the title, Tigers!

A couple of good reads in closing:

• SportsIllustrated: If LSU - Texas A&M needed an AD heist to become a real rivalry, it got one

• NOLA.com: Q&A with A.D. Scott Woodward





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4/19/19 5:35 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Yesterday’s report started with the news of Joe Alleva being officially out as LSU’s Athletic Director, and today’s starts with Scott Woodward being officially in. LSU confirmed earlier reports of Woodward’s hiring with the following press release:

LSU NAMES SCOTT WOODWARD TO LEAD ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

BATON ROUGE – Baton Rouge native and LSU alumnus Scott Woodward was named athletics director at his alma mater today after serving in the same position for the last four years at Texas A&M University.  

Woodward will be formally welcomed back home on Tuesday at a time and location to be announced later. The community is invited to attend along with members of the media.

“We are happy to welcome a fellow Tiger back home,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Scott brings a strong track record of winning championships, graduating student-athletes and building an infrastructure for future achievement. His leadership will take us into a new era for Tiger Athletics.”

During Woodward's tenure at Texas A&M, every sports program participated in postseason play and the Aggies won nine SEC titles, including men’s basketball, baseball, men’s tennis (twice), soccer, women’s swimming and diving (three times), and men’s outdoor track and field. He also spearheaded the construction of a world-class track & field stadium, as well as a state-of-the-art softball stadium, in addition to renovations of the basketball locker rooms and planned redesign of the swimming and diving facility, nutrition areas and a weight room.

“Returning home to the LSU family to lead the department of athletics is incredibly humbling and exciting,” Woodward said. “The state university has been a part of my life for more than five decades, and I know – and I embrace – the high expectations of Tiger Nation. We will win championships and we will do it the right way, representing LSU with pride and dignity every step of the way. I want to thank President Alexander for the opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot wait to get started. Geaux Tigers!”

Woodward was named to the athletics director’s position vacated by Joe Alleva, who announced he stepped down from the post this week but will remain at LSU as special assistant to the university president.

Woodward, who previously served as LSU’s Director of External Affairs from 2000-2004, served as the Vice President of External Affairs at the University of Washington, prior to being named Director of Athletics in 2008. During Woodward’s time leading the Husky athletic programs, UW captured seven national championships and multiple conference titles during his tenure.

Prior to working in higher education, Woodward co-owned a government and public relations firm in Baton Rouge and provided strategic policy direction to Fortune 500 corporations, including clients in the education, insurance and oil industries. He also worked on behalf of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and served on the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Food Bank.

Woodward earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from LSU in 1985.  He is married to Nanette Dicharry and has two adult sons, Michael and Josh Evans.

The appointment is contingent upon the approval of the Board of Supervisors in accordance with their Bylaws and internal procedures.

Personally, I’m thrilled with this hire and how it went down. As the publisher of this website, I’ve been on the receiving end of messages from a passionate fanbase that suffered some division with the firing of Les Miles, the hiring of Ed Orgeron, and the handling of the Will Wade situation. I can say without hesitation that the Tiger nation is as unified as I’ve ever seen it in support of Woodward’s hire. I’ve seen it written that this is the best move LSU has made since the hiring of Nick Saban, and it may very well be.

Now, turning to baseball…

In a game that was pushed back to an 8 p.m. start time, it didn’t take long to see it would be a very long night in more ways than one. Florida jumped out to a big lead in the second inning and by the time 11:35 came around, the final score was 16-9 Gators. 

With Zack Hess still not fully healthy, Ma’Khail Hilliard got the start on the mound and was hit hard. After giving up a harmless one-out single in the first inning, Hilliard was hammered for six runs on five hits in the second. Unfortunately, it didn’t get much better from there. Chase Costello entered in the third inning and gave up four runs in two innings of work, including a three-run dinger in the fourth. Tommy Moffitt, who hadn’t given up a run all year,  gave up another three-run homer in the fifth, and just like that the Tigers were down 13-0 before the game’s midway point. Will Ripoll and Aaron George combined to pitch the final four innings and gave up one run and two runs, respectively. All told, the LSU pitching staff gave up 20 hits, four home runs, and seven walks. 

Offensively, the Tigers ended up having a pretty good night at the plate but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome a disastrous night on the mound. LSU batted .372 as a team and recorded 16 hits, including four singles by Antoine Duplantis, triples by Daniel Cabrera and Brandt Broussard, and Saul Garza’s first homer of the season.  Unfortunately, LSU’s bats didn’t get going until the fifth inning, which allowed Florida to preserve much of its bullpen by sticking with starter Tommy Mace through seven innings. 

“In my time here at LSU, I don’t remember having more than handful of these kind of games,” said coach Paul Mainieri after the loss. “Our pitching wasn’t at the efficient level it needed to be, and we dug ourselves a big hole early in the game. Unfortunately, the game got of hand, but we fought back to get 16 hits and score nine runs. We just got off to a bad start, Florida was putting the bat on the ball, and they just got to us.”

Here’s the complete box score.

LSU will look to even the series tonight at 7 p.m. with freshman right-hander Cole Henry (3-2, 3.45 ERA) on the mound. Florida will counter with sophomore right-hander Jack Leftwich (4-2, 4.50 ERA) The game will air on the SEC Network.

It’s a big weekend – no, scratch that – a huge weekend in gymnastics as Coach D-D Breaux’s Tigers are set to battle for a national championship. No. 3 LSU (24-3) will compete in the first semifinal today at noon CT inside the Fort Worth Convention Center. The meet will be televised live on ESPN2 with Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke on the call. The Tigers will be going up against No. 2 UCLA, No. 7 Michigan, and No. 6 Utah in the first session. The second session, which gets underway at 6 p.m., will feature No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 5 Denver, No. 8 Georgia, and No. 13 Oregon State. The top two teams from each NCAA Semifinal will advance to the first ever “Four on the Floor,” which takes the place of the “Super Six” used prior to the NCAA adopting a new championship format this year. That National Championship meet will be tomorrow at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Bring home the title, Tigers!

A couple of good reads in closing:

• SportsIllustrated: If LSU - Texas A&M needed an AD heist to become a real rivalry, it got one

• NOLA.com: Q&A with A.D. Scott Woodward

4/18/19 5:35 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

It’s official. Joe Alleva is no longer LSU’s Athletic Director. The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, which is owned by former LSU Board of Supervisor member Rolfe McCollister, first reported that Alleva was on his way out, and then a few hours later LSU made it official with this news release stating that Joe Alleva was “stepping down from his current position” and “transitioning to a new role as special assistant to the president for donor relations.” But don’t let the words “stepping down” mislead you. This is not a matter of Alleva simply choosing to transition to a new role; He was voted out by the Board of Supervisions in a closed-door meeting held earlier this week. Alleva’s popularity with board members, boosters, and fans has been low since the botched firing of Les Miles at the end of the 2015 season. It sank even lower with his handling of the Will Wade suspension and reinstatement, which made the timing of this latest news not the least bit shocking. 

While the news of Alleva’s ousting as AD wasn’t shocking, the news of who appears to be coming in certainly is, and in a good way! Multiple reports indicate that Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward agreed to take the same job at LSU just minutes after LSU’s official announcement of Alleva’s new role. Woodward is a Baton Rouge native and LSU alumnus who served as LSU’s Vice Chancellor from 2000-04, and it’s no secret that he loves Louisiana. In fact, NOLA.com reports that Woodward “has a camp in Grand Isle, an apartment in the French Quarter and his family lives in Baton Rouge.” What I find shocking is not that Woodward would feel a strong desire to return home, but that LSU was evidently able to pull off this home run hire so expediently. LSU identified its ideal man and went out and got him. And make no mistake about it, this is a major hire. In his two years at Texas A&M, Woodward was responsible for the hiring of two outstanding coaches. First he landed Jimbo Fisher as the Aggies’ football coach, and then landed Buzz Williams as A&M’s men’s basketball coach. Williams had just led Virginia Tech to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time. 

Stay tuned for more on this developing story, and be sure to see the linked article in today’s closing tidbits on Woodward’s time at A&M and why he’s coming to LSU.

Now, how about some more good news, this time on the baseball front? With No. 10 LSU set to begin a big three-game series against No. 25 Florida tonight, Coach Mainieri has confirmed to me that Zach Watson, Chris Reid, and Zack Hess are all healing at a remarkable pace and that he’s hopeful the three will play in the series. That’s certainly the best injury news we’ve received in quite a while, and it comes at a great time as LSU embarks on the second half of SEC play only one game out of first place. 

PITCHING, START TIMES, AND COVERAGE:

Thursday, 6 p.m. 8 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
LSU – TBA
UF – So. RH Tommy Mace (6-3, 4.13 ERA, 56.2 IP, 18 BB, 48 SO) 

Friday, 7 p.m. CT  (SEC Network)
LSU – Fr. RH Cole Henry (3-2, 3.45 ERA, 44.1 IP, 12 BB, 48 SO)
UF – So. RH Jack Leftwich (4-2, 4.50 ERA, 32.0 IP, 6 BB, 30 SO 

Saturday, 2 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
LSU – So. RH Eric Walker (2-3, 5.79 ERA, 37.1 IP, 14 BB, 28 SO)
UF – Fr. RH Christian Scott (3-2, 4.60 ERA, 31.1 IP, 9 BB, 32 SO) 

QUOTING PAUL MAINIERI:

“We’ve played a lot of very big games against Florida over the years, and this series falls into that category. It’s the start of the second half of SEC play, and we traditionally have played our best baseball at this time of the year. We’re only a game out of first place in the overall league race, so each of these remaining 15 conference games take on a great deal of significance. Florida is an extremely talented team that has won four of its last five games and is playing with a lot of confidence, so we know we’re facing a tremendous challenge starting on Thursday.”

SERIES RECORD:

LSU leads the overall series with Florida, 62-50-1, but the Gators have won seven of the last ten meetings between the teams, dating back to 2016. Last season, Florida defeated LSU, 4-3, on Day 2 of the SEC Tournament before LSU rebounded to eliminate the Gators from the tournament two days later, 11-0 in seven innings. This weekend’s series marks the first LSU-Florida SEC regular-season matchup since March 24-26, 2017, when the Gators won two of three over the Tigers in Gainesville, Fla. LSU and Florida met in the 2017 College World Series Finals in which UF posted two straight wins over LSU to claim the national championship.

ABOUT THE GATORS:

Florida is always dangerous, but this Gators team (25-14, 6-9 SEC) is not as strong as you’re accustomed to seeing from that storied program. Their pitching is a big reason why. The Gators are No. 14 in the SEC in team ERA (4.64) and have the fewest strikeouts per game in the league (7.56). That last stat bodes particularly well for a Tiger team that has been striking out an awful lot lately.

Offensively,  The Gators are fifth in the SEC in team batting average (.289) and have launched 42 homers, which is fourth in the league.

Closing Tidbits:

• The No. 9/6 LSU softball team (36-9, 13-5 SEC) hits the road this weekend to take on No. 19/25 Arkansas (32-14, 6-9 SEC) Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tonight’s game and tomorrow’s game begin at 6 p.m. CT and will stream live on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app. Saturday’s game will air live on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app at 1 p.m. CT.

• Congratulations to LSU’s Sarah Finnegan for winning the AAI Award, given annually to the top senior gymnast in the nation. Finnegan is the third gymnast in school history to win the award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy of the sport. Hats off!

• Here’s a good read by Amie Just of NOLA.com on “The good, bad, ugly moments from Joe Alleva’s LSU tenure.”

• And here’s the article mentioned above from SportsDay titled, “Despite success at Texas A&M, returning to LSU makes too much sense for Scott Woodward.” 

• As promised, I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange with several new listings.

It’s a great time to be a Tiger!



 

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