Jake Boss Jr.
Durkin and Mekkes named to the All-Big Ten first team.
No. 7 MSU takes on No. 2 Nebraska in tournament opener.
MSU clinches a spot in the Big Ten Tournament with the win.
MSU hosts Maryland in a three-game set.
Head Coach Jake Boss Jr. wraps up last weekend in Arizona and looks ahead to the UT Arlington Hilton Invitational
Jake Boss Jr. was appointed the 16th head coach in Michigan State baseball history on July 1, 2008, and has quickly become one of the most successful coaches in the program's 130-year history.
In just seven seasons, Boss has compiled a 228-161 (.586) record. His 228 wins are the most over a seven-year span in program history. Five of the 11 winningest seasons in MSU history have come under Boss' direction. He has guided the Spartans to six consecutive 30-win seasons, the Big Ten regular-season championship in 2011, and the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
A total of 22 Spartans have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft during Boss' tenure as head coach, including a school-record eight players in 2015: Cam Gibson (fifth round, Detroit), Ryan Krill (ninth round, New York Yankees), Anthony Misiewicz (18th round, Seattle), Cam Vieaux (19th round, Detroit), Jeff Kinley (28th round, Miami), Mick VanVossen (28th round, Washington), Blaise Salter (31st round, Detroit) and Mark Weist (37th round, San Francisco).
Under Boss' watch at MSU, players have earned All-Big Ten honors 29 times, including eight selections in 2011, which tied a school record. The six first-team All-Big Ten selections in 2011 were the most in program history and featured Player of the Year Jeff Holm, Pitcher of the Year Kurt Wunderlich and Big Ten batting champion Brandon Eckerle.
MSU went 34-23 in 2015, including a 14-10 mark in conference play, earning a trip to the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans went 22-10 over the final 32 games, including a three-game sweep on the road at Oregon.
Boss guided Michigan State to a 31-26 record and a spot in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament in 2014. Four Spartans were named to All-Big Ten teams, including Jimmy Pickens, who was voted to the first team. Pickens, along with catcher Joel Fisher, were both selected in the 2014 MLB draft. Pickens was selected in the 15th round (455th overall) by Cincinnati and Fisher was taken in the 23rd round with the 682nd overall selection by Philadelphia.
In 2013, the Spartans recorded at least 30 wins for the fourth consecutive season, posting a 33-17 mark. The 33 wins marked the ninth-highest win total in school history. Three Spartans earned All-Big Ten honors, including Andrew Waszak who was later drafted in the 22nd round by Atlanta. Pitcher David Garner was also chosen in the MLB draft as the Chicago Cubs selected in the seventh round.
In 2012, the Spartans won 37 games, third most in school history, and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 1979. Five Spartans garnered All-Big Ten recognition, including first-team outfielder Jordan Keur.
Following MSU's successful season, four Spartans were selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including Torsten Boss, (eighth round, Baltimore), Ryan Jones (13th round, San Francisco), Tony Bucciferro (14th round, Chicago White Sox) and Tony Wieber (33rd round, San Diego).
The 2011 Spartans reached the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time since 1992 and finished the season at 36-21, tying for the fourth-most wins in program history. Michigan State went 15-9 during Big Ten play and tied with Illinois for the regular-season title, MSU's first since 1979. Boss was named the 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year, becoming just the second Spartan coach to earn the award.
The Spartans compiled an 11-1 record at home in conference play, including sweeps over Minnesota (first ever), Penn State and Purdue (first since 1983). The Spartans also swept Michigan in Ann Arbor in a non-conference series, giving MSU its first sweep over the Wolverines in a series (three games or more) since 1955. It marked just the third time in school history MSU had posted four sweeps in one season, and it was the first time MSU had three sweeps at home during Big Ten action.
Michigan State led the Big Ten and ranked seventh in the nation with a .318 batting average, while on the mound, MSU boasted two first-team All-Big Ten pitchers (Wunderlich, Tony Bucciferro) for the first time in school history. Overall, the Spartans posted their lowest ERA for the program since 1978.
In addition, for the second straight season MSU ranked among the nation's top 25 in fielding with a Big Ten-best .975 fielding percentage, which ranked 24th among all NCAA Division I teams.
Holm (12th round, Detroit), Wunderlich (20th round, Oakland) and Eckerle (32nd round, Detroit) were each chosen in the 2011 MLB Draft.
In 2010, Boss led the Spartans to a 34-19, tying for the sixth-most wins in program history. MSU opened the year winning 20 of its first 25 games, the best 25-game start since 1971, and racked up an 11-game winning streak during that stretch, the longest since 2004. MSU's strong start garnered national attention, as the Spartans received votes in the national polls. Although the Spartans narrowly missed a bid to the Big Ten Tournament on the last day of the regular season, MSU was rewarded with seven players on the All-Big Ten Team. Leading the way was shortstop Jonathan Roof, MSU's first All-Big Ten first-team selection since 2006. Second baseman Ryan Jones earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, becoming only the second player in program history to win the award.
In addition, two Spartans - Roof (eighth round, Texas) and A.J. Achter (46th round, Minnesota) - were chosen in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft in June.
In Boss' first season, he led the Green and White to its highest Big Ten finish in five years and its first trip to the Big Ten Tournament since 2004.
Under Boss' direction in 2009, the Spartans won their most games at home (15) and matched their longest conference-game winning streak (7) in the previous five seasons. The 2009 season also marked the opening of McLane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field.
"I believe in order to be successful and develop our players throughout their careers, we will focus on four main areas in each of their lives: academics and the effort to learn and graduate; character on and off the field; team philosophy and the effort and will to win; and career goals both at Michigan State University and beyond," said Boss when he was hired. "Our players will play hard, compete, and most importantly, trust each other to be successful. We will build our program on relationships and a family atmosphere throughout our team consisting of both current and former players."
In just one season as head coach at Eastern Michigan in 2008, Boss made an immediate impact, guiding the Eagles to their second consecutive MAC West Division crown and first NCAA Regional appearance since 2003. The Eagles swept through the MAC Tournament, winning all four games by a combined 21 runs, to notch the school's fourth tournament title. The conference title capped a remarkable turnaround, as Eastern Michigan - picked to finish fifth in the division - closed the season on a hot streak, claiming 25 of 40 games and earning a berth in the NCAA field.
For his efforts, Boss was selected the 2008 MAC Coach of the Year and made history by becoming just the second coach in league history to win the MAC Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament in his first season. Overall, the Eagles finished the season 15-8 in conference play and 25-34 overall.
Boss is was stranger to postseason play prior to coming to East Lasing, having coached in six NCAA Tournaments. Prior to being named head coach at Eastern Michigan, he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Michigan from 2004-07, as the Wolverines made NCAA Regional appearances all three seasons. Boss was a member of the staff that led the Wolverines to three straight 40-win campaigns, with a 42-19 record in 2005, a 43-21 mark in 2006 and a 42-19 finish in 2007. Michigan won the 2006 and 2007 Big Ten regular-season titles, and claimed an NCAA Regional title in 2007 by upsetting top-seeded Vanderbilt to advance to the school's first-ever Super Regional.
Boss was an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan for seven seasons (1997-2004) before coaching in Ann Arbor. During his stint as an assistant in Ypsilanti, Boss helped the Eagles to back-to-back MAC West Division championships in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, the Eagles also won the conference tournament title while advancing to the NCAA Regional. Working mostly with catchers, infielders and hitters, the Eagles set several team records under Boss' direction, including home runs with 95 in 2002.
Boss began his collegiate coaching career in 1996 and 1997 as an assistant baseball coach at Iowa Central Community College in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. Both seasons the team advanced to the NJCAA World Series, including a runner-up finish in 1997. While at ICCC, he worked with three All-Americans, coached the catchers and outfielders and oversaw the academic services of the baseball team. He also served as an associate scout for the Atlanta Braves organization in 1996-97.
Boss started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Lakeview (Mich.) High School in 1994 before being named the head coach at Webberville (Mich.) High School in 1995. Boss, who played baseball at Alma from 1989-93, earned his bachelor's degree in English in 1993. He completed his master's degree in physical education from Eastern Michigan in 2000. An accomplished writer, Boss was co-author of a book, Dare to Hit .400, in the spring of 1998. He has been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association since 1995. Boss and his wife, Cheryl (Schiff), have two daughters, Abigail and Grace, and a son, Jacob.
THE JAKE BOSS JR. FILE
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE: Assistant Coach at Lakeview (Mich.) High School (1994); Head Coach at Webberville (Mich.) High School (1995); Assistant Coach at Iowa Central Community College (1996-97); Assistant Coach at Eastern Michigan (1997-2004); Assistant Coach at Michigan (2005-07); Head Coach at Eastern Michigan (2008).
COACHING RECORD - OVERALL: 253-195 (.565) in seven seasons.
COACHING RECORD - MSU: 228-161 (.586) in seven seasons. Named head coach on July 1, 2008. | Coverage of Boss' introductory press conference
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in English from Alma in 1993; master's degree in physical education from Eastern Michigan in 2000.
PLAYING EXPERIENCE: Four-year letterwinner at Alma (1989-93).
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: Head Coach - 2008 NCAA Regionals, 2012 NCAA Regionals; Assistant Coach - 2003, 2005, 2006 NCAA Regionals, 2007 NCAA Super Regionals; 1996, 1997 NJCAA World Series.
|Boss' Career Record - Head Coach|
|Year||School||Overall Record||Conference Record||Noteables|
|2008||Eastern Michigan||25-34 (.424)||15-8||MAC West & Tournament Champions, NCAA Regionals|
|2009||Michigan State||23-31 (.426)||13-11||Big Ten Tournament participant|
|2010||Michigan State||34-19 (.642)||13-11||Tied for 6th most wins in school history|
|2011||Michigan State||36-21 (.632)||15-9||Big Ten Regular Season Champions|
|2012||Michigan State||37-23 (.617)||13-11||NCAA Regionals|
|2013||Michigan State||33-17 (.660)||12-9||Tied for ninth most wins in MSU history|
|2014||Michigan State||31-26 (.544)||11-13||Big Ten Tournament participant
|2015||Michigan State||34-23 (.611)||14-10||Big Ten Tournament participant|
|Total||8 years||253-195 (.565)||106-82 (.564)|
|Boss' Division I Coaching Record - Assistant Coach|
|Year||School||Overall Record||Conference Record||Noteables|
|2002||Eastern Michigan||30-28||19-9||MAC West Champions|
|2003||Eastern Michigan||33-28||16-11||MAC West & Tournament Champions, NCAA Regionals|
|2004||Eastern Michigan||32-27||14-10||MAC Tournament Runner-Up|
|2006||Michigan||43-21||23-9||Big Ten Regular Season & Tournament Champions, NCAA Regionals|
|2007||Michigan||42-19||21-7||Big Ten Regular Season Champions, NCAA Super Regionals|
|Totals||10 years||310-270 (.534)||158-121|