Jake Boss Jr.
Crowd of nearly 7,000 treated to fun night of baseball and fireworks.
Annual exhibition between Spartans and Lansing Lugnuts features home run derby and game.
Jordan Zimmerman earns MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors.
OSU 7, MSU 3
MSU plays OSU again Sunday morning with the winner advancing to the championship game.
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 nine seasons at MSU, Boss has compiled a 293-203 (.591) record. His 293 wins are the most over a nine-year span in program history. Five of the 10 winningest seasons in MSU history have come under Boss’ direction. He has guided the Spartans to 30-win seasons in seven of the last eight years, as well as the Big Ten regular-season championship in 2011 and the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
During Boss’ tenure at Michigan State, MSU has had 30 selections in the Major League Baseball Draft, including four or more in each of the last three years. Four Spartans were selected in the 2017 draft: Alex Troop (ninth round, Washington), Brandon Hughes (16th round, Chicago Cubs), Nathan Witt (17th round, Los Angeles Dodgers) and Joe Mockbee (29th round, Chicago White Sox). MSU had four juniors selected in the 2016 draft: Cam Vieaux (sixth round, Pittsburgh), Jordan Zimmerman (seventh round, Los Angeles Angles), Dakota Mekkes (10th round, Chicago Cubs) and Matt Byars (24th round, Minnesota). The 2015 draft saw a school-record eight players taken: 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 39 times. Most recently, the Spartans had five all-league selections for the second-straight season. The 2017 season saw second baseman Dan Durkin, center fielder Brandon Hughes, designated hitter Chad Roskelly and pitcher Alex Troop all tabbed to the All-Big Ten second team list, while outfielder Bryce Kelley was named to the all-freshman team. In 2011, a school-record eight Spartans earned All-Big Ten honors. 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.
In 2017, the Spartans logged a 29-23 ledger, including winning Boss’ 300th career win as a collegiate head coach in the 13-4 victory for MSU over Richmond on March 18. Michigan State opened the season 9-1 for the second-straight year and tied for the second-best start to a season through 10 games. In addition to the 2017 and 2016 seasons, MSU was also 9-1 through 10 games in 1971, while the best mark in school history was the 1946 squad that went undefeated through its first 10 games. Boss also led the Spartans to the 2,300th win in program history, in the season-opener on Feb. 17, becoming just the fifth team in the Big Ten Conference and the 32nd team in the country with 2,300 wins.
Under the tutelage of Boss, an MSU pitcher has led the Big Ten in ERA in conference games the last two seasons. Walter Borkovich led the league stats with a 0.64 ERA in league games in 2017, while Dakota Mekkes posted a 1.23 ERA in conference contests in 2016.
Boss led MSU to its fourth-most wins in program history in 2016, compiling a 36-20 record en route to reaching the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans posted the best 15-game start in school history, going 14-1 out of the gate.
The 2016 season also saw several Spartans garner individual high achievements, including reliever Dakota Mekkes who finished the season as the NCAA leader in Ks per nine innings (15.16) and hits per nine innings (4.11). Zimmerman finished as the Big Ten batting champion, posting a .376 average in league games.
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 road sweep of 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: 318-237 (.573) in 10 seasons.
COACHING RECORD - MSU: 293-203 (.591) in nine 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||B1G Tournament participant
|2015||Michigan State||34-23 (.611)||14-10||B1G Tournament participant
|2016||Michigan State||36-20 (.643)||13-11||B1G Tournament participant
Tied for fourth most wins in MSU history
|2017||Michigan State||29-23 (.558)||10-14|
|Total||10 years||318-237 (.573)||129-107 (.547)|
|MSU Totals||9 years||293-203 (.591)||114-99 (.535)|
|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|
The Spartans Under Boss
• Five of the 10 highest single-season win totals in school history
• Teams have recorded six of the 10 highest single-season strikeout totals and four of the 10 highest single-season hit totals
• Coached four MSU career-record holders
• Coached 11 MSU single-season record holders
• 26 MLB Draft selections
• 39 All-Big Ten honors, including 12 first-team selections
• Two conference batting champions
• Three All-Americans