Schlossnagle hops to Texas Christian

July 10, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

Two years ago, Jim Schlossnagle answered "The Call."

The Hagerstown native left an eight-year stint as an assistant at Tulane University for a dream-come-true job as head baseball coach at University of Nevada-Las Vegas. It had everything he wanted - challenge, potential and the material to work with.

As favorable as the UNLV situation was, Schlossnagle couldn't pass up the opportunity to answer "his yearning."

Schlossnagle accepted the offer to coach Texas Christian University on Wednesday for all the same reasons he headed to UNLV and one more - a strong attachment to family.

"I always thought I would stay at UNLV," Schlossnagle said via cell phone in Fort Worth, Texas, after his introduction to TCU. "I knew when I got into this field, I probably would never get the chance to coach anywhere near my family ... baseball isn't as big in the East as it is out here.


"My wife (Kami) is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and we have a lot of extended family in the area. There was only one job I would leave UNLV for and this was it."

Schlossnagle became the ninth baseball coach in TCU history and took a job that is very similar to the one he accepted at UNLV. The school is making a huge commitment to become a premier baseball program and needed someone with an equal commitment. TCU's baseball interest received a pair of huge boosts with the construction of an $8-million stadium and in-state rival Rice winning the College World Series.

"I feel badly about leaving UNLV right now. I still had a lot of work left to do," Schlossnagle said. "But TCU is a sleeping giant, just like UNLV was out west. They have made a huge commitment to baseball."

Like Tulane, TCU and Rice are private schools, while UNLV is a state-funded school. The move will eliminate most of Schlossnagle's fund-raising duties.

"I always wanted to work at a private school," Schlossnagle said. "This is a good fit for me."

Schlossnagle, 32, leaves UNLV with a two-year record of 77-47, including a 47-17 mark in 2003 when the Rebels won both the Mountain West Conference's regular-season and tournament titles. Schlossnagle, who was named the conference's coach of the year, guided UNLV into an NCAA tournament berth before losing in the Regional finals.

Schlossnagle said he will be taking over a TCU program which was 35-17 last season but lost seven of its eight position players to graduation. The hard work is ahead - something he was used to at Tulane and UNLV - but he has facility and resources provided by his wife's hometown to get it done.

"I don't know what TCU's signing class was this year yet," Schlossnagle said. "I'm sure we will be getting out to try and sign some more players. We have a population of 4-5 million in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, so we should be able to recruit in the area and in northern Texas. We want the best playing school to be TCU."

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