BASEBALL: Source: Three finalists for Ball State coaching job begin last interviews
Cardinals' assistant Marconi among candidates
Ball State University has narrowed the candidates for the vacant baseball coach position to the final three and has begun the last round of interviews.
Multiple sources close to the program confirmed Wednesday that the finalists for the position are Ball State assistant baseball coach Alex Marconi, former Wake Forest University coach Rick Rembielak and Birmingham-Southern College coach Jan Weisberg. The job has been open since Greg Beals left to become Ohio State University's coach last month.
Weisberg was on campus Wednesday for his interview, according to a source. The other two candidates are believed to have interviews later this week. Athletic director Tom Collins did not return a call seeking comment on the process.
Marconi has been an assistant coach at Ball State for five years. He has served as an instructor for the catchers and outfielders, as well as first base coach. Jeremy Hazelbaker, the Boston Red Sox' fourth round draft pick last year, credited Marconi with helping him become a better fielder after moving to center field from second base. Marconi is the only paid coach left on staff after top assistant Mike Stafford joined Beals at Ohio State.
Before coming to Ball State, Marconi was a volunteer assistant for one year at the University of North Carolina. He also played professionally in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, rising as high as Class AAA Durham. He also played at Kent State University, while Beals was an assistant there.
Rembielak has the most experience of the group. He coached at Wake Forest for five years, ending in 2009. His record with the Demon Deacons was 142-142 and one regional appearance in 2007. Rembielak was unable to recapture that success in his final two years at Wake Forest, finishing with two disappointing losing seasons.
Before coaching at Wake Forest, Rembielak had plenty of success at Kent State. He coached the Golden Flashes for 11 years, compiling a record of 373-251-1. Rembielak built Kent State into a dominant program in the Mid-American Conference, and is the most successful coach in the school's history. Not only did he coach Marconi, but he was an assistant coach when Beals played for Kent State. After taking over as head coach from Bob Todd, who left for Ohio State, Rembielak would hire Beals as an assistant. Rembielak played collegiately at Miami University and played professionally for five years, reaching Class AA.
Weisberg has coached at Birmingham-Southern for four years, presiding over its transition to Division III. This year, the Panthers won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season and finished the year ranked No. 8 in the country.
Before going to Birmingham, Weisberg was a player and coach at the University of Kentucky and spent one season as the coach of Transylvania University. Weisberg replaced current University of Alabama-Birmingham coach Brian Shoop at Birmingham-Southern.