Steven Williams

As soon as the announcement was made that Alex Marconi was resigning as Ball State's baseball coach, the level of interest in the job became noticeable.

Athletic director Bill Scholl said for the last few days the phone has been active, and not from people he was already trying to reach out to.

"The phone is ringing off the hook with people who are interested in the job," Scholl said. "Some of them with quite an accomplished background so I am already very confident that the interest level on the job is high."

Marconi's resignation was announced Wednesday in a press release. He spent seven years with the program - two as head coach - and compiled a 29-71 record in that capacity.

Though Scholl wouldn't confirm the reasoning of the unexpected resignation, he did thank Marconi for his seven years of service to the program.

"Alex [Marconi] spent seven years working very hard to make this program as successful as possible and we very much appreciate the energy and the work he put into it," Scholl said. "I look forward to seeing him have a great career ahead of him."

Scholl said jokingly that ideally he would have had the replacement hired already, but that speed in finding the next Ball State baseball coach is imperative with the new academic year quickly approaching without conflicting with the search.

"I'm not going to compromise the search just to move quickly," he said. "But I am confident that we will get this done in what I would consider will be a relatively quick time frame."

The search has already begun, but the process is still in it's early phases, Scholl said.

"The way this works is you end up working phones and working your network," he said. "It's not like you always have some names. This is the time of year when baseball jobs become open and we're not the only one and there are several out there that are searching as we speak."

The Cardinals took similar paths when hiring both Marconi and his predecessor Greg Beals. Both originated under Kent State roots with Marconi serving as Beals' assistant coach for five seasons. Both were also first time head coaches before their time at Ball State.

Experience appears to be a big draw for Scholl when it comes to an already established program like baseball this time around. Specifically, a proven track record seems to be something Scholl values.

"You got to have a proven track record when it comes to graduating student-athletes," he said. "You have to have a proven track record when it comes to compliance issues. You have to be very driven to be successful when it comes to the win-loss side of the equation. I'd love to get somebody that I know has proven that they know how to build a program and sustain a program."

Despite the desire for experience, Scholl said familiarity within the MAC and Midwest will be keys to the r+â-¬sum+â-¬ of the next Cardinals baseball coach.

"I think a big piece of what you need to be good at Ball State is kind of finding the diamond in the rough who has the huge upside and get that upside out of them," Scholl said.

The players were notified almost immediately of the resignation and Scholl said there was a range of emotions with some surprised while some were not surprised.

After the coaching situation is settled, Scholl alluded to possible improvement's in the programs facilities.

"Our baseball facility needs some work and we need to be assessing that situation," he said.

Scholl has been around the athletic business for more than 20 years and is confident the experience is going to generate a talented pool of candidates.

"I always have a list of folks that I think can be great fits here in any of our head coaching positions," Scholl said. "But I am also open to suggestions. You can't possibly know everybody out there and one of the beauties having been in the business as long as I have is I have a vast network."