After multiple reports surfaced on Monday night, Mississippi State University made the official statement, Andy Cannizaro is no longer MSU baseball head coach.
"I had a wonderful opportunity at Mississippi State, but unfortunately I made some poor decisions," Cannizaro said in a press release sent out by the University. "I hope Mississippi State University and all of the fans and people affected will one day forgive me."
David Murray of 247sports.com first reported the firing, followed by a confirmation from WCBI Monday night. 247 reported the firing was going to be with cause, meaning it is not related to the team’s performance on the field. However, MSU athletic director John Cohen announced in the release Cannizaro resigned.
"Earlier this morning, I accepted Andy Cannizaro's resignation as the head baseball coach at Mississippi State," Cohen said in the release.
Since the resignation multiple reports have come out that the university is investigating Cannizaro for infidelity. On Outside the Lines, ESPN's Ryan McGee called it an "extramarital affair with an employee in the athletic department." The Starkville Daily News confirmed the report and noted the employee is no longer at MSU.
Cannizaro, 39, of Mandeville, Louisiana, started his second season coaching MSU baseball this past weekend. He finishes his career with a 40-30 record and one super region appearance. Cannizaro is married to Allison Cannizaro, and has two children ages six and three. He graduated from Tulane University in 2001 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Business.
Cannizaro spent seven years playing professional baseball for a number of organizations. He later worked as a scout for the New York Yankees for five years, then worked for two years as a hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at LSU before he was introduced as MSU’s head coach Nov. 5, 2016.
He took over after John Cohen stepped into the athletic director role. Cohen took over for Scott Stricklin, who left MSU for the same position at the University of Florida.
This is the second time MSU has had to replace a head coach in the 2017-2018 school year, after head football head coach Dan Mullen left MSU for Florida last November.
MSU confirmed reports that pitching coach Gary Henderson will take over in an interim role.
"While the circumstances are difficult, we are fortunate to have a coach of Gary Henderson's caliber to assume leadership of the program on an interim basis during our transition,” Cohen said in the release.
Henderson served as the pitching coach at MSU since Cannizaro's arrival. He has significant coaching experience, including eight years as the head coach at the University of Kentucky, where he won the 2012 SEC Coach of the Year award.
"Although I have taken this position under some unfortunate circumstances, I have been with this team for two years," Henderson said. "We have great student-athletes and a tremendous staff who proudly represent our tradition-rich program. We will move forward, focusing on the things we can control and give Mississippi State fans a team they can be proud of."
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