Texas A&M’s baseball coach quits to take a job at the school’s biggest rival a day after defeat in College World Series | CNN (2024)

Texas A&M’s baseball coach quits to take a job at the school’s biggest rival a day after defeat in College World Series | CNN (1)

Jim Schlossnagle flashes a hook'em sign as he speaks at a news conference after he was introduced as the new NCAA college head baseball coach at Texas, Wednesday, June 26, 2024, in Austin, Texas. Schlossnagle left rival program Texas A&M.

CNN

Jim Schlossnagle was incensed on Monday when a reporter asked him about his future as the Texas A&M baseball team’s head coach.

“I think it’s pretty selfish of you to ask me that question to be honest with you. But, I left my family to be the coach at Texas A&M. I took the job at Texas A&M to never take another job again,” Schlossnagle said in response to a reporter’s question about rumors that he was considering taking the job at the University of Texas, A&M’s hated rival.

“And that hasn’t changed in my mind, and that’s unfair to talk about something like that. … I understand you gotta ask the question, but I gave up a big part of my life to come take this job and I’ve poured every ounce of my soul in this job, and I’ve given this job every single ounce I could possibly give it. So, write that.”

Less than 24 hours later, Schlossnagle was a Texas Longhorn.

It’s a stunning turnaround that has infuriated Aggies, whose athletic teams will finally be back in regular competition with Texas once the Longhorns join the Southeastern Conference later on this year. The two schools have long been intrastate rivals and the rivalry runs deep – A&M’s unofficial fight song, “The Aggie War Hymn,” was penned by a graduate who wanted to express his hatred of the University of Texas while he sat in a trench in France during World War I.

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Schlossnagle’s about-face came so quickly that his social media presents quite the sight: Posts celebrating the Aggies’ performance in the College World Series sit right below photo illustrations of the coach clad in Texas’ burnt orange and white.

A&M athletic director Trev Alberts said in a statement that Schlossnagle gave word of his decision to leave for Texas shortly after the team arrived back in College Station, Texas, after being defeated by the University of Tennessee in Omaha, Nebraska. That arrival was just hours after Schlossnagle’s terse answer over his future at Texas A&M, where he had coached for three years.

“After our baseball team arrived back in College Station earlier today, Jim informed me of his desire to leave Texas A&M,” Alberts said. “While we are certainly disappointed, we are grateful for his contributions in helping our baseball program reach unprecedented heights. Baseball success is important to everyone associated with Texas A&M, we will not stop in our pursuit of excellence and our commitment to baseball will not waiver.”

For his part, Schlossnagle acknowledged he was likely to anger the Aggie fanbase.

“Although I know many will be upset with my decision, I chose to make a change to join a longtime friend to continue my career as a college baseball coach,” he said in a statement released through Texas A&M. “The run to the National Championship game was truly a remarkable one this year, and I will savor the memories and true friendships I have made there for a lifetime.”

In his introductory press conference in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Schlossnagle thanked A&M for his time at the school and apologized for not being able to explain his decision to his team before departing. He also apologized to the reporter who he called selfish in Monday’s press conference.

“He’s a young reporter. He asked a question that was an obvious question,” Schlossnagle said. “I wish I could have answered that better. But in the moment, all 30 minutes after the last pitch, all I could think about was our players. And I really wasn’t in the mood to talk about myself for the future.”

He added that the tense moment at Monday’s press conference was genuine, because at the moment he truly did feel that way. But he cited his relationship with Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte – whom he worked with extensively at Texas Christian University – and the opportunity at Texas as ultimately leading him to make his decision on Tuesday.

“I get it, I get it. All I can say is, I have a career too,” Schlossnagle said when asked about upset Aggies fans. “I have a personal life as well. I have goals and I simply felt like – no negative at A&M, just the positives of the alignment (at Texas) and my relationship with Chris.”

Texas A&M’s baseball coach quits to take a job at the school’s biggest rival a day after defeat in College World Series | CNN (2024)
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