Jeff Brantley for hire?


Just got off the telephone with former MSU great and MLB pitcher Jeff Brantley. The purpose of the call was to talk about a farewell piece I’m doing on Ron Polk that will run this Sunday.

The conversation took a major twist, though, when we started talking about the future of the program.

As he was explaining how much he enjoys teaching baseball on all levels and the importance of the new coach understanding the legacy of Polk and the tradition he’s built, I interrupted him and asked, “Would you be interested in the job?”

“I knew you were going to ask that,” the former ESPN analyst said with a laugh, after a brief pause.

Then I responded, “Well, you threw me a softball.”

We then talked briefly off the record about the situation. But he also wanted to go on the record, and here is what he had to say: “It’s always been something that has intrigued me,” he said.

Not a lot, but you can definitely read between the lines.

Brantley is currently working for the Cincinnati Reds as part of their radio crew. He said he has two years remaining on his contract, and that he’s being paid pretty good money.

He’s also recently remarried (to an MSU grad), and they call Ridgeland home.

So, what do you guys think? Would that be a good hire and why?


26 Responses to “Jeff Brantley for hire?”

  1. theconquistador2 Says:

    No. For the same reason that Raffo would be a good hire. No head coaching experience. No disrespect to Brantley. I’m a big fan.

  2. theconquistador2 Says:

    Sorry. That should be “would not be a good hire”

  3. jaybirdms Says:

    hmmmmmmm…veeeerrry interesting.

    I think it would be a great hire, simply based on his name alone. But based on his actual coaching experience, it would not be a good hire.

    Overall, I would be fine with it. He would prolly stress quality pitching and he would need to recruit a excellent hitting coach, since that’s probably not his strong suit.

    Good scoop, GG.

  4. Gregg Ellis Says:

    I figured that’s what you meant conquistador2.

  5. corinthdawg Says:

    Could be a good pickup. Raffo’s losing my interest, as State’s hitters absolutely stink right now. Name recognition could go a long way with recruits. Brantley is also respected amongst MLB scouts and ESPN analysts. I know that he’s been doing clinics for a long time, so he should be up to date on all of the latest philosophies. I think it’s worth a look. Maybe he could bring in Will “the Thrill” as his hitting instructor.

  6. 2thdoc Says:

    I definitely don’t think Brantley is what we need. Probably good guy and all but that would be on the job training with recruiting, head coach experience, and getting MSU back up in a hurry.

  7. Braves Dawg Says:

    That would be like pouring a cup of water on a forest fire.

  8. dadawg Says:

    Are we talking about as a radio announcer or head coach ?

  9. Gregg Ellis Says:

    If you hire the right assistants, it will work. Remember when Pete Carroll went to USC. I heard those same concerns. I say he’s learned on the go pretty well.

  10. corinthdawg Says:

    Recruiting is for assistants. They just tell the head coach when he needs to call a recruit and when they’re coming by campus. The Head Coach is the figure head of the team. Do you guys think Polk really recruits? Do you think he spends a lot of time with pitchers and infielders working on fundamentals. He’s in the dugout smoking stogies like all other head coaches. So, when it comes down to it, all the head coach needs to worry about is managing games. Brantley’s been doing that from the booth for years now. Knowing the situations is what it’s all about. I’m not saying Brantley’s the man, but come on, we’re really giving these head coaches a lot of the credit.

  11. jcdawgman18 Says:

    I kind of like the idea, especially if he could bring in Will Clark as hitting coach. He is one of my favorite announcers to listen to because he actually knows what he is talking about. The guy also has bigtime name recognition. It is an intriguing thought.
    Anybody but Cohen!!

  12. Gregg Ellis Says:

    I don’t see Will Clark coming in as a pitching coach. I could be wrong.

    I did forget to mention that Brantley said his wife wouldn’t be opposed to living in Starkville. In fact, he said she never hesitated in her answer when asked if she’d like to live in Starkville.

  13. 2thdoc Says:

    corinthdawg, if recruiting is for assistant coaches then we need to hire Coach O as a baseball assistant to walk into some living rooms with a baseball bat and convince these young kids to come play for State.

  14. bigdraws Says:

    I don’t know about this one. He’ll definatly improve our pitching situation though. As far as Clark goes. My brother is off to play in his golf tourney this weekend. Maybe he’ll leak out some info at the pre-tourney party, who knows?

  15. bigdraws Says:

    This thing could get interesting before it’s all over with.

  16. themaroonandwhite Says:

    Would be a very good hire. He brings all the contacts and know how of a MLB star. He can recruit around the nation with all the people he knows. He has star power to help with that recruiting as well. I would imagine we wouldn’t have much of a problem getting top pitching talent. Furthermore, he should be able to get top assistants.

    As far as no heading coaching experience…that’s BS. Anyone that says that has never played baseball seriously. A good head coach in baseball is completely different than those in basketball or football. A good baseball coach does most of his coaching before the games. It’s about fundamentals, training, practicing correctly…and someone like Brantley should be great at that since he has excelled at ever possible level.

  17. nashdawg Says:

    Will, as the hitting coach. Best swing mechanics that has been seen in many a year.

  18. bigdraws Says:

    Nash, I don’t know if you can teach a swing like that. Pure talent. Just flowed so smooth through the zone.

  19. 2thdoc Says:

    themaroonandwhite, I’m pretty sure Tony Gwynn has more star power than Brantley and had just as much head coach experience and “contacts” before laying several eggs as a coach. These guys would be awesome assistants but not head coaches in my opinion. Splitting up fractions of scholarships with recruits isn’t exactly something that sounds easy for former players or commentators.

    As far as your BS comment goes, I played in college myself with experienced coaches and not so experienced coaches. Knowing the game and practicing techniques is something that helps but getting and having talent on a team wins games. Ask Gary Enis at Tupelo who knows the game inside and out. He will probably tell you he is loaded this year with talent and that is the difference. Until this talent makes it to Starkville somebody is gonna have a tough time.

    As a pitching coach Brantley would be perfect but that’s probably not what he’s looking for.

  20. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Just so you guys will know, Gwynn took over a San Diego State program that didn’t even have one tenth the tradition MSU has. And we won’t even get into the facilities.

    He’s built from the ground up and the program is now winning. I wouldn’t close the book on Gwynn just yet.

  21. bb67 Says:

    the mullet would have to go.

  22. Gregg Ellis Says:


  23. Braves Dawg Says:

    “and someone like Brantley should be great at that since he has excelled at ever possible level.”

    That’s the line I like best. Pretty broad statement. I guess Andruw Jones, Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Ty Cobb, Reggie Jackson would all make good coaches. They have all excelled at every level, some are dumb as a post, others would pistol whip you if you popped up a bunt. Just because you are an all-star caliber player, does not make you an all star-caliber coach. Why don’t we just get John Kruk too while we’re at it. He is an expert analyst, just like Brantely.

  24. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Kruk would be extemely entertaining.

  25. hunkaburningdawg Says:

    I think Jeff Brantley would be excellent. I watch a lot of Major League and in my opinion he is one of the better color guys . His knowledge of the game is clearly effident. I remember in a extra inning game a few years ago, he stated “if that guy throws that pitch again, this game is over.” Jeff was right on the money; the batter went yard.

    The question is can he relate to 18-22 year old kids? I think he can!

  26. Jeff Brantley the new Ron Polk? : Says:

    […] Tupelo Journal’s Gregg Ellis speculates that former MSU great and MLB all star Jeff Brantley might be interested in Ron Polk’s […]

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