Penn State baseball head coach Mike Gambino delivers a must-see postgame message

The Penn State Nittany Lions made the Big Ten Tournament final for the first time since 2000 and with Gambino and AD Pat Kraft's vision for the program, the team could make a habit of contending at the conference tournament.
Wagner v Penn State
Wagner v Penn State / Andy Mead/ISI Photos/GettyImages

After sneaking into the Big Ten Tournament as a No. 8 seed, the Penn State Nittany Lions made some serious noise in Omaha Nebraska, nearly stealing the conference title with a run to the championship game. Mike Gambino’s historic first season at the helm in Happy Valley came to an end on Sunday with a 2-1 loss to Nebraska despite seven innings of one-run ball from starting pitcher Travis Luensmann. 

It was the first time that the Nittany Lions reached the Big Ten title game since 2000 and only the second time in program history. Penn State finished with a record of 29-24 under Gambino, the most wins of any first-year coach in program history and the first Big Ten head coach since Minnesota’s John Anderson in 1982 to make the conference championship game in Year 1. 

While Gambino, who Penn State athletic director Pat Kraft poached from Boston College last offseason, gave plenty of reason for optimism with his group’s on-field performance, his postgame press conference shed an even more positive light on the athletic department’s investment in a sport that has largely underachieved. 

Gambino is a coach who understands what it takes to be successful at Penn State and obviously sees the value in endearing himself to the fanbase. Progress is never linear when building a program from the ground up, so next season may not be the step forward that Gambino and Kraft certainly hope, but the vision for Penn State baseball is a long-term one and there is a steady hand at the wheel.

Next. Penn State fans react to proposed Beaver Stadium renovations. Penn State fans react to proposed Beaver Stadium renovations. dark