Extramarital affair led to Cannizaro's resignation

Staff Writer

The Starkville Daily News has confirmed through multiple sources that former Mississippi State baseball head coach Andy Cannizaro was forced to resign earlier this week in large part due to an extramarital affair with another former MSU athletic department employee.

The SDN learned earlier this week that Cannizaro’s abrupt departure came after Mississippi State had looked into allegations of infidelity. That was followed by an ESPN report on Thursday that Cannizaro was involved in an extramarital affair with another employee in the athletic department who the SDN found out is also no longer with the university.

Mississippi State still hasn’t publicly addressed the reasoning behind Cannizaro’s resignation, other than in a brief statement released by the school on Tuesday morning.

In that statement, Cannizaro confessed to some type of misbehavior, but wasn’t specific.

“I had a wonderful opportunity at Mississippi State, but unfortunately I made some poor decisions,” Cannizaro said. “I hope Mississippi State University and all of the fans and people affected will one day forgive me.”

MSU director of athletics John Cohen then immediately selected pitching coach Gary Henderson the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the 2018 season.

“Earlier (Tuesday) I accepted Andy Cannizaro’s resignation as the head baseball coach at Mississippi State,” Cohen said in the statement. “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.”

Cannizaro’s fall from grace was a swift one at MSU. He was a beloved figure, particularly after he led the Bulldogs to an NCAA Super Regional last year in his very first season with the program. The admiration for Cannizaro grew as he not only produced on-field results, he also frequently attended other sporting events on campus and seemed to be one of MSU’s best ambassadors.

It all came crashing down though earlier this week. Two days after the Bulldogs began the 2018 season by getting swept at Southern Miss, Cannizaro officially resigned on Tuesday.

On the field, the Bulldogs bounced back from the adversity with a 12-1 win at Jackson State on Wednesday and will continue their season under Henderson with three games in Corpus Christi, Texas, this weekend in the Kleberg Bank College Classic.