No one could figure out why Cliff Godwin left LSU. Fresh off a trip to the College World Series in 2008, why would the hitting coach leave for a similar position at the University of Central Florida?

Godwin, who joined Ole Miss’ baseball staff Tuesday, heard the question a lot in the last three years.

“I wanted to do it for the betterment of myself,” Godwin said. “It sounds selfish but it prepared me to be a head coach more than anything. That’s what I wanted at the time and I think it helped me a lot.”

At UCF, he called the offense. He wasn’t just a hard-working recruiter who “waved runners around” from third like he did at LSU. When Terry Rooney, the assistant head coach at LSU, got the call to take over UCF, Godwin followed him.

At UCF, he helped recruit the fourth-ranked class in the country in 2010 and the Knights set the school record in batting average (.343), home runs (78) and slugging percentage (.538).

Fresh on the job, Godwin hit the recruiting trail and watched a baseball tournament in Starkville on Friday and Saturday. As for the pieces coming back at Ole Miss, which missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years, Godwin doesn’t expect much of a letdown.

“I think we’re very close,” he said. “There’s no reason next year we can’t get to Omaha.”

Source: Godwin returns to SEC with Rebels, written by The Clarion-Ledger. 11:42 PM, Jun. 25, 2011