Jan. 17, 2008
By Douglas Kroll
Doug Kroll is an editor for CSTV.com, focusing on baseball.
Every offseason brings change. With it come same faces in new places. And while it may take time to get used to seeing someone in a new uniform, eventually it becomes a standard.
For a couple of the nation's top programs, that's the case with their head coach as we head into 2008. Out with the old, and in with the new.
Some teams were looking for a change on the bench. Others certainly were not. But in the end, new hires were made as both players and fans get set for a new era.
While the Southern California coaching carousel was spinning wildly thanks to the domino effect caused by George Horton leaving Fullerton for
Each individual hire has its own intricacies and nuances, but here are the five that everyone should know about as opening day is merely a month away.
Out: George Horton (to
In: Dave Serrano (from UC Irvine)
First there was Auggie Garrido. The
Waiting in the wings was George Horton, who picked up right where Garrido left off.
And now there's Dave Serrano.
Serrano is also very familiar with
He takes over a program that he helped guide to four College World Series appearances and
But that will be tough considering the level at which
The Titans are already a national power, and now it's his job to keep them there.
Out: Dave Serrano (to
In: Mike Gillespie
And now he's back.
A little over a year after announcing his retirement, Gillespie takes over the Anteaters and now forms a family rivalry with son-in-law Chad Kreuter, who took over at USC after Gillespie's departure.
The 67-year old looks to continue building what Dave Serrano started, as he takes over a program that made it to its first ever College World Series in 2007.
He didn't actually retire, either, when he said he had from USC. Only a few months later, he took over the Staten Island Yankees (Single-A affiliate) and coached them this past summer.
The last time Gillespie took over a college program, he stepped in for the legendary Rod Dedeaux. If he passed that test with flying colors, he'll be just fine at
Out: Pat McMahon (Fired)
In: Kevin O'Sullivan (from Clemson)
Time had run out in
McMahon won coach of the year honors in 2005 after leading his Gators to the CWS Finals. But his final two years were nothing to write home about.
Florida finished each of the last two seasons under-.500, going 28-29 in 2006, followed by a 29-30 campaign a year ago. That's just not going to cut it for Athletic Director Jeremy Foley.
So in steps Kevin O'Sullivan, who had been Clemson head coach Jack Leggett's right-hand man for so many years. He's known as one of the top recruiters in the country, and what better place to do that work than in talent-rich
He should have
Out: Rod Delmonico (Fired)
In: Todd Raleigh (from
Many kept saying the writing was on the wall for Rod Delmonico all season long in
In the end, he did.
Delmonico finished just one win shy of the 700 mark during his stay, but in the end it was consistency that did him in. And now it's one of the nation's brightest young coaches that takes over the reins.
Todd Raleigh went just 15-38 in his first season at Western Carolina in 2000, but he turned the Catamounts around.
Raleigh's clubs won two regular-season Southern Conference championships, one Southern Conference tournament title, turned in five top-three league finishes and made two NCAA Regional appearances - reaching the Regional final both times. He also was named the 2002 and 2007 Southern Conference Coach of the Year.
The talent is there for the Vols to start winning now. It's just a matter of putting it all together.
Out: Danny Price (Fired)
In: Turtle Thomas (from
Things weren't going to well in
But then when looking at the fine print, the situation becomes a little clearer. FIU finished with the worst APR of any team in the nation in baseball, and of any FIU athletic program. This resulted in a loss of a full scholarship from the baseball program.
In steps one of the most well-known assistant coaches there has been in the last decade, Turtle Thomas. With stops along the way at Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami and Arizona State, that's about as good as a resume as one can make up.
It may take some time to build the Golden Panthers back up, but with Thomas knowing the