If you’re wondering why UC Irvine hasn’t announced its hiring of Mike Gillespie as its new head coach and Pat Shine as its associate head coach, look no further than the red tape that is ubiquitous in the UC system. Gillespie today confirmed that Irvine has offered him the post and he has accepted, pending approval by the UC system Board of Regents.
Gillespie was hired on Sept. 24, shortly after the Regents met on Sept. 18-20. According to the Regents website, there isn’t another meeting scheduled until Nov. 13-15. It’s hard to imagine Gillespie having to wait another month and a half to start his new job, particularly since UCI’s fall practice schedule starts next week, but Gillespie said right now he doesn’t know when he’ll get to start working. [...] Continue Reading »
Robert Stock bypassed his senior year of high school to enroll a year early at Southern California in 2006, and another touted California player has followed in his footsteps–albeit with considerably less fanfare. Jacob Thompson, a righthander from Cerritos, Calif., bypassed his senior year at Woodrow Wilson High to enroll early at Long Beach State. Thompson, who is not related to the Virginia righty of the same name, was ruled ineligible for his junior year at Wilson after transferring from Mayfair High, and Dirtbags recruiting coordinator Troy Buckley said his family feared he would not be eligible for his senior year, either. [...] Continue Reading »
I just got a call from Pepperdine coach Steve Rodriguez, who said that his talented pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, Sean Kenny, has decided to remain at Pepperdine rather than join Mike Gillespie’s staff at UC Irvine. Rodriguez confirmed that the Anteaters made Kenny an offer, but after sitting down with Rodriguez and Pepperdine athletic director Dr. John Watson, Kenny realized he was in the right place.
"Our administration really stepped up and made a commitment to our program," Rodriguez said. "Working for Coach Gillespie would have been an honor for him, but he likes working and living here in Malibu."
Kenny brought in a strong and large recruiting class that he will now get a chance to help develop. The headliner is athletic lefthander Scott Alexander, who has run his fastball up to 93 mph and shown a pair of promising secondary pitches.
Other candidates for the UCI assistant job include Fresno State’s Ted Silva, a former volunteer assistant at Cal State Fullerton, and California’s Dan Hubbs, who pitched for Gillespie at USC.
Baseball America has learned that UC Irvine will hire former Southern California coach Mike Gillespie as its new head baseball coach, replacing Dave Serrano, who left for Cal State Fullerton. Cal State Los Angeles coach Pat Shine, a former assistant at Irvine, will join Gillespie’s staff, likely as the associate head coach and heir apparent. [...] Continue Reading »
Two days after UC Riverside coach Doug Smith withdrew his name from consideration for the UC Irvine job (which was vacated when Dave Serrano left for another Big West school, Cal State Fullerton), the Highlanders have announced their new pitching coach–and not surprisingly, he has a Big West background. UCR hired former Irvine assistant and former Cal Poly reliever Nathan Choate to replace Andrew Checketts, who left the Highlanders to become the pitching coach under George Horton at Oregon. [...] Continue Reading »
South Carolina has not played its final game at Sarge Frye Field after all. The Gamecocks announced Friday that their new baseball stadium will not be ready for the 2008 season, so it’s back to Sarge Frye, their home since 1977. A bit like Boston’s Big Dig, the price tag for the new stadium project continues to rise–it’s now up to $35.6 million, more than three times its original cost, according to The (Columbia, S.C.) State. And there will be a big dig of a different sort at the site of the new ballpark, where a number of massive granite boulders must be broken down and hauled away.
The new ballpark should be finished in time for the start of the 2008-09 academic year, giving the Gamecocks a chance to settle into their new home during fall practice.
The coaching carousel has been uncharacteristically busy for early fall, thanks to the domino effect created by Oregon’s successful wooing of Cal State Fullerton coach George Horton. Dave Serrano’s departure from UC Irvine to succeed Horton at Fullerton created a vacancy at Irvine that has drawn applications from a number of big names. Sources familiar with Irvine’s national coaching search say the Anteaters interviewed former Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico yesterday, and former Southern California coach Mike Gillespie was scheduled to interview today. On Monday, Cal State Los Angeles coach Pat Shine, a former assistant to UCLA’s John Savage (who formerly coached the Anteaters), is scheduled to interview. [...] Continue Reading »
New Cal State Fullerton coach Dave Serrano has named his two assistants. Serrano will bring both recruiting coordinator Sergio Brown and hitting coach Greg Bergeron with him from UC Irvine, as both have been informed they will not be candidates for UCI’s vacant head coaching position. This news means that longtime Fullerton assistant Rick Vanderhook either declined a position on Serrano’s staff or was not offered a spot. Vanderhook could be a candidate for Irvine’s opening, but the Anteaters are conducting a national search. Don’t expect that process to drag out too long, as Irvine’s practice starts Oct. 4.
Cal State Fullerton is now announcing it officially: Dave Serrano is the Titans’ new head baseball coach. Serrano signed a four-year contract today, and the Titans will have a reception for him Monday.
“It is a dream job,” Serrano told Baseball America on Friday afternoon. “When you know you’ve got to stay in Southern California because of your family situation, this is one of the top baseball programs to be a head coach for in Southern California, or all of California–or even the country. When you start talking about elite baseball programs in the country, Fullerton’s going to fall in the top five every year. I feel honored to follow in the footsteps of Larry Cochell, Augie Garrido and George Horton. It’s an honor and a privilege to go back and lead the Cal State Fullerton program.” [...] Continue Reading »
After stating last week that he was not going to Cal State Fullerton, Dave Serrano has changed his mind and will leave UC Irvine to take the Titans head coaching job, according to multiple sources. An announcement could come as early as today. [...] Continue Reading »
We’ve heard a lot of complaints from coaches about how much of a burden the new compacted schedule will be next spring, but a couple of Southern California teams have come up with an innovative way to get to 56 games. San Diego and Long Beach State will play a three-game “Fall World Series” from Oct. 26-28 that will count toward the teams’ 56-game limit, but will not be reflected on the teams’ spring records. One reason the idea made sense was because both teams will play 2008 games in Hawaii, which do not count toward their 56-game limits, so they had extra games to give. [...] Continue Reading »
Georgia Tech hired a new volunteer assistant coach, one who probably is comfortable enough financially to work as the volunteer.
That would be Matt White, and not the one who has come into money recently. We’re talking about the Matt White who signed with the Devil Rays in 1996 as a draft loophole free agent. White was the Giants’ first-round pick (seventh overall), but was declared a free agent on a technicality (as were three other players, Travis Lee, John Patterson and Bobby Seay) and signed with Tampa Bay. His bonus was for $10.2 million, still the largest bonus for any player involved in the draft, though because White was a free agent he didn’t technically sign as a drafted player. [...] Continue Reading »
If you skipped work Friday to get an early jump on your Labor Day Weekend getaway to some remote location, you must have been pretty shocked to get back to your computer Tuesday and discover that one of the biggest names in college baseball has a new gig. George Horton belongs on any short list of the game’s elite coaches, along with Augie Garrido, Jim Morris, Wayne Graham, Mark Marquess, Andy Lopez and now Pat Caseyâ€”-all of whom have won championships and developed reputations as fine in-game tacticians, recruiters, motivators and teachers.
From the day Oregon announced it was reviving its baseball program, athletics director Pat Kilkenny made clear his intention to make a major splash by hiring a big-name coach to shepherd the Ducks to prominence quickly. But landing one of those coaches from college baseballâ€™s pantheon seemed beyond Kilkennyâ€™s wildest dreams.
But Kilkenny pulled it off. Horton was introduced as Oregonâ€™s new baseball coach amidst a thunderous standing ovation at Saturdayâ€™s Oregon-Houston football game, a lesson that it pays to dream big. Especially when Nike founder Phil Knight is one of your primary benefactors. [...] Continue Reading »
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