Even with fall practices underway around the country, the coaching carousel hasn’t quite stopped spinning.
Army has terminated the contract of coach Joe Sottolano, naming associate head coach Matt Reid as the interim head coach for 2014.
“Due to behavior that does not meet the standards of what we demand of our senior leaders and role models at West Point, we have relieved Joe Sottolano of his duties as head baseball coach,” athletic director Boo Corrigan said in a statement.
A spokesman for the U.S. Military Academy told the Associate Press that Sottalano was fired for a “pattern of behavior” but that there were no criminal charges and no cadets were involved. Sottalano had been on administrative leave during an investigation, according to the AP.
Sottolano had a successful run, posting a 391-286 record (.577 winning percentage) with the Black Knights, including seven NCAA tournament berths and back-to-back Patriot League titles the last two years. He’s been at West Point since 1992 and head coach since 2001.
• Stanford’s coaching change wasn’t at the top but it was significant. The Cardinal announced the retirement of associate head coach Dean Stotz, who was the first winner of the Baseball America/American Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year award in 1999.
In many ways, Stotz epitomized what the award is about. He’s been Mark Marquess’ top assistant for the last 37 seasons, including the Cardinal’s back-to-back national championships in 1987-88, serving in various roles but mostly as recruiting coordinator and hitting coach.
One of his top pupils, Ryan Garko, replaced him on the staff. It’s Garko’s first coaching job and follows a playing career that included four trips to the College World Series with Stanford from 2000-2003 and a six-year major league career that peaked in 2007 with the Cleveland Indians.
• Bad news out of Tallahassee, where Florida State junior lefthander Brandon Leibrandt broke his right ankle during a practice and will be out indefinitely.
Leibrandt, the son of former big leaguer Charlie, has been a fixture in FSU’s weekend rotation the last two years. He was a Freshman All-American in 2012, going 8-3, 2.82 to help the Seminoles reach the College World Series, and went 10-4, 3.44 as a sophomore last season. Leibrandt and fellow returnee Luke Weaver have been expected to once again anchor the Seminoles’ rotation in 2014.
“We are extremely disappointed about Brandon’s injury because he had worked so hard this past summer into the early part of fall on conditioning and developing a couple of other pitches,” Florida State coach Mike Martin said in a statement. “Of course now everything will be put on hold until he makes a full recovery.”