Day one of the Mark Kingston era is in the books.
USC's new head baseball coach was officially introduced Friday afternoon on a day when his contract was approved by the Board of Trustees and he had his first meeting with his new team.
Kingston comes to Columbia after eight years as a head coach - five at Illinois State and three at South Florida.
While he has some noteworthy accomplishments at both schools, he has yet to lead a team to the Super Regionals. But he does have three trips to Omaha - a player at North Carolina and as an assistant coach at Tulane and Miami.
"To the fans, we will embrace your expectations," Kingston said Friday
"I know what the expectations are. Coach Tanner made sure I knew what the expectations were many, many times. We won’t run from the expectations. We will run toward the expectations, because trust me, they are the same. I know how important the in-state rivalry is here with Clemson. I get that. We will work very hard to do the absolute best we can to win those games. I know how important that is to people. We will do our best to make sure those games are very positive for the Gamecocks. We want Omaha as much as you. I will tell the fans – we want Omaha as much as you. We will work hard to get there. Only eight teams get there every year, but we can work every day to make sure that’s our focus."
Tanner, the former head baseball coach who led USC to back-to-back national championships, says he was excited after his first initial conversation about the opening.
"When my staff and I were talking about opportunities for the future of this program, I’m not sure there was a box he didn’t check," Tanner said.