Chad Holbrook announced his resignation from the South Carolina baseball program on Tuesday night. Holbrook accumulated 200 wins, two NCAA Super Regional appearances and a SEC East title during his five seasons as head coach.
Now the question is who can come in and do better and bring the Gamecocks back to national prominence like their fans base expects?
Former USC baseball coach and current USC athletics director Ray Tanner has a slew of options. He can pick from his own coaching tree like South Alabama coach Mark Calvi. Calvi is a former pitching coach for South Carolina. Or Tanner can go for a big name like Louisville's Dan McDonnell who has a 50 win team that is competing in a Super Regional at the moment.
Perhaps a coach donning the purple and orange will trade in those colors for garnet and black. Clemson head coach Monte Lee is a early candidate. He's coming off a 42 win season and hosting back to back NCAA Regionals. His team also beat South Carolina this season.
Other early candidates include Virginia's Brian O'Connor, Tim Corbin of Vanderbilt and Florida Gators head coach Kevin O' Sullivan. Sullivan and Corbin also have their teams in the Super Regionals. Corbin was able to recruit and help develop ace Kyle Wright. Wright is projected to be the number one overall pick in this year's draft.
Whoever comes in to take over the program they will have plenty to work with. The Gamecocks still have a talented load of players coming back like All-SEC Freshman Carlos Cortes and rising juniors in TJ Hopkins and LT Tolbert. Fellow rising junior Adam Hill could be USC's returning ace. You have those veterans plus and a talented recruiting class that includes catcher Louis Campusano out of Cross Creek High School in Augusta, Ga. He expects to have his name called in the upcoming MLB draft.
South Carolina can improve upon last season with their talent and recruiting class coming in but the next head coach will be the key to making it happen.