Why five candidates for the South Carolina baseball job would be a good fit in Columbia and why they might not be a good fit for the Gamecocks.
Florida head coach
Why a good fit: O’Sullivan has led the Gators to the College World Series five of the past seven years and is widely recognized as one of the top coaches in the nation. He has ties to the area after working as an assistant at Clemson from 1999-2007 and is reportedly not thrilled with the facilities and fan support in Gainesville.
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Why not a good fit: Florida is a great job, and while fan support and facilities are not the best, there is tons of talent in the Sunshine State and O’Sullivan has already proven he can win big at Florida. He also has a $1 million buyout that drops to $750,000 July 1, and he makes more than $1 million per year.
Clemson head coach
Why a good fit: Lee was an assistant at South Carolina from 2003-2008 and is very close friends with Gamecocks AD Ray Tanner. It was thought that being the head coach at USC was Lee’s dream job before he left his alma mater, the College of Charleston, to take the head coaching job at Clemson before the 2016 season. His salary is just north of $400,000 and USC would have no problem topping that.
Why not a good fit: Lee would make several enemies in Clemson if he left to coach the Tigers’ in-state rival, and Clemson is also a really good job with strong facilities. Lee could be in line for a raise this offseason. Lee recently said he has not heard from Tanner about the USC job, “I’m very happy at Clemson. I don’t anticipate going anywhere anytime soon. If Clemson’s going to have me as the head coach this is where I want to be. No he has not reached out to me about the South Carolina job.”
Oklahoma State head coach
Why a good fit: Since taking over the Oklahoma State program in 2013 he has led the Cowboys to five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including a College World Series berth in 2016. He coached as an assistant at NC State, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt prior to going to OSU so he has experience in the Southeast and in the SEC.
Why not a good fit: Holliday is coaching at his alma mater and appears to be very happy there. He is also well paid, making $600,000 a year, although USC would have no problem topping that.
Wake Forest head coach
Why a good fit: Walter has taken over struggling programs in George Washington, New Orleans and Wake Forest and turned all three of them around. He has led Wake Forest to the NCAA tournament each of the past two seasons and the Demon Deacons made a Super Regional this year, falling 2-1 to Florida.
Why not a good fit: Walter has only one season with a winning record in ACC play during his eight years at Wake Forest and has a .550 winning percentage as a head coach. But he has not coached at a place with the facilities or commitment to baseball that South Carolina has.
Indiana head coach
Why a good fit: He played at The Citadel, spent time as an assistant at The Citadel and has led Indiana to the NCAA tournament in two of his three seasons with the Hoosiers. Lemonis also spent several years as an assistant at Louisville under Dan McDonnell, who is recognized as one of the top coaches in the country.
Why not a good fit: Lemonis’ best finish in the Big 10 is third and he has not advanced past the regional round of the NCAA Tournament in his two appearances.