USC Gamecocks Baseball

How the College World Series, other openings affect Gamecocks coach search

There are 13 head coaching jobs open in Division I baseball, including Power 5 jobs at Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Stanford.

But what happens with coaching searches around the country is not likely to have much of an impact on who Ray Tanner hires to lead the Gamecocks program.

USC is considered to be an elite job by most in the country and for the most part will have different candidates from the other programs looking to hire a head coach.

“It’s an easy top seven or eight job,” Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball said of USC. “When you look at the fan support, obviously the facilities and the money, I think they’re willing to commit to the sport and the program there, I think it’s way up there. I think it’s a great job.”

One coach who had been mentioned as a possibility at South Carolina, as well as another school, was Michigan’s Erik Bakich.

Bakich was reportedly a finalist for the Stanford job and had been mentioned as a candidate for the USC job if Tanner is unable to reel in a bigger name.

But Rogers reported Wednesday evening that Bakich turned down the Stanford position and is staying put at Michigan long-term.

“When you look around the country right now, Stanford isn’t far off as far as a job. Stanford is a great job. But I don’t think who they’re going to go with would really affect the South Carolina job,” Rogers said. “I honestly don’t see any of the other jobs really factoring into the equation. I think the guys they’re going to go after are other guys.”

As far as when a hire at South Carolina could take place, it might be after the College World Series is complete in late June.

Although all three would be hard to pry away, Florida’s Kevin O’Sullivan, Louisville’s Dan McDonnell and TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle are coaching in the College World Series and could receive a call from Tanner to gauge interest when their seasons are over.

Of the three, O’Sullivan would be the most likely for USC to have a chance to hire.

If O’Sullivan or another top proven candidate does not accept the job, Tom Walter at Wake Forest and Chris Lemonis of Indiana are names to keep an eye on.