USC Gamecocks Baseball

It’s official: Mark Kingston is USC’s new baseball coach

Mark Kingston is South Carolina’s new baseball coach.

The USC Board of Trustees on Friday morning approved a contract for Kingston, who leaves South Florida after three seasons to take over the Gamecocks. He’ll be introduced in a news conference at 3 p.m. Friday.

His contract is for six years at $600,000 annually.

“Throughout this vetting process with numerous candidates, it has become very apparent to me that he is extremely poised in the ability to communicate, relate and motivate student-athletes of today,” Tanner told the BOT. “He’s an outstanding coach. His recruiting prowess has been demonstrated throughout his career, and certainly with a Top 5 recruiting class at his previous institution. I continue to be impressed with his ability that he is so well-rounded to handle the challenges and meet the expectations that we have here at the University of South Carolina. I’m very confident that our players and our fan base will be excited to have him as our next head coach.”

He led the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament in two of three years. South Florida won 42 games this past season, including victories against Florida and Florida State. USF topped the 40-win mark for the first time since 1996. The Bulls had not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2002.

“He’s regarded as a really good overall coach and even more so a great recruiter,” D1Baseball’s Kendall Rogers told The State. “He’s a guy that’s going to be one of the few head coaches that is out at these 15 and 16u tournaments… He’s going to recruit well. He’s certainly highly regarded as a coach. I wouldn’t say that about someone if I didn’t think it and I think he’s going to do a really good job there.”

Kingston interviewed for the South Carolina job June 22. He also was reportedly a candidate for openings at Virginia Tech and Alabama this offseason.

Prior to becoming the head coach at USF, Kingston was the head coach at Illinois State from 2010-14, leading the Redbirds to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 — their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994.

He has an overall head coaching record of 253-180-1.

Prior to becoming a head coach, Kingston was an assistant at Purdue, Illinois State, Miami and Tulane.

He was an assistant at Miami when the Hurricanes won the national title in 2001 and was also an assistant on Tulane’s College World Series team in 2005.

Former Gamecocks head coach Chad Holbrook resigned June 6. Holbrook took USC to the Super Regionals twice, but stepped down after missing the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the past three seasons.

Like Holbrook, Kingston also played college baseball at North Carolina. Kingston was a part of the 1989 Tar Heels squad that won the ACC Championship and advanced to the College World Series.

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