After more than a decade of high-level baseball, South Carolina great Scott Wingo is entering a new phase in his life.
Wingo has returned to Columbia and, after a stint in coaching, joined the Recruiting Solutions staffing and temp agency as a business development manager.
“At the end of the summer, I kind of wanted to try something new,” Wingo said. “I’d been coaching for four years and enjoyed every bit of it.”
Wingo was a part of an NCAA tournament team last season as the volunteer assistant at Jacksonville. With Wingo on staff, the Dolphins received their highest regional seed in program history and their first bid since 2011. In the regional hosted by No. 1 seed Florida, they won one game before losing twice to end the season.
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Wingo is not ready to say he’ll never coach again. Even if his time in baseball is done, he remains one of the most decorated and celebrated figures in USC baseball history.
As a senior captain, Wingo was named Most Outstanding Player in the 2011 College World Series as Carolina won its second consecutive title, in addition to earning All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team selections. He still ranks second in program history in career games played and tied for fifth in career walks.
In 2015, he briefly returned to South Carolina to finish his degree and serve as the volunteer assistant coach for the team. After that, he spent two years at North Greenville on the staff of another former Gamecock, Landon Powell, helping him build that program from irrelevance to 38 wins in 2017. He also coached with the Wilmington Sharks in the Coastal Plain League.
From there, it was off to Jacksonville for a year, before returning to his home state this fall and, for the first time in a long while, taking time to slow down.
“I basically moved back right when football season started, and it was pretty special, all those memories that you finally get to sit back and soak in. I went to a bunch of good games, and just this fall was a good time. It’s been exciting to be back,” Wingo said.
During the course of that 2011 College World Series run, Wingo was selected in the 11th round of the MLB draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Three weeks after his final college game, he played his first professional game. Over the next four years in the minors and then four more as a coach, he didn’t think much about the history he and his USC teammates made as back-to-back champions.
That’s changed now.
“After I got released, I stepped right into the student assistant role, finished my degree, went straight to North Greenville, got my master’s degree there and went to Jacksonville. So just now stepping back ... it’s pretty special to look back on everything,” Wingo said.
Wingo was friends with Cam Varner, president of Recruiting Solutions. Some conversations led Wingo “to venture out and try something new.”
“We are thrilled to have Scott join the Recruiting Solutions team and look forward to the impact he will have on our Columbia market,” Varner said in a statement. “Scott is a proven winner and adding his experience both on and off the field is a healthy addition to our organization.”
Now that he’s back in Columbia, Wingo expects to be at plenty of Gamecock baseball games this spring, which dovetails nicely with coach Mark Kingston’s hopes to keep alums of the program involved after they leave school.
As for his predictions for this year’s team?
“I know how they finished one game away from Omaha. I expect coach Kingston will continue that momentum,” Wingo said.