Photo: Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Coaching Roundup: Buzz on Gamecocks' targets for vacant baseball job

In a press conference following the resignation of former South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook, athletics director Ray Tanner announced that he will conduct his search externally and will not evaluate current assistants Jerry Meyers and Sammy Esposito for the permanent job. 

Tanner expressed a willingness to play at the top of the market in terms of salary figures during the hiring process.

The status of some of South Carolina top targets continues to evolve with a recent string of hirings impacting the current coaching landscape.

Mark Calvi, South Alabama

Calvi, a former South Carolina assistant, reportedly turned down a lucrative offer from Tennessee, a vacancy that was recently filled by Arkansas assistant Tony Vitello. 

Calvi was the architect behind several of Tanner's most successful pitching staffs during a six year stint in Columbia, including the 2010 College World Series championship team.  

"Money is not the most important thing to me," Calvi said to Gene Hansen of 247Sports. "A big conference and big lights and being in the spotlight are not the most important things to me."

Calvi has managed the Jaguars to three NCAA Regional berths in the last five seasons, the same amount of postseason appearances that Holbrook achieved in his tenure at South Carolina.

"I have not spoken to South Carolina about the job opening," Calvi said immediately following Holbrook's resignation. "I’ve spoken to Ray Tanner as a friend. That’s a tough situation up there with Holbrook moving on."

There have been no reports since that point indicating whether Calvi and Tanner have been involved in further discussions.

Erik Bakich, Michigan

Bakich has long been regarded as one of the best young coaching minds in college baseball. He made his bones as a star recruiter for Vanderbilt and Clemson before landing his first head job at Maryland in 2009 at just 31 years old. The Wolverines reached the NCAA Tournament for the second time under Bakich's leadership this season after earning a spot in the Chapel Hill Regional. 

The East Carolina alum appears to be on Tanner's radar, with SEC Country's Mike Wilson reporting that Bakich plans to interview for the job. 

Kevin O'Sullivan, Florida

O'Sullivan is perceived as one of the most high-profile candidates on South Carolina's wish list, and the current Gators' head coach earned his third consecutive trip to Omaha with a 3-0 win over Wake Forest Monday.

Texas courted O'Sullivan last offseason after the legendary Augie Garrido stepped down, but he elected to remain in Gainesville after signing a deal that pays $1.25 million annually through 2025. 

One clause in O'Sullivan's contract would require him to pay Florida $1 million if he leaves the program before July.

On paper, O'Sullivan doesn't fit the bill of a new job-seeker given the terms of his contract and his overwhelming success at Florida, but there have been longstanding rumors of his discontent regarding Florida's athletic department and upgrades to his program's facilities.

Kendall Rogers of D1baseball.com recently noted there was a real possibility of O'Sullivan leaving Florida for South Carolina when speaking to Matt Moscona of ESPN 104.5. 



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