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Ten potential replacements for Chad Holbrook

South Carolina needs a head coach for just the fourth time in the last 40 seasons


Unless you’ve been living at the bottom of Lake Murray the past 48 hours, then you’d know the South Carolina Gamecocks are out one head baseball coach for just the fourth time since 1977.

Chad Holbrook resigned his post Tuesday evening after he and athletic director Ray Tanner had a meeting about the state of the program. Whether or not you agree Holbrook deserved to be let go or fell victim to crushing expectations, Holbrook did leave behind 199 wins in five seasons on the job with two Super Regional appearances.

As far as college baseball gigs are concerned, South Carolina is one of the ten best jobs in the country. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better college stadium than Founders Park — same goes for the practice facilities, plus fan and booster support. The job is set up for someone to succeed immediately, even if Holbrook didn’t meet the level of success necessary by the fans and administrators.

It should go without saying South Carolina is a big enough program to pay whatever price necessary for an elite head coach. As a matter of fact, Tanner has already stated he’d reach seven figures to try and bring someone new in — which might be what it takes to wrangle in the best candidate.

So where exactly is Tanner to look? There are over 80 or 90 head coaches out there who’ve had success and would walk a mile over broken glass to have an opportunity to coach at SC. At GABA we scoured the college baseball-sphere to find ten coaches who fit the bill and would have a great shot to succeed in Columbia.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-TCU vs Texas Tech Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Schlossnagle - TCU

Career Record - 687-317 (Two seasons at UNLV, 14 at TCU)

NCAA Apps. - 14 (Six Super Regionals)

College World Series - Four (2010, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Annual Salary: $1.4 Million

Schlossnagle has familiarity with the Carolinas as a former Clemson and Elon assistant. The Horned Frogs have made four of the last seven CWS and could very well be on their way to their fifth in eight if they can get past Missouri State in their upcoming Super Regional. As you can tell from his current salary, SC will have to pay a hefty price for his services.

Dan McDonnell - Louisville

Career Record - 506-201 (11 seasons, all at UL)

NCAA Apps. - 10 (Seven Super Regionals)

College World Series - Three (2007, 2013, 2014)

Annual Salary: $1 Million

Since arriving in 2007, McDonnell has turned Louisville into a premier program and yearly contender to win the College World Series. A Citadel grad and longtime assistant for the Bulldogs, McDonnell has familiarity with the state and has the resume to match — with a hefty salary to boot.

Brian O’Connor - Virginia

Career Record - 637-236 (14 seasons, all at UVA)

NCAA Apps. - 14 (Six Super Regionals)

College World Series - Four (2010, 2011, 2014 Runners-up, 2015 Champions)

Annual Salary: $750,000

While he doesn’t have any tenure in the Carolinas, O’Connor has a proven track record as the head coach of a power-five school. Virginia won the national title in 2015 and came within a run of going back-to-back in 2014. O’Connor is only 46 years old, meaning he could retire in Columbia if he did well enough.

Tom Walter - Wake Forest

Career Record - 664-236 (Eight at George Washington, five at New Orleans, eight at WF)

NCAA Apps. - 5 (One Super Regional)

College World Series - None

Annual Salary: Undisclosed (Private School)

Walter would probably not be South Carolina’s first choice as head coach but has the track record of taking three small schools with little-to-no baseball pedigree to the NCAA Tournament. This year has without a doubt been his best, getting the Demon Deacons to host a regional and headed to face Florida in the Gainesville Super Regional.

Tim Corbin - Vanderbilt

Career Record - 643-312-1 (15 seasons, all at Vandy)

NCAA Apps. - 13 (Seven Super Regionals)

College World Series - Three (2011, 2014 Champions, 2015 Runners-up)

Annual Salary: Undisclosed (Private School)

Hiring within the conference would be unlikely, but Corbin would be a fun dark horse candidate as someone who has shown he has the chops to take over a program like SC. Corbin knows the Carolinas from his time as an assistant at Clemson and took Vanderbilt from relative obscurity to a championship winning program.

Mark Calvi - South Alabama

Career Record - 208-151 (Six seasons, all at USA)

NCAA Apps. - 3 (Zero Super Regionals)

College World Series - None

Annual Salary: $125,000

If South Carolina were to look for a mid-major head coach to rise up a level, Calvi would be the most obvious choice. An assistant under Tanner for the 2010 title team, Calvi has taken over South Alabama and won the Sun Belt title this season to go along with three NCAA appearances.

Erik Bakich - Michigan

Career Record - 246-217 (Three seasons at Maryland, five at Michigan)

NCAA Apps. - 2 (Zero Super Regionals)

College World Series - None

Annual Salary: $182,327

Given his record and how his tenure ended at Maryland, Bakich is going to be another long shot to get the South Carolina job. However, he was a longtime assistant at Vanderbilt and Clemson who knows the southern recruiting landscape well and has brought Michigan back from relative obscurity.

Tim Tadlock - Texas Tech

Career Record - 187-102 (Five seasons, all at TTU)

NCAA Apps. - 3 (Two Super Regionals)

College World Series - Two (2014, 2016)

Annual Salary: $375,000

After two NJCAA World Series titles and three other appearances at Grayson JC, Tadlock took his talents as an assistant to Oklahoma before heading to Lubbock. He’s been pretty boom or bust as the Red Raiders head coach. He’s missed the tournament twice and been to the CWS twice, so take that for what it’s worth.

Greg Lovelady - UCF

Career Record - 164-78 (Three seasons at Wright State, one at UCF)

NCAA Apps. - 3 (Zero Super Regionals)

College World Series - None

Annual Salary: $125,000

Lovelady is an intriguing choice for someone out of the mid-major ranks. His Wright State teams were very competitive, including getting to the Louisville Regional Final in 2016. In just one season he got UCF in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, and at just 38 years old he has the potential for long staying power at SC.

Scott Berry - Southern Mississippi

Career Record - 299-175-1 (Eight seasons, all at USM)

NCAA Apps. - 4 (Zero Super Regionals)

College World Series - None

Annual Salary: $150,000

Much like Tadlock, Berry found initial success at the JUCO level before heading over to Southern Miss to be an assistant under Corky Palmer. Berry took over in 2010 and had his best season this year by winning 50 games and hosting a regional in Hattiesburg for the first time since 2003.