Mark Calvi From South Carolina Named Head Coach In Waiting

July 15, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball, News · Comment 

South Alabama formally announced the hiring of Mark Calvi as the ‘coach-in-waiting’ to replace Coach Steve Kittrell at the end of the 2011 season. Coach Kittrell announced his intentions to retire back in June.

Calvi was the pitching coach for the University of South Carolina, who just won the College World Series. He was named associate head coach and ‘head coach in waiting’ on Thursday and will be formally introduced on Friday at 1pm at a press conference at the Mitchell Center. Calvi will be only the fifth head coach in the South Alabama baseball program.

Athletic Director Joel Erdmann received interest from several qualified candidate, but chose Mark in the end. Erdmann stated the following about Calvi, “Obviously, we’re very excited about hiring Mark. He brings not only a wealth of coaching experience to the table, but a demeanor and various intangibles that are going to make him a great member of this family. A facet of the game that we looked deeply at was pitching, and his background in that area — as well as in recruiting, and his familiarity with the Sun Belt Conference, the southeast region and the nation — is very impressive. Mark has been with two very, very good programs, and he has demonstrated loyalty and longevity to those schools. And the key is that he has had success — success that includes conference championship levels and Regionals, while rising to Super Regionals and Omaha on the way to a national championship.”

Calvi has spent the previous six seasons at South Carolina and helped the Gamecocks to rank amon the SEC and NCAA leaders in pitching. He also spent 11 years at Sun Belt Conference foe Florida International. He has worked with 35, an impressive number, of pitchers that have either been drafted or signed with Major League teams.

This past season where the Gamecocks won the National Championship, his staff ranked in the top 10 nationally in ERA (3.75 7th in nation), strikeouts (8.9, 6th) and hits allowed (7.48 3rd) per 9 innings. While in the College World Series they posted a 2.15 ERA. The Gamecocks also finished the season with a sub 4.00 ERA and reached the NCAA Regional each of his six seasons in Columbia, SC.

While at Florida International, they advanced to the NCAA Regional seven times and the 2001 Super Regional. In 1995, the Golden Panther staff led the country with an ERA of 2.40. Add in their 16 shutouts which ties them with the 6th highest total in NCAA history.

Calvi is 41 and a native of Marco Island, FL.

Welcome to the Jaguar Nation Coach Calvi. You have big shoes to fill but we think you are the man to do it.

Are Some South Alabama Fans Calling For A Coaching Change?

May 30, 2010 · Filed Under Athletic Department, Baseball · Comment 

In this mornings Sound Off in the Mobile Press-Register, a reader wrote in criticizing the Jaguar baseball coaching staff. This is rightly so, the team has not performed well since 2006 and the ERA lately has been over 6. So, what is the Athletics Department to do?

With Coach Kitrell’s past success and general likability in the community, it would be a hard sell to fire him. It doesn’t seem like Coach K wants to retire either. However, they might be able to convince him that this would be the best for the program. Either way, what do you do?

Probably the most likely to happen is a shake-up in the staff. Pitching is definitely an area where the bullseye would probably fall. Another area where things could change would be the position of recruiting coordinator.
Recruiting is definitely a tough area for College Baseball. When good high school players graduate, their first inclination is to try to make it in the Minor Leagues. This is the shorter route to possibly making it to the Major Leagues. If they go to college, they may get drafted early in their collegiant career and go play in the Minors. But again, because it’s the shortest route, you don’t go from College to the Majors.

South Alabama and the other programs must have top notch recruiters in order to convince these kids to come to their program. Currently, pitching is at a premium. Which is why you see major league pitchers receiving high paying deals while clubs are scouring minor league teams for the next pitching prospect.

So what is the answer for the South Alabama baseball program? I think it’s too early after the major letdown at the end of the season to determine that. This may be the first major decision the new Athletic Director Joel Erdmann will have to face at South Alabama.

Would Luis Gonzalez like to become a college baseball coach? It could be a big boom in recruiting and his alma mater might be searching.

Jaguars Baseball First Place In SBC

May 1, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball · 1 Comment 

The Jaguars baseball team is sitting in first place in the Sunbelt. They have a half game lead over second place Florida Atlantic and a game and a half lead on third place MTSU.

With three remaining Sunbelt conference series left in the season. Their first series will be hosting Florida Atlantic after the Jags off week. The following weekend is a travel to Florida International then the season ending series against Troy in Mobile.

However, when the regular season ends it will only be the beginning for the Jags. In order to get into the College Baseball World Series, Coach Kittrell feels that the Jags need to win conference tournament. Kittrell says that even though the Sunbelt is currently the 5th ranked conference in the nation, it does not guarantee that two or more teams could make the College World Series. The Jags do not want to leave it up to chance, for good reason.

Jaguars Baseball In Last Place In Sun Belt Conference

March 23, 2009 · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

With the Jaguars win on Friday night, they won their first SBC game 12-1 over New Orleans, however they would lose the next two games of the series with a combined score of 22-7.

These losses put the Jaguars record overall at 8-13 and a mere 1-5 in the Sun Belt Conference and half game behind Troy who is 12-10 overall (2-5 in the SBC).

The Jaguars have shown that they are capable of winning by defeating the #6 ranked Ole Miss Rebels at Stanky Field back in late February. But since then, when the lose they give up lots of runs and sometimes when they win they give up lots of runs too.

Lets hope Coach Kittrell can get the team back on track and the pitching staff under control. They have 33 games left in the regular season with such teams as Mississippi State, Auburn and Alabama all coming to Mobile.

GO JAGUARS!!

Jags Baseball Post Win Over #6 Ole Miss, Coach Kittrell Wins 1,000th Game

February 23, 2009 · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

USA defeated the #6 ranked Ole Miss Rebels at Stanky Field 3-2 in 10 innings to give head coach Steve Kittrell his 1,000th win in his career on Sunday. He is the 50th NCAA coach to reach the 1,000 victory milestone.