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.

Coach Kittrell Confirms His Retirement

June 24, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball, News · Comment 

It was confirmed on Wednesday that Coach Steve Kittrell will retire after the 2011 season, the last year of his contract with South Alabama. Coach Kittrell said that he and his wife Carol have been discussing retirement the last four years or so. He decided that he was “tired of going back to his motel room alone after a 3-2 loss.”

Joel Erdmann, South Alabama Athletic Director and a former assistant to coach Kittrell in the mid 90’s, said that the coaching search is ‘wide open’. They also hope to have Kittrell’s successor named and to serve as his assistant coach and coach-in-waiting for the 2011 season. This is being done as an effort to maintain recruiting continuity in the highly competitive college baseball realm.

Erdmann will spearhead the search and as he said, “It’s a marquee job int he sport of college baseball, there’s going to be some heads turned, and there are heads turned. We’re going to have different types of coaches from various backgrounds that are going to take a run at this thing.” Also speaking about having the coach-in-waiting, he said “We need to have the ability to get into homes soon and clarify the situation and say, ‘Next year, your son will be playing for me.”

Coach Kittrell salary of $125,000 will likely be comprable to what the new coach’s salary would be. Additionally the new coach will be required to have a college degree which will eliminate some candidates.

Some former South Alabama major league players Mike Mordecai and Turner Ward have been mentioned as potential replacement candidates. However neither have a degree from South Alabama.

Tony David has been mentioned as well and he is a former USA players who is the associate head coach at Samford. Scot Sealy was stressed by Kittrell should be considered. Kittrell also mentioned that other former players should be considered as well.

Coach Kittrell Retirement Announcement Tomorrow

June 22, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball, News · Comment 

Tomorrow at 2pm it is expected that South Alabama Baseball coach Steve Kittrell will announce his retirement. He has one year remaining on his contract and it is expected to be his last.

Coach Kittrell will turn 62 in November and will be entering his 28th year with the program. His record stands at 1,022-611-1 at USA and 1,055-630-1 overall. He has 18 NCAA tournament appearances and 10 Sun Belt Championships to show for his time at South Alabama.

Coach Kittrell has seen over 100 former players sign professional contracts and 17 have made it to the major leagues.

Let the speculation begin. Who is on Dr. Erdmann’s list? Will they try to make a splash with a former player/major leaguer? Will they try to pluck a coach from another program? Is there someone on the coaching staff to promote to head coach?

South Alabama Sports Round-Up 2009-05-28

May 28, 2009 · Filed Under Baseball, Basketball, Football, Men's, News · Comment 

Baseball

The Jaguars baseball teams season ended early in the Sun Belt Championship falling first to Troy 4-10 then again to Lousiana-Monroe 8-13. These two losses to end the season leaves the Jaguars with a 25-30 overall record for the season.

Head Coach Steve Kittrell said, “It was a tough loss, I hate for our seniors to go out like this. We’ve just got to regroup and get South Alabama back on top next year.”

However David Doss was named a Louisville Slugger third team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Doss hit .378 with 20 doubles, 12 homeruns and 59 RBI’s as a senior. He was a four-year letter winner.

Men’s Basketball

Head Basketball Coach Ronnie Arrow announced on Tuesday that DeAndrae Ross and C.J. Garner will leave the program and transfer to another school.

Ross is a shooting guard that played in 27 games last season with six starts. He averaged 3.8 points per game.

Garner started 16 times as a point guard and appeared in 28 games last season. He averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game as well as 37 assists for the season.

Coach Arrows’ comments about them were, “Both of these young men contributed significantly to our team development last year and helped us get to the finals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.” He further added, “But they both decided it would be in their best interest to transfer and we wish them the best.”

Football

Head Coach Joey Jones and his staff are teaming up with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers to help save lives in Mobile and Baldwin counties with the Community Champions Blood Drive.

On Saturday, from 10AM to 3PM, Jones and his staff will be at LifeSouth’s donor center at 967 Hillcrest Road to donate blood and to encourage others to do the same. Also they will be delivering a piece of history that one lucky Jaguar fan will get.

The entire coaching staff have signed a football that will be given away on June 27th. During the month of June, every donor has the opportunity to enter a drawing to win the ball in addition to a signed banner that will be displayed during the first ever USA Football game on September 5th, 2009.

Additionally, the incoming players are now on campus and taking summer courses and getting prepared for the Fall season.