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Discussion in 'Scott & Wes Frog Fan Forum' started by frogtex, Nov 16, 2020.
Insights for those of us not behind the pay/registration wall?
1. Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt (2002)
The difference between Vanderbilt baseball before and after Tim Corbin’s arrival is like the difference in night and day. The program went to the NCAA Tournament just three times in its history prior to Corbin taking over in 2002. Since then, he has developed Vanderbilt into one of the preeminent programs in the country and a two-time national champion.
2. Kevin O’Sullivan, Florida (2007)
O’Sullivan has taken the program from a very successful one that was a regular in regionals and occasionally competed for national titles to one that is always in regionals, expects to reach the College World Series and won the first national championship in program history in 2017. He’s led the Gators to seven College World Series appearances.
3. Brian O’Connor, Virginia (2003)
After serving on Paul Mainieri’s staff at Notre Dame, O’Connor took over at Virginia in time for the 2003 season and has since delivered the best run of success in program history. In 2009, he took the Cavaliers to the College World Series for the first time. They’ve made three more CWS appearances since then and won it all in 2015.
4. Dan McDonnell, Louisville (2006)
Louisville in 2007, McDonnell's first year on the job, made its first College World Series appearance and only its second regional appearance, and it has continued as a national title-contending program since then. The Cardinals have missed the postseason just once since McDonnell arrived and have been to the CWS four times since 2013 alone.
5. John Savage, UCLA (2004)
Prior to Savage’s arrival, UCLA had its moments, like a standout 1997 team that featured future big leaguers like Troy Glaus and Eric Byrnes, but the perception was that the program was a perennial underachiever. That’s changed under Savage, as the Bruins have been to the College World Series three times and in 2013 won a national title.
6. Jim Schlossnagle, Texas Christian (2003)
After engineering an impressive turnaround at Nevada-Las Vegas, Schlossnagle has done the same and then some at Texas Christian, taking the Horned Frogs from an also-ran to an upstart mid-major program in Conference USA and the Mountain West to a national power as a member of the Big 12.
7. Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (2011)
It’s a tough task to take a program in a major conference and elevate it to a new level when the competition around it is as tough as ever, but that’s what Tadlock has done in turning Texas Tech into the preeminent program in the Big 12. He took the Red Raiders to their first College World Series in 2014 and has repeated the feat three times since then.
8. Paul Mainieri, Louisiana State (2006)
LSU was a national power before Mainieri arrived from Notre Dame, but at the time he took the job, it was a program in need of a steadying force after several years of inconsistency. Mainieri has been that, as he’s led the Tigers to five College World Series appearances and a national title in 2009.
9. Dave Van Horn, Arkansas (2002)
Legendary Arkansas coach Norm DeBriyn put Razorbacks baseball on the map, but Van Horn, who was hired in 2002 after taking Nebraska to two CWS appearances, has taken the program to the next level. He has led Arkansas to Omaha six times and to a place as one of the most consistent power programs in the country.
10. Erik Bakich, Michigan (2012)
From 2010-2012, Bakich laid the foundation for Maryland teams that would end up going to back-to-back super regionals in 2013 and 2014 under John Szefc, and in 2013, he began the process of building the Michigan program back into a national title contender, culminating in the Wolverines coming one win short of said championship in 2019.
11. Mike Bianco, Mississippi (2000)
When Bianco was hired at Mississippi, the Rebels had been to the postseason just twice since 1977. But since 2001, Bianco’s first season, the team has been a mainstay in regionals, has won six regionals, and in 2014, made it to the College World Series for the first time since 1972.
12. Chris Pollard, Duke (2012)
To say that Duke baseball hadn’t accomplished much in the years before Pollard arrived in 2012 would be an understatement. It hadn’t been to a regional since 1961 and it had finished over .500 in conference play just once since 1963. As it stands today, Duke has been to the postseason in three out of the last four full seasons, has been to back-to-back super regionals and is firmly entrenched as a Top 25 program.
13. John Cohen, Mississippi State (2008)
Cohen could have been a contender for this list based on his tenure at Kentucky, which he led to the SEC title in 2006. At Mississippi State, his alma mater, he continued the high standard set by his predecessor Ron Polk and was well thought of enough that he has since been promoted to athletic director. On the field, the Bulldogs finished as runners up in the 2013 College World Series and in 2016 won their first SEC championship since 1989, during Cohen’s playing days.
14. Tracy Smith, Indiana (2005)
By leading the Hoosiers to the College World Series in 2013 and to a national seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Smith not only elevated the Indiana program to a new level, but also arguably raised the ceiling for what could and should be expected of Big Ten baseball teams. The Big Ten has enjoyed outstanding growth in the sport over the last decade, and Smith deserves a lot of credit for that with what he did at IU.
15. Andrew Checketts, UC Santa Barbara (2011)
At UC Santa Barbara, Checketts has developed a Big West power from scratch. The Gauchos had made the NCAA Tournament just twice in 20 years before he was hired, but he quickly turned them into a winner. Checketts led UCSB to regionals in his second season, in 2016 it broke through to the College World Series and in 2019 it won its first Big West championship since 1986.
Personally think Schloss should be above Florida and UCLA at a minimum. Think it should be Corbin then him at 2 imo.
I agree. National titles mean very little IMO.
TCU and Tech are going to be good for a long time if both coaches stay around.