UF selects baseball coach


Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 9:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 10:03 p.m.

After twice hiring proven head coaches to lead his baseball program, Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley is now going in the opposite direction.

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Special to the Sun

Clemson associate head coach Kevin O'Sullivan has agreed to become the next head coach at Florida, sources close to the situation told The Sun on Wednesday night.

O'Sullivan will be introduced at a news conference at UF Thursday, exactly a week after former coach Pat McMahon was fired after six seasons.

The 38-year-old O'Sullivan has spent the last nine seasons as the Tigers' pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. He becomes the 21st head coach at Florida.

This will be O'Sullivan's first head coaching job. However, he arrives in Gainesville with a proven background.

Since arriving at Clemson as an assistant in 1999, O'Sullivan has helped the Tigers become one of the top programs in the nation.

Clemson has been to seven Super Regionals since 1999, second in the nation to Miami's eight. The Tigers advanced to the Super Regionals last weekend at Mississippi State, but were swept by the Bulldogs and finished their season with a 41-23 mark.

Under O'Sullivan's tenure at Clemson, 29 Tiger pitchers have been selected in the Major League Draft. That includes five who were taken in last week's draft, highlighted by junior left-hander Daniel Moskos, who was the fourth overall selection.

This past season, Clemson posted a 3.73 ERA, which was fourth in the ACC. Those numbers would be welcomed in Gainesville. The Gators were last in the SEC in pitching this season with a 5.27 ERA.

"I think Kevin is the top recruiting coordinator in the country," Clemson head coach Jack Leggett says in the team's 2007 media guide. "His work ethic is off the charts."

O'Sullivan also has some ties to the state of Florida. O'Sullivan was an assistant at Florida Community College from 1992-93, at Florida Atlantic from 1994-95 and for the Fort Myers Twins of the Rookie League in 1998.

O'Sullivan broke into the collegiate ranks as a player. The former catcher played for Florida CC from 1988-89. He transferred to Virginia where he spent his final two collegiate seasons and earned a bachelor in Sports Medicine. He later earned a master of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness at Florida Atlantic in 1995.

O'Sullivan will be the third baseball coach hired by Foley in his 15 years as Gators athletics director. Foley hired Andy Lopez in 1994 and McMahon in 2001.

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