Top 25 College Baseball Coaches in The South
25. Tony Robichaux Louisiana (577-382-1 at UL)- For 16 years Tony Robichaux has been the head coach at UL. 8 of Robichaux's teams have appeared in NCAA Regionals, 2 in Super Regionals, and the 2000 team made it all the way to the College World Series. Robichaux is the winningest coach in school history and has had 39 players drafted in the MLB since taking over. 5 conference championships and a 5 time Louisiana Baseball Coach of the Year are a few more of his accomplishments at UL.
24. Pete Dunn Stetson(1167-739-3)- For 32 years now Dunn has been running one of the best baseball programs in The State of Florida. As the coach of the Hatters, Dunn has led his program to 16 NCAA Postseason appearances. Dunn is a 6 time Conference Coach of the year(a record) and has won 8 Conference Championships. Last season Dunn had Stetson in good position to host a regional late in the season, but the Hatters instead ended up in the Columba, SC Regional where they would put on an impressive showing prior to falling short to the National Champion Gamecock team.
23. Bobby Pierce Troy(860-409)- In 9 years at Troy Pierce has guided the Trojans to 9 consecutive winning seasons and 3 Conference Championships. Pierce's team has also been one of the most dominating on offense in the last several years, placing top 10 nationally in homeruns on several occasions. In his 23 years as a head coach, Pierce has never had a losing season. Pierce is a member of The Alabama Baseball Hall of Fame. As a player he was named to the Alabama Crimson Tide's All Century Team.
22. David Perno Georgia(338-275-1)- Perno has led Georgia to 3 College World Series appearances since taking over as head coach in 2002. The reason he isn't higher on this list is that Perno has failed to make a NCAA regional 4 times in that span. With Perno it seems like the Dogs are either very good or bad. Last season Perno did find some middle ground and had the Dogs in a regional, despite having 32 losses. Perno's best year was in 2008 when he lost to Fresno State in the National Championship Series, but 2 years later the Dogs went 16-37, showing the inconsistency under his tenure.
21. Jim Gilligan Lamar(1,206-768-7)- Gilligan enters the 2012 season as the 25th all time winningest coach ini NCAA History. Gilligan was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 and even has a road named after him in Beaumont, Texas. In his last 34 years at Lamar Gilligan only has had 2 losing seasons and has guided the Cardinals to 12 postseason appearances. He is currently 6th on the active coaches win list nationally.
20. Gary Gilmore Coastal Carolina(906-426-2)- For over 2 decades now The State of South Carolina has seen Gary Gilmore winning big in the sport of college baseball. Gilmore started his career at USC Aiken, where he led that program to the Division II College World Series. Since taking over at Coastal Carolina in 1996 Gilmore has taken a program few knew about and made it a national power. 10 of the last 11 seasons have seen the Chanticleers in the NCAA Regionals and 4 of those teams had 50 wins or more in a season. One of the biggest athletic events on South Carolina's coast happened in 2010 when Coastal was host to a NCAA Super Regional.
19. John Cohen Mississippi State(407-282-1)- Like several big name coaches, Cohen started his career as head coach at Northwestern State. Cohen then took his abilities to Lexington, KY where he did what many thought was impossible and won a SEC Championship in 2006. Cohen then went back to his alma mater, Mississippi State in 2008. His first 2 seasons were tough, but last year Cohen took MSU to the NCAA Super Regionals. Cohen has proven he can rebuild any program and it appears he's about to take MSU back to their status as a college baseball power.
18. Rick Jones Tulane(1012-474-3)- Jones became a member of College Baseball's 1,000 win club last year on April 8 with a victory over Central Florida. Jones last few Green Wave teams haven't done as well as the ones in the early 2000s, but there is no doubt he belongs up there with the elite coaches in The South. Since taking over the Tulane program in 1994, Jones has guided Tulane to two College World Series appearances and is a 3 time CUSA Coach of the Year. Jones has also been named a 5 time Louisiana Coach of the Year, an impressive accomplishment when you consider all the great coaches that state has produced since 1994.
17. Dave Serrano Tennessee(289-139-1)- After guiding UC-Irvine to the College World Series in 2007, Serrano took one of the most high profile jobs in College Baseball at Cal State Fullerton. Serrano then led the Titans to 4 straight regionals, including the 2009 College World Series. Tennessee showed its willing to step up its baseball program last season with the hiring of Serrano. There is no doubt the resume is there for Serrano, the question will be how can he do coming from a good conference to an elite conference.
16. Rob Childress Texas A&M(244-135-2)- One of the best pitching coaches in the country resides in College Station, TX. Childress' 6 Aggie baseball teams have ranked #2 or better in ERA among Big XII schools. Childress first team only won 25 games, but since then A&M has averaged 45 wins and have been to a NCAA Regional 5 straight years. Last year A&M made their first CWS appearance since 1999 and only the school's 5th overall.
15. Mike Bianco Ole Miss(534-322-1)- Every year you can bet Ole Miss is going to be near the top of the SEC Standings. Only 2 of Bianco's 11 Ole Miss teams have finished the year with a losing record in the SEC. Bianco has made 9 regional appearances and 4 Super Regional Appearances, along with 2 SEC West Division Titles. The only thing keeping him from being higher on this list is a lack of an appearance in the College World Series
14. Jim Schlossnagle TCU(425-200)- In 2003 Schlossnagle won a Mountain West Conference Championship at UNLV. He then decided to take his talents to Fort Worth to take over a TCU program in desperate need of a rebuilding job. TCU had only 2 NCAA Regional appearances in its histroy prior to Schlossnagle taking over, but since then has had 8 straight NCAA Regional appearances. The 2010 Horned Frogs were the first in school history to appear in the College World Series. TCU has an amazing 151-55 conference record in the last 8 years!
13. Tim Corbin Vanderbilt(376-189)- In the 100 years prior to Corbin taking the Vanderilt job, the Commodores had only 2 NCAA Regional Appearances. Since taking over in 2004, the 'Dores now have been to 7 Regionals under Corbin's lead. Last year Vanderbilt made their first trip ever to the CWS. Corbin coached the 2006 USA National Baseball team to a 28-2-1 record and a gold medal finish.
12. Brian O'Connor Virginia(372-130-1)- After serving as an assistant for Creighton and Notre Dame, O'Connor took his first head coaching job at Virginia in 2004. Right away O'Connor showed promise as a head coach when the Cavs went 44-15 in his first season. Virginia Baseball had only 3 Regional appearances prior to 2004, but every Cavalier team under O'Connor has made a regional. The schools only two CWS Appearances in its history are both under O'Connor(2009 & 2011). Last year Virgnia had their best showing in Omaha with a 3rd place finish
11. Danny Hall Georgia Tech(987-466-1)- In 24 seasons as a head coach Danny Hall has never had a losing seasons. Hall started his career at Kent State, but it is at Georgia Tech where he has become one of baseball's best. Hall's first Georgia Tech team was the CWS runner-up and has been to Omaha two other seasons since then. 14 of Hall's teams have won 40 or more games with 4 of those teams winning 50 or more games.
10. Kevin O'Sullivan Florida(176-82)- Few coaches have made an impact on the game as quick as O'Sullivan has at Florida. The Gators have won 2 straight SEC Championships under O'Sullivan and have 2 straight appearances in Omaha. Last year's team lost in the National Championship Series to South Carolina, but Florida enters 2012 #1 in most preseason polls. O'Sullivan was the 2010 SEC Coach of the Year and the 2011 National Coach of the Year.
9. Dave Van Horn Arkansas(679-358)- Van Horn is another coach to start at Northwestern State where he won 2 conference championships in 3 seasons. Van Horn then went to Nebraska where he made a mediocre baseball program great, leading the Huskers to 2 CWS Appearances. At Arkansas Van Horn currently has the 2nd longest postseason streak in the SEC(behind South Carolina) and every one of his teams has made a regional. The 04 & 09 Hogs made it to Omaha and Arkansas has won 3 Division Titles and 1 SEC Championship under his watch. Van Horn is also responsible for help building College Baseball's most impressive facility and has Arkansas ranking in the top 2 in attendance every year.
8. Mike Fox North Carolina(1,078-370-4)- Since taking over at North Carolina in 1999, Fox has turned an average baseball program into a regular in Omaha. 5 of the last 6 Tar Heel teams have been to Omaha and Fox has appeared twice in the National Championship game at North Carolina. Fox was the 2008 National Coach of the Year and even won the Division III National Championship in 1989 at North Carolina-Wesleyan. Fox's success has helped UNC build one of the top facilities in college baseball.
7. Jack Leggett Clemson(1188-666-1)- Leggett has guided Clemson to 6 College World Series appearances since 1994. Leggett has averaged an impressive 45 wins a season and only 1 of his teams has failed to make a NCAA Regional. He has been named a 3 time ACC Coach of the Year with Clemson and even won 5 Southern Conference Championships while at Western Carolina. Leggett was a captain on the 1976 Maine team that made it to the College World Series and even was a kicker on the football team, holding the school record for longest FG ever(52 yards). Several of his assistants, including Corbin and O'Sullivan, have become college head coaches.
6. Paul Maineiri LSU(866-456-5)- After having 11 of his 12 Notre Dame teams finish with 40 wins or more and taking the Irish to the College World Series, Maineiri took over College Baseball's most elite program over the last 2 decades in 2007. LSU had not been at championship level when he took over, but in 2008 LSU was back in Omaha and in 2009 they won their 6th overall National Championship. Last year LSU missed on a regional despite having a 36-20 record.
5. Mike Martin Florida State(1,677-577-4)- Few would argue that the best coach to never win a National Championship is Mike Martin at FSU. Martin ranks 5th all time in College Baseball History with 1,677 wins. Martin has 32 straight NCAA Appearances and an amazing 14 CWS Appearances, only 10 schools have more appearances than Martin! Martin has coached over 60 All-Americans and has also coached 4 Golden Spikes Winners
4. Wayne Graham Rice(912-361 at Rice)- When Wayne Graham took over at Rice, the Owls had only had 7 winning seasons in 78 years of SWC Play. Since then he has built a national power who you can always expect to be near the top of the polls. Graham has taken Rice to 7 College World Series and won the 2003 National Championship. An amazing 12 baseball players have been drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft since Graham took over Rice 21 years ago.
3. Jim Morris Miami(1,318-565-4)- Morris' career started at Georgia Tech where he led the Yellow Jackets to 9 straight regional appearances in his final 9 years in Atlanta. In 1994 he took over the Miami program and has become one of the most elite coaches in college baseball. Morris has led Miami to 11 College World Series Appearances and has also won 2 National Championships(99 & 01). His 11 CWS appearances are the most for any college baseball program since 1994.
2. Augie Garrido(1,817-825-8)- Garrido is the winningest Division 1 coach in college baseball history. Garrido first won 2 national championships while being coach at Cal State Fullerton, but has won 3 more since being coach at Texas. He is the first coach to ever lead two different programs to national championships and the only coach to ever win a National Championship in 4 different decades. Garrido has won 7 Big XII Championships since 2002.
1. Ray Tanner South Carolina(1,084-469-3)- It's hard to argue that the number 1 coach currently in college baseball is not the man who has won 2 straight National Championships. Tanner started his career as the head coach of his alma mater, NC State. With the Wolfpack Tanner sent 7 of his 9 teams to the NCAA Regionals(in a time where only 48 schools made regionals). Tanner then decided to take the job at South Carolina, a program he felt was more committed to becoming an elite power. Since then Tanner has taken a good program and made it great. South Carolina currently has the longest postseason appearance streak in the SEC with 12 straight regional appearances. Since 2000 the Gamecocks have 9 Super Regional appearances, 5 CWS Appearances, 3 National Championship Game Appearances, five 50+ win seasons, and 2 National Championships(the first 2 men's championships in school history). Tanner has also seen 4 of his former assistants become head coaches in recent years.