USC finally announced the hiring of Loyola Marymount baseball coach Jason Gill after a two-week search that looked at UC Santa Barbara coach Andrew Checketts, Grand Canyon coach Andy Stankiewicz, St. Mary’s coach Eric Valenzuela and San Diego coach Rich Hill.
Here’s Lynn Swann on the hire: “We are very excited to welcome Jason Gill to the Trojan family as the head coach of USC baseball,” said Swann. “Our desire was to get someone who can elevate USC baseball back into the postseason and help the team once again compete for a College World Series title.
“College baseball has some unique challenges with the roster size and the number of scholarships, and with recruits being drafted out of high school. We wanted someone familiar with those challenges. We also wanted someone with a history of putting together a staff that can consistently prepare players to not only succeed in the college game, but at the next level as well. All of those things led us to Coach Gill and to inviting him to lead our program forward.”
And here is Gill: “I would like to thank Lynn Swann and the USC administration for their belief in me as the next head baseball coach at USC. I am looking forward to building on the traditions established by the great players and coaches from the most storied college baseball program in the country. USC’s commitment to winning championships while providing a top tier education is unmatched. I am extremely excited and can’t wait to get started.”
Gill spent 11 seasons at Loyola Marymount, where he was 322-286-1 (.530). Perhaps one thing that caught USC’s eye was that Gill brought in a pair of Top 25 recruiting classes while at LMU. Of course, I doubt the USC search members even knew that. They were probably just told it by former USC player Damon Oppenheimer, who gave USC a list of names.