Yesterday was the first installment of possible candidates to replace Mike Martin as head coach at the end of the 2019 season. If you are not up-to-date on the transactions this week you can catch up in this story stream.
Next season, Florida State will be in a similar position to the situation that Mississippi State currently is. The Bulldogs have had a head coaching vacancy all season, their head coach was fired at the beginning of the season, and the job holds similar prestige to that of the Florida State Seminoles but offers more in terms of salary, facilities, and support.
When a position like that becomes available, it’s common for all of the big names in the industry to be suggested as the heir apparent. That will likely be done in this case as well. So let’s not waste any time— let’s address them.
Salary is discussed quite a bit and while it’s not clear what FSU intends to spend on a head coach it’s worth nothing that Mike Martin currently receives around $600,000 per year. Also, Dick Howser stadium underwent a large scale $12 million renovation in 2005 and the university is currently looking to upgrade the facilities as part of the football facilities upgrade but Howser is still behind the times when it comes to state-of-the art baseball complexes around the country.
- Brian O’Connor (47) earns more than $600,000 in base salary and supplemental compensation and has been at Virginia since 2004. He resurrected a program that was almost eliminated and won a national title in 2015, he is nearing 50, and extremely loyal. Virginia continues to upgrade their facilities with a $12 - $18 million expansion to Davenport Field continuing through this year. He will more than likely retire a Cavalier as his current contract extends through the 2021 season.
- Tim Corbin (47) won a CWS title in 2014 and has been at Vanderbilt for 17 years, makes over 2 million dollars per year, and coaches in the SEC. Vanderbilt is one of the best programs in college baseball and the job at Florida State would not be an upgrade for him. Similar to UVA, Vanderbilt recently completed an upgrade to Hawkins Field which was built in 2002 and now includes a locker room dedicated to former players who want to train in Tennessee.
- Jim Schlossnagle (47) completed his 15th season at TCU and makes approximately 1.5 million dollars a year. He withdrew his name from consideration for the Mississippi State position despite the prospects of a salary increase, better facilities, and greater support. Schlossnagle is a great coach who has lead TCU to the College World Series four times over the past five years, and a change of scenery for him doesn’t seem to make much sense. In 2015 TCU began a renovation project on Charlie and Marie Lupton Baseball Stadium at Williams-Reilly Field adding a hitting facility to the stadium that was build in 2003.
What fans need to realize is that the head coach of the Florida State program is currently not a top 5, or even top 10 position. While talent is readily available in Florida and Georgia the support from administration and more importantly boosters is lacking. In 2014 Mississippi State launched a $55 million project solely dedicated to baseball, now it is unrealistic to believe that Florida State could ever raise enough money for a project of that magnitude. But a new coach is going to need some assurances that administration is serious about improving the facilities and all of the names above have already done their part in building a program.