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Scouting the candidates for the next FSU Baseball coach: Established Veterans

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Florida State might make sense for this group of coaches looking to move up the ranks.

Louisville @ Florida State
Florida State takes on Louisville
Steve Johnson

On Tuesday we looked at the possibility of Mike Martin, Jr. taking over the program from his father and yesterday we discussed the feasibility of well-established coaches entertaining the Florida State vacancy. If you are not up-to-date on what has led up to the coaching search you can catch up here.

The next group of candidates have all had success in their current position and could be poised to make a jump to what could be perceived as a better opportunity.

  • Todd Whitting (Age: 46) was an assistant coach at TCU under Jim Schlossnagle for seven years before taking the head coaching position at Houston in 2011. In his eight seasons at his alma mater, Whitting has won three conference titles, two tournaments titles, and appeared in the post season five times, hosting twice. Houston is currently constructing a 20,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art baseball-only facility, and Whitting is about to enter the last year of a contract that pays him $300,000. He interviewed for the Texas job in 2016 and will likely be a candidate for Mississippi State.
  • Dan McDonnell (Age: 48) has been to four College World Series in his 12 years at Louisville (three in the last six years), while turning them into a legitimate college baseball powerhouse. Like Schlossnagle, he flirted with Mississippi State but ultimately turned them down. McDonnell currently has a base salary of one million dollars plus incentives and bonuses, and the facilities at Louisville are better than Dick Howser, luring him to Tallahassee would be a long shot.
  • Cliff Godwin (Age: 40) has had great success at his alma mater, East Carolina University, and is coming off his best season, which saw ECU host a regional. He has made a regional tournament in three of the last four years, including a super-regional appearances in 2016. He served as Director of Baseball Operations at Vanderbilt under Tim Corbin and was an assistant to Paul Mainieri at Notre Dame and LSU. East Carolina has nice facilities but not nearly the fan support that a program like FSU can offer. His current base salary is $275,000 per year, and he could easily receive a raise that would be in the Seminoles’ price range.
  • Butch Thompson (Age: 47) spent thirteen years as an assistant coach in the SEC with Georgia, Auburn and Mississippi State before earning the Auburn head coach position in 2016. He took over a 23 win team and in just three season transformed them into a 40 win squad. With his seven seasons as an assistant at Mississippi State he has emerged as a candidate for that position but he could also be just using that opening for a raise from his current salary of $375,000. The facility situation at Auburn in similar to that of Florida State in that they need addressed, however the pockets at Auburn are much deeper than those in Tallahassee.

It is important to keep in mind that the Florida State position might not be the only opening at the end of next year. If the Seminoles are to attract one of the above mentioned coaches they will not only have to outbid other teams in salary but also the promise of administrative support and the intention to bring the facilities to a competitive level.