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Scouting the candidates for the next FSU Baseball coach: The Young Guns

These rising starts on the college baseball scene could revamp the Florida State program.

Louisville @ Florida State
Florida State takes on Louisville
Steve Johnson

By now you know some of the more common names that will be thrown about for the Florida State baseball head coaching position after the 2019 but you haven’t heard all of them (if you haven’t check here). In an effort to boost recruiting and fund raising, FSU might want to go a bit younger and take a chance on a coach with a lower floor but possibly a higher ceiling.

  • Kirk Saarloos (Age: 39) pitched for seven seasons in the major leagues and is in his sixth season at TCU. He is one of the most highly thought-of assistant coaches in the country and has been a significant factor in the success of the Horned Frogs as their pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Saarloos recently withdrew his name from consideration for Rice’s head-coaching job, but he is a coach who will probably not be an assistant much longer, given that Schlossnagle is probably staying put for the next decade. His salary information isn’t available, because Texas Christian is a private university, but the move to a head coach’s salary would be a big jump.
  • Greg Lovelady (Age: 39) is currently the head coach at UCF who won two national championships as a catcher for the University of Miami. He spent nine years as an assistant and pitching coach at Wright State before spending three seasons as the head coach, in which he made the postseason twice. In his first season as the Knights’ head coach, he was named AAC COY after winning 40 games, the regular-season conference title, and advancing the team to a regional appearance. While not a prerequisite, he is very familiar with baseball in the state of Florida, and at a salary of just $225,000, he would be very affordable for the ’Noles.
  • Robert Woodard (Age: 33) has been a pitching coach since 2013 when he started at UNCW and continued that role at Virginia Tech for three season before returning to Chapel Hill in 2017. In his role as assistant/pitching coach at UNC he has become very instrumental in instituting sabermetrics into the college baseball game. No team in the NCAA uses analytics like the Tar Heels, which is profiled in this recent article. Woodard has also been called upon multiple times to coach for the USA National team. UNC head coach Mike Fox is only 62 years old and probably has several year left; Woodard makes only $120,000 and will be a hot commodity in the years to come.

This group of young, accomplished coaches should be the direction that Florida State should take when conducting their search.