Alabama Baseball: Possible Candidates for Head Coaching Vacancy

Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /

The Alabama baseball team is looking for a head coach after announcing on Monday that Mitch Gaspard had resigned. Who could the Tide look at to fill the vacancy?

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This won’t be a look at names that fans are throwing around on social media for the past few weeks, especially today after Alabama baseball announced that Gaspard had resigned and it was effective immediately.

It also won’t be based on any inside information that I have on the job search. Let’s face it. The move was just announced a few hours ago so most everyone has no idea on which coach will be selected.

These are just a few names that I’ve seen floating around from people that would know more than your average fan. Most agree that this needs to be a “knock it out of the park” hire (no pun intended). While the school will always fight from behind with the limitations on scholarships when others at other SEC schools can offer more, the right coach paired with the some of the better facilities in the conference could make Alabama a contender again. Even former head coach Mitch Gaspard believes that, too.

“One thing with Alabama, you could get into any living room and you’re going to get a kid’s attention immediately when they hear it’s the University of Alabama,” Gaspard said per “I think there’s an allure there that’s very attractive for any coach … I think 100 percent, our program can certainly take steps forward and be much more competitive and we can take a step forward to the top of the league rather than the middle of the league.”

Kendall Rogers from thinks Alabama athletic director Bill Battle should look at these candidates.

Whitting out of Houston would be an interesting choice, especially with already being the head man in charge at his alma mater. Never say never, though. During his career as an assistant in Houston and TCU, an associate head coach at TCU and then the head coach at Houston,  he has won 18 conference regular-season and tournament championships, competed in 15 NCAA Regionals, six NCAA Super Regionals and one NCAA College World Series. The Cougars made were runners-up in this season’s American Athletic Conference Championship game.

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Pierce is entering his second season at Tulane and has guided the Green Wave to back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances and at a school that had missed out on invites going back to 2008. He also coached Sam Houston State to three NCAA Regional appearances in three seasons at the school. Not a bad track record.

Cannizaro is currently the hitting coach at LSU and you could probably add pitching coach Alan Dunn to the mix as well. Dunn played in Tuscaloosa from 1981-1983. The numbers were down for the Tigers on the mound this season, but that is certainly not normal if you are familiar with SEC baseball. Just last season, Dunn was named the National Pitching Coach of the Year.

Hitting under Cannizaro saw an immediate impact after his hiring. This is from his bio on LSU’s website: LSU led the nation in base hits (762), and the Tigers were No. 3 in stolen bases (130), No. 3 in doubles (146), No. 4 in batting average (.314) and No. 7 in runs scored (451). LSU led the Southeastern Conference in batting average, base hits, stolen bases, doubles, total bases (1,107) and fewest strikeouts (341).

Other coaches being mentioned include Alabama State’s Mervyl Melendez, Samford’s Casey Dunn, and Louisville’s Dan McDonnell. You can click their name to go their bio pages on their respective school’s website to read more about them. Melendez or Dunn would be more realistic than McDonnell. It seems like he’s got things rolling with the Cardinals.

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Like I said earlier, these are not from inside information on our part. These are just a few of the names that have been mentioned today more prominently than others. The Tide’s new coach could be on this list and it may not be. Either way, it will probably be a few weeks before we know either way.