Student-athletes returned to campuses around the nation in the past few weeks. Here is a look at the top six coaches on the hot seat as we enter the fall practice period. This list is in no particular order.
Mike Gambino (Boston College)
Gambino has struggled in his first three seasons in Chestnut Hill after taking over from Mik Aoki in the summer of 2010. After a rough first season with the Eagles, which saw them go 17-33 with a 10-20 ACC mark, he followed it up going 22-33 overall, 10-20 ACC. Gambino’s squad had a disastrous 2013 campaign, going 12-40 overall, 4-25 ACC. The four wins in conference play were the fewest by an ACC squad since the 2006 season when Virginia Tech also went 4-25.
Yes, Gambino inherited a tough job at Boston College but a career record of 51-106 while playing in the second best conference in the nation is just not getting it done for a program that made the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and was a bubble team in 2010. His 24-65 ACC record is by far the worst in the league over that three year span but he might get a pass on given the strength of the ACC. The main issue is with the non-conference record of 27-41. BC regularly schedules weaker programs throughout the New England region and an ACC squad should win 75-80 percent of those games at minimum.
The Texas Longhorns program last appeared in the College World Series in 2011 but the last two seasons have seen Augie Garrido-led squads miss the NCAA tournament. They had been to 13 straight NCAA tournaments before the streak was broken in 2012. In 2013, the Longhorns finished with a 27-24 overall record and last in the conference. Expectations for the Longhorns are to compete for National Championships and these last two years have been far from that. The pressure on the legendary coach is building from both the rabid fan base and the school.
The Miami Hurricanes have now made 40 straight appearances in the NCAA Baseball tournament but the Hurricanes have not appeared in the College World Series since 2008 when they were the number 1 team in the nation for most of the season. In the history of the Miami program, this current five-year drought is the longest in school history.
Since that 2008 appearance in Omaha, Miami’s best season was in 2010 when they went 43-20 and 20-10 in ACC play. The last two seasons have seen the Canes go 36-23 in 2012 and 37-25 in 2013. The ACC record in those two seasons is at .500 with a 16-14 record in ’12 and a 14-16 mark in 2013. The Hurricanes don’t measure success by how many times they can get to the NCAA tournament but how many titles they bring back to Coral Gables. As of right now, the Hurricanes program has become the third best program in the state behind the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles.
Coach Henderson took over the Southern Illinois program in the 2011 season after serving as an assistant coach for the previous 20 seasons. In his first season in 2011, Henderson led the Saluki’s to a 23-34 campaign while going 11-10 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Things did not get better in 2012 as they went 31-28 and were under .500 in MVC play at 9-12. Last season, SIU went 25-33 and 6-15 in the MVC.
On June 25th 2013, SIU broke ground on a four-million dollar renovation of Abe Martin Field which will feature a new seating bowl, press box and dugouts as well as the addition of stadium lights, a synthetic grass playing surface and a security fence around the facility.
This upcoming 2014 season is a make or break season for Henderson as the school will need to see a finish in the upper half of the competitive MVC.
The Anteaters advanced to the 2007 College World Series under former head coach Dave Serrano. After the season was completed, he decided to leave the program and head down the street to Cal-State Fullerton. They school decided to hire former Southern California head coach Mike Gillespie.
His first four seasons (2008-2011) at Irvine were solid, winning 39 or more games in each campaign while advancing to the Regionals in each season with Super Regional appearances in 2008 and 2011.
In 2012, the Anteaters missed the NCAA tournament with a 31-25 campaign after going 13-11 in the Big West. The Anteaters missed the NCAA tournament for the second straight season in 2013 after going 33-22 and 15-12 in Big West.
The expectations at Irvine were raised substantially with the success that they had under Serrano and the program needs a shot in the arm to become a force again in Southern California.
The Missouri program will be led for the 20th straight season by Tim Jamieson. It will be the school’s second season in the SEC during the 2014 campaign. The Tigers struggled mightily in their first season, going 18-32 with a record of 10-20 in SEC play.
The last few seasons had seen Missouri drop off in Big 12 play as they went 33-28 in 2012, 27-32 in 2011, 29-26 in 2010, 35-27 in 2009. They made the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and in 2009 but the program has dropped from elite status recently.