Report: UM’s Bakich to interview for South Carolina job

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Michigan baseball coach Erik Bakich is pursuing the job at South Carolina, according to a report over the weekend.

SEC Country’s Mike Wilson reported that Bakich is expected to get an interview for the job vacated by Chad Holbrook’s resignation last week.

Bakich did not return multiple messages from The News.

It is widely accepted, though, that he is an up-and-comer in college baseball circles, having landed the head job at Maryland, and then Michigan, before his mid 30s. He’s now 39.

Bakich was hired at Michigan in June 2012, and has taken the team to two NCAA Tournaments in five seasons, including this past season, when the Wolverines won 42 games. They were runner-up in the Big Ten regular season.

He took over a team that had back-to-back losing seasons, and hasn’t posted a losing season himself in Ann Arbor, with a record 57 games over .500, at 176-119.

At Maryland, he was 70-98 in three seasons.

Bakich spent his playing career at East Carolina, in Greenville, N.C., before playing briefly in independent ball, prior to his coaching career. He was an assistant at East Carolina, Clemson and Vanderbilt before getting the Maryland job.

The SEC is a prestigious baseball conference, and South Carolina has a rich tradition, winning the College World Series in 2010 and 2011.

Holbrook resigned after five seasons, taking South Carolina to the NCAAs three times, but never the CWS. The Gamecocks were 35-25 this past season, finishing out of the postseason.

Also reportedly up for the job is Florida’s 10-year head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, whose team remains alive in the postseason. Interestingly, when Bakich got the Michigan job, O’Sullivan was quoted in the university’s release, calling Bakich “a perfect fit” for Michigan and “a tireless worker.”

At Michigan, baseball has long played in the shadows of the wildly successful softball program.

Bakich has talked regularly about trying to match the success of Carol Hutchins.

“Only 30 more years,” Bakich deadpanned last month.