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May 31, 2013

UGASports Hot Board update

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Scott Stricklin, Kent State (Head Coach)

Stricklin appears to be the hot name for the Georgia job right now. The former Georgia Tech assistant recently wrapped up his ninth season with the Flashes, who he took to last year's College World Series. Stricklin's Kent teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament five times over that same period. Thirty of his players have drafted by Major League teams. Prior to coming to Kent (his alma mater), Stricklin coached at Georgia Tech for current skipper Danny Hall. serving the previous three seasons as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech under former Kent State head coach Danny Hall. Stricklin was responsible for the Yellow Jackets' hitters while working with the catchers and serving as the team's first base coach. Stricklin, who also was a volunteer coach at Georgia Tech from 1998-99, rejoined Hall's staff in July 2001 after spending the previous two years as pitching coach at Vanderbilt in 2000-01.

In his role as Georgia Tech's recruiting coordinator, Stricklin landed a recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the nation by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball in 2002. That class included a pair of second round draft picks in Micah Owings and Tyler Greene, the highest drafted players ever to enroll at Georgia Tech, in addition to the highly regarded Jason Neighborgall. The Yellow Jackets' 2003 recruiting class also was ranked among the best in the nation.

As the recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt, Stricklin attracted a nationally ranked recruiting class in his final year with the Commodores that was ranked seventh by Baseball America.

Butch Thompson, Mississippi State (Associate Head Coach/Pitching)

A former Georgia assistant who served as the team's pitching coach from 2002-2005. In 2012, Thompson's pitchers compiled the nation's second-lowest staff earned run average in 2012 - 2.58, the best at State since 1973, and ranked third in the Southeastern Conference with 536 strikeouts.

MSU hurlers starred as State won five games over a six-day span to capture the 10-team SEC Baseball Tournament championship and advance to NCAA postseason play for the 32nd time.

Georgia has asked for permission to speak with Thompson.

Dave Jorn, Arkansas (Assistant coach/pitching)

A two-time assistant with the Razorbacks, Jorn has had six pitching staffs finish the season with an ERA of under 4.00, including in each of the last three seasons. Over the last two seasons, his pitching staffs have accounted for the second- and ninth-lowest team ERAs in program history.

The 2012 squad had a team ERA of 2.83, the second-best in school history, while the 2011 pitching staff finished the season with a 3.20 team ERA. Prior to returning to Arkansas, Jorn spent 14 years in Major League Baseball as a coach for the New York Mets, New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Todd Butler, Arkansas (Associate Head Coach)

Joined the Razorback staff in July of 2005 and is known around the country for his ability to attract the best talent and develop strong hitters. The Razorbacks use those talents to their fullest as Butler serves as the hitting instructor, outfield coach and recruiting coordinator.

Butler is in his eighth year on the Razorback coaching staff and is in his 16th year as an assistant coach in the Southeastern Conference. Butler was promoted to Arkansas' associate head coach following the 2012 season.

Dan McDonnell, Louisville (head coach)

Considered one of the top young head coaches in college baseball, McDonnell's Cardinals just claimed the 2013 Big East Championship.

In 2006 as the first rookie head coach to lead his team to Omaha in 27 years, McDonnell was named National Coach of the Year by Rivals.com after guiding the Cardinals to a school record 47 wins during that 2007 season.

Marc Calvi, South Alabama (head coach)

Calvi currently has the Jaguars ranked 18th in the country heading into this week's Sun Belt Conference Tournament. No stranger to the SEC, Calvi came to South Alabama from the University of South Carolina, where he served as pitching coach for six seasons.

In 2010, Calvi's Gamecock pitching staff led USC to the national championship, ranking in the top 10 in earned run average (seventh, 3.45), strikeouts (sixth, 8.9) and hits allowed per nine innings (third, 7.48), after posting a 2.15 ERA in seven College World Series contests, which was nearly a point lower than the next best team in Omaha.

The Gamecocks led the Southeastern Conference in ERA and innings pitched, but also allowed the fewest hits in the conference.

Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina (head coach)

Currently in his 18th year at Coastal Carolina (his alma mater), Gilmore has seen the program in Myrtle Beach, S.C., continually rise in the world of college baseball to a national power.

His tenure includes 12 NCAA berths, 12 40+ win seasons in the last 14 years, 15-straight winning seasons, numerous draft picks - including 11 top 10 round picks over the last five years, a first trip to the NCAA Super Regional in 2008 and hosting the program's first a Super Regional in 2010.

Monte Lee, College of Charleston (head coach)

In 2012, Lee was named one of Baseball America's Top 10 Head Coaches under the age of 40 in all of college baseball and was also named to Perfect Game's Top 10 rising head coaches lists.

He joined the CofC program after spending six years as an assistant at South Carolina under former head coach (and current athletic director) Ray Tanner.

In his five season, Lee has led CofC to a record of 180-113 with two trips to the NCAA Tournament and a Southern Conference championship in 2012.

Bryan O'Conner, Virginia (head coach)

It would cost some money, but if Georgia wanted to reach for a current proven head coach, O'Conner would certainly qualify. A three-time ACC Coach of the Year and two-time national Coach of the Year, O'Conner has taken the Cavalier program to new heights.

Virginia advanced to its first College World Series in 2009, setting off a remarkable stretch as UVa has recorded 240 wins in the last five years (including 2013)- the second-most wins of any Division I program. In this stretch UVa has made two trips to the College World Series and won three NCAA Regional championships, two ACC tournament titles and two ACC Coastal Division crowns.

The Cavaliers have hosted three-consecutive NCAA Regionals, notched a pair of 50-win seasons and spent two stints atop the national polls since 2010.

Terry Rooney, UCF (head coach)

The former LSU assistant has brought the Knights back to respectability.

Before the 2009 campaign, Rooney had 12 years of experience as an assistant coach at the Division I level, highlighted by two campaigns at LSU from 2007-08. Serving as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator under head coach Paul Mainieri, Rooney and the Tigers made a remarkable run to the College World Series in 2008.

The Hot Board will be updated as the story develops

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