South Carolina baseball hires former LSU coach Paul Mainieri

South Carolina baseball named former LSU coach Paul Mainieri as its new head coach on Tuesday.

Mainieri, 66, coached LSU for 15 seasons, leading the Tigers to the 2009 national title and five Men's College World Series appearances. Mainieri replaces Mark Kingston, who was fired last week after seven seasons.

"Paul Mainieri is an outstanding coach, teacher, competitor and someone that I have known for many years," athletics director Ray Tanner said. "One can judge his success through his many championships, SEC and NCAA, but I see the impact he has made on young men and know he can have that same success here as has achieved in his career."

Mainieri left the Tigers in 2021, terming it a retirement at the time. Now, he returns as the active Division-I wins leader with 1,505. In addition to the 2009 national title, Mainieri guided LSU to a 2017 runner-up finish. He has made six College World Series appearances, five with LSU and one with Notre Dame, four SEC championships, six SEC Tournament championships and 10 NCAA regional championships.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to coach at a prestigious and tradition-rich college baseball program," Mainieri said. "I coached and competed against Ray Tanner for years and always had the greatest respect for him and the USC program. To now join with him on the same team and become a part of this program was simply something from which I could not walk away."

South Carolina finished 37-25 and 13-17 in the SEC this season, which ended with a 2-0 loss to James Madison in the Raleigh Regional of the NCAA tournament last week.

The Gamecocks haven't reached the MCWS since 2012. They won the national title in 2010 and 2011.

Mainieri also announced the retention of associate head coach/hitting coach Monte Lee and the additions of pitching coach/recruiting coordinator Terry Rooney and assistant coach John Hendry.

"We have a super coaching staff in place," Mainieri said. "I feel great and energized, I can't wait to get started working with the players, and let's get this University of South Carolina baseball program back to where it belongs - in Omaha and in the College World Series."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.