USC parts ways with several spring sports coaches

Replacements named this week

Posted 6/13/24

Changes are coming to many athletic programs at the University of South Carolina.

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USC parts ways with several spring sports coaches

Replacements named this week


Changes are coming to many athletic programs at the University of South Carolina.

This spring, four coaches departed from their programs. One on their own terms, while others were let go by the school.

On June 3, the university announced it was parting ways with head baseball coach Mark Kingston. Paul Mainieri was announced as his replacment a week later.

Kingston has been South Carolina’s head baseball coach for seven years (six complete seasons) and has a record of 217-155 (83-96 SEC). Kingston’s teams were featured in four different NCAA Regional tournaments, with two NCAA Super Regional appearances, and zero College World Series appearances.

Coming into this season, Kingston said that his goal was to host a Super Regional tournament after falling to Florida in the Gainesville Super Regional the season prior.

This season, Kingston led the Gamecocks to a 37-25 (13-17 SEC) record and was eliminated in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Raleigh, N.C. after a year of ups and downs. The Gamecocks were ranked as high as No. 13 in the country, according to, but ended the regular season on a six-game losing streak which saw them plummet out of the top 25. 

Despite the skid, the team made the SEC Tournament semifinals but was eliminated by LSU. The Gamecocks’ performance in the SEC Tournament earned them a bid for the NCAA Regional Tournament in Raleigh, N.C. against No. 10 national seed N.C. State, James Madison and Bryant University. The Gamecocks were eliminated by JMU in a 2-0 shutout.

In 2022, Kingston also led South Carolina to an under .500 overall record, 27-28 (13-17 SEC). This was South Carolina’s first time going under .500 since 1996.

The school announced the departure of softball head coach Beverly Smith soon after. Smith had been the Gamecocks’ head coach for 14 seasons. 

She leaves with a 461-323 (102-219 SEC) record and nine postseason appearances. Smith led the team to an NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2018 but never managed to get the team to the College World Series.

Last season, Smith led the Gamecocks to a 36-24 (8-16 SEC) record and an appearance in the NCAA Durham Regional. Smith’s 461 wins ranks second among South Carolina softball head coaches.

This week it was reported former Gamecock player and current Charlotte coach Ashley Chastain would take over.

Men’s golf coach Bill McDonald is done at the school after 18 years in charge.

McDonald is the program’s all-time winningest coach and led South Carolina to 15 NCAA tournament appearances. The team advanced to the championship round seven times.

Lastly, head equestrian coach Boo Major, on her own terms, announced her retirement in April after 26 years in charge.

Major led South Carolina to three NCEA Overall Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2015, becoming the first coach in the school’s history to win three national championships. 

She also led the program to three consecutive NCEA Hunter Seat National Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007, one Southern Equestrian Championship in 2012, and two SEC Championships in 2013 and 2014. She was a two-time SEC Coach of the Year winner and was named National Coach of the Year by the NCEA in 2014 and 2015.

In May, the school announced Carol Gwin would replace Major.   Rob Bradley will be the next golf coach. 

Mainieri and Chastain had their introductory press conferences this weekend. Check back next week for more information on the gamecocks' newest coaches. 



Paul Mainieri, Gamecock baseball, Gamecock softball, Ashley Chastain,


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