Florida Gators baseball

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Florida Gators baseball
Founded: 1912
2014 Florida Gators baseball team
Florida Gators baseball athletic logo

University University of Florida
Conference SEC
Eastern Division
Location Gainesville, FL
Head Coach Kevin O'Sullivan (7th year)
Home Stadium Alfred A. McKethan Stadium
(Capacity: 6,000)
Nickname Florida Gators
Colors

Orange and Blue

            
College World Series Runner-up
2005, 2011
College World Series Appearances
1988, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1958, 1960, 1962, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Conference Tournament Champions
1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1991, 2011
Conference Champions
1952, 1956, 1962, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2014
McKethan Stadium home of Gator baseball
A picture of the 1924 Baseball team

The Florida Gators baseball team represents the University of Florida in the sport of baseball. The Florida Gators compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They play their home games in Alfred A. McKethan Stadium on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus, and are currently led by head coach Kevin O'Sullivan. In the ninety-eight season history of the Gators baseball program, the team has won thirteen SEC championships and has appeared in eight College World Series tournaments.

History[edit]

The modern University of Florida was created in 1905 when the Florida Legislature passed the Buckman Act, and thereby consolidated the university's four predecessor institutions into the new "University of the State of Florida." The university fielded its first varsity baseball team, and enjoyed its first winning baseball season, in 1912.[1]

During most of the Gators baseball program's early existence, the new university's athletic association suffered from a lack of financial resources, and few of the Gators head baseball coaches were full-time baseball coaches. William G. Kline was also the athletic director, head football coach, and head basketball coach; James L. White was the Gators' athletic director and head basketball coach; Brady Cowell, Ben Clemons and Lewie Hardage were assistant football coaches; and Sam McAllister was the head basketball coach and an assistant football coach. A notable exception was Lance Richbourg, who was a Florida alumnus and a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Boston Braves and others, and led the Gators to an impressive 39–21 overall record (a .650 winning percentage) in 1922, 1923 and 1926. McAllister was the Gators' last pre-World War II coach, and he returned from military service to lead the Gators baseball team again in 1946 and 1947.[1]

Fuller era: 1948–1975[edit]

The modern post-war era of the Florida Gators baseball program began with head coach Dave Fuller assuming control in 1948. Fuller was originally hired as a physical education instructor in 1946, and also served as an assistant football coach under four different Gators head coaches. Ultimately, he became the longest-serving Gators head coach in any sport, and won more games than any other Gators coach, after leading the Gators baseball team for twenty-eight seasons. Fuller brought stability and consistency to the program, and his Gators teams won SEC championships in 1952, 1956 and 1962, and made appearances in the NCAA tournament in 1958, 1960 and 1962. His final record was 557–354–6 (.611).[1]

Bergman era: 1976–1981[edit]

Fuller's successor, Jay Bergman, advanced the Gators baseball program a step further. After a difficult transition season in 1976, Bergman's Gators showed marked improvement, winning an SEC championship and SEC tournament title in 1981. His teams also qualified for the NCAA Regionals in 1977, 1979 and 1981, and compiled a 7–6 tournament record, but in each instance did not advance beyond the double-elimination opening round of the NCAA tournament. In his six seasons as the Gators' skipper, Bergman posted an overall win-loss record of 216–113 (.657)—the best multi-season winning percentage until that time, and still the second best in Gators baseball history.[1]

Arnold era: 1984–1994[edit]

Joe Arnold followed Jack Rhines' short two-season stint as the Gators' head coach. Arnold's Gators won SEC championships in 1984 and 1988, and SEC tournament titles in 1984, 1988 and 1991. His teams made seven appearances in the NCAA tournament, and for the first and second time ever, the Gators advanced to the College World Series in 1988 and 1991. In eleven seasons coaching the Gators, Arnold compiled an overall record of 434–244–2 (.640).[1]

Lopez era: 1995–2000[edit]

Andy Lopez took over the program in 1995, two seasons removed from leading the Pepperdine Waves of Pepperdine University to their only national championship in the 1993 College World Series. In his second season as the Gators head coach in 1996, he led the Gators to a fifty-win season and the semifinals of the College World Series. In 2000 and 2001, however, the Gators were eliminated in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, and Lopez was replaced. In seven seasons, Lopez posted an overall record of 278–159–1 (.636).[1]

McMahon era: 2001–2007[edit]

Pat McMahon became the Gators' head baseball coach in 2001, after coaching the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the four preceding seasons.[2][3]

Early in the 2003 season, the Gators began to make a comeback with several freshly scouted prospects, including Andy Ramirez (first base) David Headage (right field), and Randy Thompson (shortstop). The 2003 season set the standard for the next two years of baseball, entering the NCAA tournament in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The 2005 season was the best in school history, as the team won the SEC championship and advanced to the College World Series for the first time in seven years, ultimately losing to the Texas Longhorns, two games to none in the final championship round of the Series.

The expectations for the Gators were high in 2006; they were the consensus No. 1 team in the preseason polls, but the team struggled through the 2006 season.[2] The Gators found themselves one game under .500 (26–27) heading into their final series against the LSU Tigers in Gainesville. The team surprisingly won two of the three games to finish the season at .500 (28–28). The Gators' 10–20 SEC record was the second worst in the conference, and they did not qualify for the SEC Tournament, nor were they selected for the NCAA Regionals.

After missing the NCAA Regionals again in 2007, McMahon was fired on June 7, 2007.[4] McMahon finished his six seasons as the Gators' head coach with an overall record of 202–113–1 (.641).[1]

O'Sullivan era: 2008–present[edit]

Kevin O'Sullivan became the head coach of the Florida Gators baseball team following the 2007 season.[5][6] In each of his four seasons, O'Sullivan's Gators have improved their overall record and SEC standing.[6] In 2008, his first season as the Gators' skipper, the team finished 34–24 overall, 17–13 in SEC play, and in second place in the SEC Eastern Division standings.[6] In 2009, the Gators compiled an overall record of 42–22, 19–11 in the SEC, and in first place in the SEC Eastern Division.[6] O'Sullivan's 2010 Gators finished with an overall win-loss record of 47–17, 22–8 in SEC play, and SEC regular season champions.[6] In each of his first three seasons, his Gators also showed post-season improvement, too: early elimination in the NCAA Regional in 2008; progressing to the NCAA Super Regional in 2009; and a berth in the College World Series in 2010.[1]

In 2011, the Gators finished the regular season 41–15 overall, 22–8 in the SEC, and SEC regular season co-champions—sharing the regular season conference title with the South Carolina Gamecocks and Vanderbilt Commodores.[7] After defeating the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs and Vanderbilt Commodores to win the SEC tournament, the Gators received the overall No. 2 seed in the sixty-four team NCAA tournament.[8] The Gators swept the NCAA Regional three games to none, and beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs two games to one in the NCAA Super Regional, and advanced to the 2011 College World Series.[9] By beating the seventh-seeded Texas Longhorns 8–4 in the opening game of the 2011 Series, and then defeating the sixth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores twice, 3–1 and 6–4, the Gators earned a berth in the best-of-three College World Series championship finals.[10] In the championship finals, the South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Gators in two straight games, 2–1 and 5–2; the Gators finished the 2011 season with an overall record of 53–19—the most games the Gators have ever won in a single season.[11]

The Gators finished the 2012 regular season with a record of 40–16, and were selected as the No. 1 seed in the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. Jonathon Crawford pitched the seventh no-hitter in NCAA Tournament history against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in the opening round of the Gainesville Regional.[12] The Gators swept the double-elimination regional tournament in three straight wins over Bethune-Cookman (4–0) and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6–1, 15–3), and then swept the NC State Wolfpack in two straight games to win the best-of-three Gainesville Super Regional (7–1, 9–8) and earn a bid to the 2012 College World Series.[13] The 2012 season came to an abrupt end in the College World Series, as the Gators lost their first two games to the South Carolina Gamecocks 7–3 and the Kent State Golden Flashes 5–4.[14]

Stadium facilities[edit]

Alfred A. McKethan Stadium at Perry Field is the home field for the Florida Gators baseball team. The stadium is named for Florida alumni Alfred A. McKethan and Carl E. Perry, and is located on the University of Florida's Gainesville campus. The stadium includes seats for approximately 5,500 fans, a press box, locker rooms and coaching staff offices. The University Athletic Association made significant improvements and renovations to the stadium in 1996, 1997 and 2007.

Head coaches[edit]

Year(s) Coach Seasons W-L-T Pct
1912 H. D. McLeod 1 9–4–2 .667
1913 R. P. Hoffman 1 11–9–1 .548
1914–1916 Pat Flaherty 3 15–29–1 .344
1917 Hugh Wicher 1 8–3–0 .727
1919–1920 Artie Phelan 2 14–16–1 .468
1921 William G. Kline 1 4–10–0 .286
1922–1923, 1926 Lance Richbourg 3 39–21–0 .650
1924 Rex Farrior 1 5–14–0 .263
1925 James L. White 1 3–6–0 .333
1927–1933 Brady Cowell 7 61–65–2 .484
1934–1936 Ben Clemons 3 20–29–1 .410
1937–1939 Lewie Hardage 3 35–24–1 .592
1940–1942, 1946–1947 Sam J. McAllister 5 40–56–4 .420
1945 Bob Pitman 1 2–9–0 .182
1948–1975 Dave Fuller 28 557–354–6 .611
1976–1981 Jay Bergman 6 216–113–0 .657
1982–1983 Jack Rhine 2 72–39–1 .647
1984–1994 Joe Arnold 11 434–244–2 .640
1995–2001 Andy Lopez 7 278–159–1 .636
2002–2007 Pat McMahon 6 202–113–1 .641
2008–Present Kevin O'Sullivan 5 223–100 .690
TOTALS 21 98 2,248–1,417–24 .613

Year-by-year results[edit]

Year Coach Record Notes
1912 H. D. McLeod 9–4–2
1913 R. P. Hoffman 11–9–1
1914 Pat Flaherty 2–8
1915 Pat Flaherty 4–6–1
1916 Pat Flaherty 9–15
1917 Hugh Wicher 8–3
There were no games played in 1918 due to WWI
1919 Artie Phelan 7–5
1920 Artie Phelan 7–11–1
1921 William Kline 4–10
1922 Lance Richbourg 15–5
1923 Lance Richbourg 10–9
1924 Rex Farrior 5–14
1925 James White 3–6
1926 Lance Richbourg 14–7
1927 Brady Cowell 8–14
1928 Brady Cowell 6–14–1
1929 Brady Cowell 4–9
1930 Brady Cowell 9–8
1931 Brady Cowell 11–10
1932 Brady Cowell 12–8
1933 Brady Cowell 11–2–1
1934 Ben Clemons 6–7
1935 Ben Clemons 7–13–1
1936 Ben Clemons 7–9
1937 Lee Hardage 10–7–1
1938 Lee Hardage 14–9
1939 Lee Hardage 11–8
1940 Sam J. McAllister 8–11
1941 Sam J. McAllister 8–7
1942 Sam J. McAllister 6–6
There were no games played in 1943 or 1944 due to WWII
1945 Bob Pittman 2–9
1946 Sam J. McAllister 4–17–2
1947 Sam J. McAllister 14–15
1948 Dave Fuller 10–14–1
1949 Dave Fuller 17–13
1950 Dave Fuller 20–9
1951 Dave Fuller 16–9
1952 Dave Fuller 21–4–2
1953 Dave Fuller 13–7–1
1954 Dave Fuller 12–10
1955 Dave Fuller 20–4
1956 Dave Fuller 13–11
1957 Dave Fuller 17–7
1958 Dave Fuller 17–7
1959 Dave Fuller 13–8
1960 Dave Fuller 18–14
1961 Dave Fuller 9–9
1962 Dave Fuller
1963 Dave Fuller 25–10–1
1964 Dave Fuller 30–9
1965 Dave Fuller 23–11
1966 Dave Fuller 20–13
1967 Dave Fuller 29–8
1968 Dave Fuller 25–13
1969 Dave Fuller 28–17
1970 Dave Fuller 27–17
1971 Dave Fuller 19–26
1972 Dave Fuller 23–21
1973 Dave Fuller 23–21
1974 Dave Fuller 23–20–1
1975 Dave Fuller 23–25
1976 Jay Bergman 21–27
1977 Jay Bergman 39–18
1978 Jay Bergman 34–15
1979 Jay Bergman 40–20
1980 Jay Bergman 40–16
1981 Jay Bergman 42–17
1982 Jack Rhine 34–25–1
1983 Jack Rhine 38–14
1984 Joe Arnold 43–16–1
1985 Joe Arnold 43–18
1986 Joe Arnold 27–26
1987 Joe Arnold 32–24
1988 Joe Arnold 48–19–1
1989 Joe Arnold 44–22
1990 Joe Arnold 29–30
1991 Joe Arnold 51–21
1992 Joe Arnold 44–20
1993 Joe Arnold 33–25
1994 Joe Arnold 40–23
1995 Andy Lopez 32–24
1996 Andy Lopez 50–18
1997 Andy Lopez 40–24
1998 Andy Lopez 46–18
1999 Andy Lopez 31–25
2000 Andy Lopez 44–23–1
2001 Andy Lopez 35–27
2002 Pat McMahon 46–19
2003 Pat McMahon 37–21–1
2004 Pat McMahon 43–22
2005 Pat McMahon 48–23
2006 Pat McMahon 28–28
2007 Pat McMahon 29–30
2008 Kevin O'Sullivan 34–24
2009 Kevin O'Sullivan 42–22
2010 Kevin O'Sullivan 47–17
2011 Kevin O'Sullivan 53–19
2012 Kevin O'Sullivan 47–20
2013 Kevin O'Sullivan 29–30
2014 Kevin O'Sullivan 36–18 Season in progress

Florida in the NCAA Tournament[edit]

Season Record Percentage Results
1958 2-2 .500 Eliminated by Clemson
1960 2-2 .500 Eliminated by North Carolina
1962 1-3 .333 Eliminated by Florida State
1977 2-2 .500 Eliminated by Minnesota
1979 2-2 .500 Eliminated by Delaware
1981 3-2 .600 Eliminated by Miami (FL) in the Coral Gables Regional Final
1982 0-2 .000 Eliminated by Stetson
1984 0-2 .000 Eliminated by South Alabama
1985 3-2 .600 Eliminated by Miami (FL) in the Coral Gables Regional Final
1988 1-2 .333 Won the Tallahassee Regional over George Mason, Tulane, Florida State, and Stetson; Eliminated by Arizona State in the College World Series
1989 1-2 .333 Eliminated by Miami (FL)
1991 2-2 .500 Won the Gainesville Regional over Furman, Jacksonville and NC State; Eliminated by LSU in the College World Series
1992 1-2 .333 Eliminated by Texas A&M
1994 3-2 .600 Eliminated by Miami (FL) in the Coral Gables Regional Final
1996 2-2 .500 Won the Gainesville Regional over Bucknell, NC State, USF and UMass; Eliminated by LSU in the College World Series
1997 2-2 .500 Eliminated by Miami (FL) in the Coral Gables Regional Final
1998 8-2 .800 Won the Gainesville Regional over Monmouth, Richmond, Wake Forest and Illinois; Eliminated by USC in the College World Series
2000 3-2 .600 Lost to San Jose State, defeated Baylor, Southwest Texas State and San Jose State; Eliminated by San Jose State in the Waco Regional Final
2001 1-2 .333 Defeated Stetson, lost to Miami (FL); Eliminated by Stetson in the Coral Gables Regional
2002 3-2 .600 Defeated Bethune Cookman, lost to Miami (FL), defeated Bethune Cookman and Miami (FL); Eliminated by Miami (FL) in the Gainesville Regional Finals
2003 3-2 .600 Lost to Florida Atlantic, defeated Bethune Cookman, Florida Atlantic and Miami (FL); Eliminated by Miami (FL) in the Coral Gables Regional Finals
2004 3–2 .600 Won the Oklahoma City, OK Regional over Central Connecticut and UCLA; Lost to Miami (FL) in the Coral Gables Super Regional two games to none
2005 8–3 .727 Won the Gainesville Regional over Stetson, North Carolina and Notre Dame; Won the Gainesville Super Regional over Florida State two games to none; Defeated Tennessee, Nebraska and Arizona State in the College World Series; Lost to Texas two games to none in the College World Series Championship (2nd place).
2008 0–2 .000 Lost to Tulane; Eliminated by Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional
2009 3–2 .600 Won the Gainesville Regional over Bethune-Cookman and Miami (FL); Lost to Southern Mississippi two games to none in the Gainesville Super Regional
2010 5–2 .714 Won the Gainesville Regional over Bethune-Cookman, Oregon State and Florida Atlantic; Won the Gainesville Super Regional over Miami (FL) two games to none; Lost to UCLA and Florida State in the College World Series
2011 8–3 .727 Won the Gainesville Regional over Manhattan and Miami (FL); Won the Gainesville Super Regional over Mississippi State two games to one; Defeated Texas and Vanderbilt in the College World Series: Lost to South Carolina two games to none in the College World Series Championship (2nd place).
2012 5–2 .714 Won the Gainesville Regional over Bethune-Cookman and Georgia Tech; Won the Gainesville Super Regional over NC State two games to none; Lost to South Carolina and Kent State in the College World Series
2013 0-2 .000 Lost to Austin Peay, Eliminated by Valparaiso in the Bloomington, IN Regional
Total NCAA Tournament Appearances: 29

SEC Championships[edit]

SEC Tournament championships[edit]

The Gators have won six SEC Tournament championships, fourth most among the SEC's current fourteen members. However, after winning five in eleven years from 1981-1991, it was 20 years before Kevin O'Sullivan led the Gators to their sixth SEC Tournament Championship in 2011.

Season Coach Opponent Score Site Overall Record SEC Record Tournament Record
1981 Jay Bergman Kentucky 11-5 Starkville, MS 42-17 16-7 3-0
1982 Jack Rhyne Tennessee 9-3 Gainesville, FL 34-25-1 14-8 3-1
1984 Joe Arnold Tennessee 3-1 Gainesville, FL 43-16-1 18-4 3-1
1988 Joe Arnold Mississippi State 5-3 Starkville, MS 48-19-1 21-6 4-1
1991 Joe Arnold Louisiana State 8-4 Baton Rouge, LA 51-21 16-8 4-0
2011 Kevin O'Sullivan Vanderbilt 5-0 Hoover, AL 53-19 22-8 4-1
SEC Tournament championships: 6

SEC regular season championships[edit]

The Gators have won a total of thirteen SEC regular season championships, third most among the fourteen current SEC members. Their most recent title came in 2014 under Kevin O'Sullivan.

Season Coach Overall Record SEC Record
1951 Dave Fuller 21-4-2 12-2
1956 Dave Fuller 13-11 13-3
1962 Dave Fuller 25-10-1 14-3
1981 Jay Bergman 42-17 16-7
1982 Jack Rhyne 34-25-1 14-8
1984 Joe Arnold 43-16-1 18-4
1988 Joe Arnold 48-19-1 21-6
1996 Andy Lopez 50-18 20-10
1998 Andy Lopez 46-18 21-8
2005 Pat McMahon 48-23 20-10
2010 Kevin O'Sullivan 47-17 22-8
2011 Kevin O'Sullivan 53-19 22-8
2014 Kevin O'Sullivan 36-18 20-8
SEC regular season championships: 13

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h 2011 Florida Gators Baseball Media Supplement, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 93–94, 95–97, 98–101, 112–125 (2011). Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  2. ^ a b GatorZone.com, Baseball History, 2007 Roster, Pat McMahon. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "Pat McMahon Hired As Florida Baseball Coach," GatorZone.com (June 13, 2001). Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Brandon Zimmerman, "UF fires McMahon," The Gainesville Sun (June 7, 2007). Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  5. ^ Brandon Zimmerman, "UF selects baseball coach," The Gainesville Sun (June 13, 2007). Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e GatorZone.com, Baseball Coaching & Support Staff, Kevin O'Sullivan. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Robbie Andreu, "Florida baseball claims share of SEC title with blowout," The Gainesville Sun (May 21, 2011). Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  8. ^ "Florida draws Miami, Jacksonville and Manhattan in Gainesville," The Gainesville Sun (May 31, 2011). Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  9. ^ Kevin Brockway, "Gators make it back to Omaha with comeback win over Bulldogs," The Gainesville Sun (June 12, 2011). Retrieved June 12, 2011.
  10. ^ Pat Dooley, "Florida beats Vanderbilt to reach CWS championship series," The Gainesville Sun (June 24, 2011). Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  11. ^ Pat Dooley, "Gators' season ends with sweep by Gamecocks in title series," The Gainesville Sun (June 28, 2011). Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  12. ^ "Jonathon Crawford Tosses 7th No-Hitter In NCAA Tourney History As No. 1 Florida Blanks B-CU, 4–0," GatorZone.com (June 1, 2012). Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Pat Dooley, "Gators headed back to Omaha," The Gainesville Sun (June 10, 2012). Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  14. ^ Pat Dooley, "Gators gone in a Flash," The Gainesville Sun (June 18, 2012). Retrieved June 18, 2012.

External links[edit]

  • GatorSports.com – Florida Gators baseball news from The Gainesville Sun.
  • GatorZone.com – Official webpage of the Florida Gators baseball team.