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USF Bulls hire Mark Kingston of Illinois State as baseball coach

TAMPA — Illinois State coach Mark Kingston, a two-time Missouri Valley Conference coach of the year and assistant on Miami's 2001 national title team, is scheduled to be formally introduced Saturday as USF's sixth baseball coach.

Deemed one of the nation's top recruiters and talent developers, Kingston replaces Lelo Prado, who was reassigned to an administrative role in the athletic department after eight seasons and no postseason berths. Kingston signed a six-year deal for $140,000 annually.

Kingston, 44, beat out no fewer than three-dozen applicants. USF also reached out to University of Tampa coach Joe Urso, whose 54-4 club lost its bid for a second straight Division II national title last week.

"There was a tremendous amount of interest in our baseball head-coaching position from across the country, and Mark clearly rose to the top," athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement released by the school.

Kingston was believed to be the frontrunner for the vacancy at Tulane, where he spent seven years as an assistant, but canceled a planned interview Tuesday, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.

A former North Carolina first baseman and member of the Tar Heels' 1989 College World Series team, Kingston compiled a 173-102 record in five seasons at ISU. His Redbirds teams won more than 30 games each year, including a school-record 39 in 2013, with two of them capturing MVC regular-season championships.

UConn: Running back Lyle McCombs, 22, is no longer on the football team and the school is not saying why, but he has had a string of off-the-field problems. The 5-foot-8 redshirt senior from Staten Island will finish school this summer and get his degree. He led the team in rushing the past three seasons.

vanderbilt: Former LSU reserve quarterback Stephen Rivers is enrolling and plans to compete for the open starting spot. Rivers, the younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, has used only two seasons of eligibility after taking a redshirt at LSU in 2011.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

USF Bulls hire Mark Kingston of Illinois State as baseball coach 06/04/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 10:18pm]

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