Sunny Golloway has been the Auburn coach for almost two weeks now, which means Joe Castiglione soon will fill the Oklahoma baseball job. Here are the names I’ve been hearing for the job, in no particular order:
1. Joe Jordan. The former OU catcher in the 1980s joined Enos Semore’s staff after his playing days. He later went into professional baseball and has produced a superb career. Jordan, who still lives in his hometown of Blanchard, now is the Philadelphia Phillies’ director of player development.
2. Dan Heefner. The Dallas Baptist coach has done a superb job running his school’s only Division I program. Heefner just completed his sixth year as the DBU head coach. He played at Olivet Nazarene in Illinois and Northern Iowa. Heefner led the NAIA in home runs in 2000.
3. Brad Hill. The Kansas State coach got the Wildcats within one win of the College World Series this season and has done a tremendous job. K-State is the only non-coastal, non-Southern school to make the NCAA Tournament four straight years. He’s a 1985 graduate of Emporia State.
4. John Russell. The Norman High School graduate was an OU star from 1980-82 under Semore and has been in pro baseball ever since. After a major-league playing career, Russell went into coaching. He managed the Pittsburgh Pirates and now is a bench coach for Buck Showalter’s Orioles.
5. John Savage. The UCLA coach just coached the Bruins to the College World Series title. He’s a 1991 Nevada grad. Lots of schools in this part of the country try to lure away a hot California coach. Sometimes it works. OU got Larry Cochell from Cal State-Fullerton in 1990.
6. Randy Mazey. The West Virginia coach took the Mountaineers to a stunning third-place finish in the Big 12 this season, when it appeared WVU would languish at the bottom of the league for years. Mazey has Texas ties — before coming to West Virginia this season, he was an assistant at TCU — and endeared himself to Oklahomans the way West Virginia’s team pitched in during the tornado relief in Moore the week of the Big 12 Tournament.
7. Tim Walton. The Florida softball coach played on Cochell’s 1994 NCAA title team. It would be a hard sell to hire a softball coach, but from being around Walton at various Women’s College World Series, I can tell you that he acts like a baseball coach.
8. Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock. Tadlock spent six seasons as Golloway’s assistant at OU, 2006-11, and before that was in the Texas junior-college ranks, which is never a bad thing.
9. Illinois State coach Mark Kingston. Kingston has done a nice job with the Redbirds, but he has no Oklahoma/Texas ties that I know of. He played at North Carolina and was an assistant at Tulane and Miami.
10. Virginia Tech coach Pete Hughes. Before spending eight years as the Boston College coach and now seven at Virginia Tech, Hughes spent two years at Trinity College in San Antonio. In 14 Big East seasons, Hughes has yet to win a conference title.
11. Florida State assistant coach Mike Bell. Golloway’s pitching coach from 2008-11, Bell is a Florida State grad.
I don’t know if the next OU coach will come from this list, but it’s names I’ve been hearing.