The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approved a contract extension for Gamecocks head baseball coach Mark Kingston, Friday. Kingston is coming off a successful season as USC finished 42-21 and advanced to a Super Regional for the first time since 2018.
Kingston’s new contract will run through 2027 and will raise his pay from $600,000 to $725,000 annually.
Kingston’s future in Columbia looked to be in doubt after failing to advance out the Regionals in 2021 and missing the postseason entirely following an injury-plagued 2022 season. But the addition of key transfers and recruits led to a resurgence in 2023. USC won 25 of its first 27 games and rose as high as no. 2 in the polls, picking up series wins over Clemson, Georgia, Missouri and Mississippi State before sweeping Florida at Founders Park. The Gators got their revenge in the Gainesville Super Regional, but the Gamecocks still managed to finish the season 13th in the D1 Baseball poll.
Here’s the full release from USC:
The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees has approved a two-year contract extension of head baseball coach Mark Kingston, it was announced this afternoon (Friday, Aug. 18). Kingston’s contract runs through the end of the 2027 season. Kingston is heading into his seventh season at USC and is coming off a 2023 season that saw the Gamecocks win the NCAA Columbia Regional and advance to the Gainesville Super Regional.
Carolina won 42 games last season, including a series win over in-state rival Clemson, a regular-season sweep of national runner-up Florida, a win over No. 1 LSU in the series opener and series wins over SEC opponents Georgia, Missouri and Mississippi State. Carolina was ranked as high as No. 2 in the polls in 2023 and had the country’s No. 3 strength of schedule. Ethan Petry and Cole Messina both earned multiple All-American honors and were both selected to the First Team All-SEC. Carolina was in the top-10 in the country in both home runs (117) and ERA (4.19) and had a .408 on-base percentage thanks to 380 walks and 107 hit-by-pitches. The Gamecocks excelled in the classroom with a 3.20 GPA this past spring.
“We are coming off of a great season and we look forward to sustaining that success in the future and getting back to Omaha,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “I am excited to advance forward with Gamecock student athletes that I appreciate so much,” Kingston said. “I love coaching baseball here and the support we get from our great fan base. Thank you to the Board of Trustees, President Amiridis and Coach Tanner.”
Kingston has a 180-130 record at USC in six seasons and a 453-309-1 career record in 15 years as a head coach. He has guided the Gamecocks to a regional host in 2021 and 2023 and Super Regional berths in 2018 and 2023. Kingston has helped lead 14 teams to NCAA Tournament berths as an assistant and head coach – with six of those teams appearing in the NCAA Super Regionals, two participating in the College World Series and one winning a national championship.
The Gamecocks had five players selected in the 2023 MLB First-Year Player Draft, including top-five round picks in Jack Mahoney and Will Sanders. In Kingston’s six years as a head coach, Carolina has had 34 players selected in the MLB Draft.
Term Sheet of Kingston’s New Contract: