South Florida Bulls
2022 South Florida Bulls baseball team
South Florida Bulls wordmark.svg
Founded1966
Overall record1628-1293-6 (.557)
UniversityUniversity of South Florida
Athletic directorMichael Kelly
Head coachBilly Mohl (5th season)
ConferenceThe American
LocationTampa, Florida
Home stadiumUSF Baseball Stadium
(Capacity: 3,211)
NicknameBulls
ColorsGreen and gold[1]
   
NCAA regional champions
2021
NCAA Tournament appearances
1982, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021
Conference tournament champions
1982, 1986, 1990, 1995, 2021
Regular season conference champions
1982, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996

The South Florida Bulls baseball team is the intercollegiate men's baseball program representing the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, United States. The team competes in the American Athletic Conference of NCAA Division I. Founded in 1966, the baseball team one of the oldest teams at the university. The Bulls have captured eleven conference titles (six regular season and five tournament) and 14 NCAA Tournament appearances. The team plays their home games on campus at USF Baseball Stadium and are coached by Billy Mohl.[2]

History

Beefy Wright era

The baseball team was founded in spring 1966 as one of the original varsity sports teams at USF. Beefy Wright was the first coach of the team. They played most home games during their first season at Al Lopez Field in West Tampa, around 12 miles from campus, but some games were played at Cuscaden Field in Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood. The Bulls first played as independents in the NCAA College Division, now known as Division II. For their second season the team started playing at a new on-campus stadium originally known as USF Baseball Field, and later called Red McEwen Field.[2]

Though the team had winning records in five of their first eight seasons, they were never selected for the NCAA tournament. In 1973, the final season in the College Division, second baseman Mike Campbell was named the first All-American in program history.[3] They moved to NCAA Division I beginning in 1974. On March 8, 1974, just the sixth game for the team since joining Division I, Steve Ruling threw the first no-hitter in USF baseball history to complete a sweep against UConn.[4] Beefy Wright left the school after the 1974 season, and was replaced by Jack Butterfield.[2]

Jack Butterfield era

Despite only coaching the team for two seasons, Jack Butterfield led the Bulls to their two best records ever up to that point. To this day, Butterfield has the best winning percentage of any USF baseball coach (.715). He left after the 1976 season to become a scout for the New York Yankees.[5]

Robin Roberts era

Robin Roberts took over the team in 1977. Roberts had been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame the year prior for his 18-year MLB career, most notably with the Philadelphia Phillies.[6] In 1978, the school's first season in the Sun Belt Conference, he was named the Sun Belt coach of the year.[2] He would be given this honor again in 1980, 1981, and 1982.[2] In 1982, Roberts' Bulls won the regular season and tournament Sun Belt titles, the first two conference titles for the baseball team.[7] This came after a season in which the Bulls went 45–13 (a .776 win percentage), which stands to this day as their best-ever record. They qualified for their first NCAA tournament, where they lost in the regional round to eventual national champion Miami.[8]

Roberts would coach the Bulls until his retirement in 1985. In a ceremony before his final game, Roberts had his number 36 jersey retired by the team and honored on the outfield wall. He was the first to have his number retired by the USF baseball team.

Eddie Cardieri era

Eddie Cardieri, an assistant under Roberts since the 1983 season, was promoted to be Roberts' replacement for 1986.[9] He immediately found success, and the Bulls won the regular season and tournament Sun Belt titles in his first season, while Cardieri was named Sun Belt coach of the year.[2] In the regional final of the 1986 NCAA tournament, they lost to eventual national runner-up Florida State.[8]

The Bulls next qualified for the NCAA tournament in 1989 following a regular season Sun Belt championship.[2] They were once again eliminated in the regional round by Florida State, who would end up in the semifinal of the College World Series.[8] The following season, the Bulls made it to the NCAA tournament for the third time in their history after winning both the regular season and tournament Sun Belt titles again, and Cardieri was again be named the Sun Belt coach of the year.[2] These would be their last Sun Belt titles as they moved to the Metro Conference beginning with the next season.

Against Charlotte on May 9, 1992, USF's Mark Reed threw the first and only perfect game in USF baseball history.[4] The Bulls won the first and only title of their short stint in the Metro Conference with the 1993 regular season conference championship. Cardieri was named as the Metro Conference coach of the year for that season, and the Bulls were given an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament.[2]

The Metro Conference merged with the Great Midwest Conference to form Conference USA beginning in the 1995 season. USF won the regular season and tournament titles for the inaugural year of the new conference, and appeared in the first of three straight NCAA tournaments.[2] They appeared in the NCAA tournament again in 2001 and 2002 before moving from Conference USA to the Big East Conference in 2005.

Eddie Cardieri resigned after a 23–35 season in 2006, his 21st year with the Bulls.[10] He stands today as by far the winningest coach in USF baseball history with 731 victories (Robin Roberts, the next winningest coach in team history, only had 262 wins).[2]

Lelo Prado era

Louisville head coach Lelo Prado, who grew up in Tampa, was hired by USF to fill Cardieri's shoes for the 2007 season. He formerly played and coached for the Division II University of Tampa and led them to two national titles as coach.[11] Despite the Bulls posting winning records in five of Prado's eight seasons (including 2009 when Prado was Big East coach of the year), they never won a conference title or appeared in an NCAA tournament.[2] Prado stepped down to an advisory role following the 2014 season, and in 2018 became an assistant athletic director at USF.[11]

Mark Kingston era

Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston was hired as Prado's replacement. In 2015, his first season, he brought the Bulls back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. In 2017, he did it again on top of the team earning their best record in over 20 years.[2] He left to become the head coach at South Carolina after the 2017 season.[12]

Billy Mohl era

USF pitching coach Billy Mohl was promoted to the head coaching job beginning in 2018.[13] He brought the Bulls to the NCAA tournament in his first season. In 2021, his Bulls were selected to finish last of the eight teams in the American Athletic Conference, and ended the regular season in sixth.[14] However, the team got hot at the perfect time, and defeated rival Central Florida in the championship game to win the AAC Tournament for their first conference title in 25 years.[13] They stayed hot in the NCAA tournament and defeated favorites Florida in the Gainesville Regional to qualify for their first-ever Super Regional, where they lost to No. 2 Texas.[13]

USF Baseball Stadium

Main article: USF Baseball Stadium

Opened in 2012 on the same site as the former stadium, Red McEwen Field, the USF Baseball Stadium is a 1,500-seat facility with the potential to hold a capacity crowd of 3,211.[15]

Season by season results

Year Conference Games played Record Win percentage Conference record Head coach Postseason
1966 Independent (Division II) 15 4–11 .267 N/A Beefy Wright
1967 22 14–8 .636
1968 24 15–9 .625
1969 33 18–15 .545
1970 30 14–15–1 .483
1971 33 12–21 .364
1972 34 18–16 .529
1973 39 23–16 .590
1974 Independent (Division I) 38 21–16–1 .566
1975 41 29–12 .707 Jack Butterfield
1976 45 32–12–1 .721
1977 50 25–25 .500 Robin Roberts
1978 Sun Belt Conference 52 25–26–1 .490 4–3
1979 53 28–25 .528 4–2
1980 62 28–34 .452 3–2
1981 53 21–32 .396 5–3
1982 58 45–13 .776 6–2 NCAA Regionals
1983 53 19–34 .358 4–12
1984 60 35–25 .583 8–8
1985 70 44–26 .629 10–8
1986 68 52–16 .765 15–3 Eddie Cardieri NCAA Regionals
1987 70 44–26 .629 10–8
1988 59 26–33 .441 5–11
1989 63 45–18 .714 13–5 NCAA Regionals
1990 65 41–24 .631 8–10 NCAA Regionals
1991 Metro Conference 60 34–26 .567 4–14
1992 58 27–31 .466 7–11
1993 60 40–20 .667 13–5 NCAA Regionals
1994 58 39–19 .672 11–7
1995 Conference USA 63 38–25 .603 11–7 NCAA Regionals
1996 66 47–19 .712 20–4 NCAA Regionals
1997 63 39–24 .619 18–8 NCAA Regionals
1998 57 21–36 .368 9–18
1999 58 31–27 .534 15–12
2000 58 29–29 .500 14–13
2001 64 33–31 .516 16–11 NCAA Regionals
2002 64 35–29 .547 16–14 NCAA Regionals
2003 58 31–27 .534 14–14
2004 55 31–24 .564 12–17
2005 Big East 64 33–31 .516 15–14
2006 58 23–35 .397 12–15
2007 60 34–26 .567 13–14 Lelo Prado
2008 58 31–27 .534 14–13
2009 59 34–25 .576 19–9
2010 58 26–32 .448 16–11
2011 54 25–29 .463 13–14
2012 60 38–22 .633 18–11
2013 58 36–22 .621 17–7
2014 American Athletic Conference 58 27–31 .466 10–14
2015 61 34–26–1 .566 13–11 Mark Kingston NCAA Regionals
2016 57 24–33 .421 8–16
2017 61 42–19 .689 14–10 NCAA Regionals
2018 59 36–22–1 .619 14–9–1 Billy Mohl NCAA Regionals
2019 53 26–27 .491 8–16
2020 17 6–11 .353 0–0 Season cut short due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 61 31–30 .508 14–14 NCAA Super Regionals
Total 2988 1659-1323-6 .556 493–430–1 14 Appearances
Bold indicates tournament won
Italics indicate Conference Championship

[2]

Individuals

Players

Perfect Games

There has been one perfect game thrown in USF history:

No Hitters

Bulls pitchers have thrown three no hitters in school history (not including Reed's perfect game):

Major Leaguers

South Florida has produced 127 players drafted into Major League Baseball including four first round selections. 19 of these players have gone on to play in the MLB, including two active players.[17][18]

All-Americans

Seven members of South Florida baseball teams have been selected as First Team All-Americans.[19]

Conference Player of the Year

Four Bulls have been named the conference player of the year.[17]

Coaches

Conference Coach of the Year

USF head coaches have won 10 conference coach of the year awards.[17]

USF Athletic Hall of Fame members

Main article: University of South Florida Athletic Hall of Fame

Two USF baseball players have been inducted into the USF Athletic Hall of Fame:[20]

Retired numbers

See also

References

  1. ^ USF Color Palettes | University Communications. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "2022 Baseball Media Guide DA (PDF)" (PDF). USF Athletics. Retrieved 2022-05-06.
  3. ^ "USF BASEBALL RECORDS: ALL-TIME AWARD WINNERS: ALL-AMERICA". South Florida Athletics. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  4. ^ a b "Breaking Down Fontanez's No Hitter". USF Athletics. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  5. ^ Johnston, Joey (June 2, 2009). "Wake-Up Call: Rays' Longoria Riding High". TBO.com. The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on June 22, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  6. ^ "Roberts, Lemon All-Star Captains". St. Petersburg Times. July 6, 1976. p. 3C.
  7. ^ "Sun Belt Conference record book" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 March 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "NCAA Men's College World Series Records" (PDF). NCAA. 2009. pp. 203–204. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Eddie Cardieri - BR Bullpen". www.baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  10. ^ "Without a contract, USF's Cardieri resigns as coach". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  11. ^ a b "Lelo Prado - Deputy Athletics Director / Development (Sport Admin: Baseball) - Staff Directory". USF Athletics. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  12. ^ "Mark Kingston - Baseball Coach". University of South Carolina Athletics. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  13. ^ a b c "Billy Mohl - Head Coach - Staff Directory". USF Athletics. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  14. ^ "East Carolina Selected as The American's Baseball Preseason Favorite". theamerican.org. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  15. ^ "USF Baseball Stadium". USF Athletics. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  16. ^ "Charting USF's Reed: He'll beat you with guile". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  17. ^ a b c "2021 Baseball Media Guide JD (PDF)" (PDF). USF Athletics. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  18. ^ "University of South Florida Bulls". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  19. ^ "USF BASEBALL RECORDS: ALL-TIME AWARD WINNERS: ALL-AMERICA". South Florida Athletics. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  20. ^ "USF Athletic Hall of Fame". USF Athletics. Retrieved 2020-09-19.