USF Athletics will introduce Mark Kingston as the sixth head coach in the baseball program’s history today at 4:00 p.m. USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan named Kingston to the position last week.
“I am very excited to welcome Mark and his family to USF,” Harlan said in a statement released to announce the hiring. “There was a tremendous amount of interest in our baseball head coaching position from across the country, and Mark clearly rose to the top. He is one of the best young coaches in collegiate baseball today and has a tremendous background of competing and winning at the highest level. He is a very compelling leader for our baseball program.”
A two-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honoree, Kingston comes to USF with a long track record as a top-level recruiter and a producer of offensively explosive teams. He spent the previous five seasons as the head coach at Illinois State University where he led the Redbirds to two MVC regular season championships, one conference tournament title and twice broke the program’s season wins record. He won more than 30 games in each of his five seasons at ISU, a program-record string that included a season-record 39 wins in 2013, reached the MVC tournament championship game three times and compiled an overall record of 173-102 (62.9%).
Kingston has helped lead nine teams to NCAA Tournament berths as an assistant and head coach – with four of those teams appearing in the NCAA Super Regionals, two participating in the College World Series and one winning a national championship. As a player at the University of North Carolina, Kingston was part of the 1989 Tar Heels squad that won an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title and advanced to the College World Series. He also helped UNC win the ACC Tournament and advance to NCAA Regionals in 1990.
“I am thankful to Mark Harlan for the tremendous opportunity to be the head baseball coach at a terrific university like USF and in a great baseball community like Tampa,” Kingston said. “I can’t wait to get started. We have unbelievable facilities, great support and the building blocks in place to be a championship program at USF. I know from my experience at Miami how great baseball is in Florida and I’m excited to return.”
Kingston helped the Hurricanes capture the 2001 College World Series as the No. 1 overall seed as an assistant coach. His 18-year collegiate coaching career also includes stops at Tulane, where he helped guide the Green Wave to the 2005 College World Series as well as recruited and coached 10 future Major League Baseball players, and Purdue.
Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers out of North Carolina in 1992, the Northern Virginia native played professionally for five seasons with Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs organizations.