Kevin O’ Sullivan grew up playing on the baseball fields in Jupiter, Florida. He played at Florida Community College and eventually settled into a coaching career, which last saw him in the Sunshine State as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Twins Rookie League team in Ft. Myers. O’ Sullivan is back home, and despite being just 38 years young, plans to end his career at the University of Florida.
“Well, it’s been a busy couple of days for me,” O’Sullivan said as he was introduced to the media on Thursday. “It’s an honor to stand here in front of you as the new baseball coach at Florida…This whole thing started this past weekend when we got home from the Super Regional. I got a phone call from Jeremy (Foley) on Sunday and from there, obviously I was as excited as can be. It’s a great opportunity for me. I grew up in the state of Florida. I know this state as well as anybody. This is a dream come true for me. I plan to start and end my career here.”
“I know that the expectations here are great. The resources here are all in place to be successful. I come from, in my estimation, one of the best programs in the country. I worked for one of the best head coaches in the country in Jack Leggett. Tim Corbin, who has coached here before (SEC) has had some success at Vanderbilt and I know that I can do the same job that Tim has done at Vanderbilt, hopefully better, and I told him that jokingly. I come from a great background and I’m ready to hit the road running. In fact, I‘m going recruiting tonight and getting this thing going trying to get my staff together as fast as I can. I‘m looking forward to it and can‘t wait to get started.”
O’Sullivan comes to Florida with tremendous credentials. He has 16 years of coaching experience with time served at Florida Community College, Florida Atlantic University, and a season with the Twins organization. During his nine years at Clemson, O’Sullivan estimated that he spent 50% of his time recruiting within the state of Florida.
The tremendous recruiting advantage, outstanding resume with pitchers, and the many lessons learned by O’Sullivan under Leggett obviously won over Foley, who admitted that he considered the fact that O’Sullivan hadn’t served as a head coach.
“It’s an exciting day for the University of Florida and for our baseball program,“ Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said. “As we met last week, obviously, we had a difficult decision to make and now today we move forward, very, very excited about Kevin O’ Sullivan. He’s a guy we targeted very, very early. Kevin brings a lot of things to the table that I think are key ingredients to where we want to take this program and establish that consistency that we talked about last week. His record as a recruiter and his reputation as a recruiter are extremely strong.”
“Obviously, he has worked under one of the all time greats in the business, Jack Leggett,” Foley added. “That’s who he has learned from. Sully was a great player in his own right at Virginia. He’s competed against a lot of teams in this league. He’s been to Tallahassee. He’s been to Columbia. He’s been to Miami. I’ve talked to some people who have played for him. His relationships with his players are outstanding. Here’s the other thing this guy will do at Florida. He’ll work his tail off to put his footprints in the sand on this program. This is the guy, I think, who will put together the program that we’ve all desired here at the University of Florida, certainly since I’ve desired since I’ve become athletic director. I think that he’ll leave no stone unturned to get that done. We’re very, very excited about having Kevin O’ Sullivan on board.”
We’ll have much more on the hiring of Kevin O’Sullivan later today.