Gators parting ways with Craig Bell

Gators baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan has decided to part ways with assistant coach Craig Bell, the school confirmed on Wednesday morning.

This news comes two days after the Gators were eliminated from the Gainesville Regional by Oklahoma.

Bell had served as one of O’Sullivan’s assistants for all 15 years of his tenure in Gainesville.

He coached third base for most of those seasons, and he was also heavily involved in the Gators’ recruiting efforts and offense.

With Bell gone, O’Sullivan will not have anyone on his coaching staff who has been with the program for more than three seasons next year.

O’Sullivan has tried to get younger with his coaching staff in recent years in an effort to embrace new coaching styles that involve the use of analytics. He replaced longtime assistant coach and mentor Brad Weitzel with Chuck Jeroloman prior to the 2020 season, and he hired volunteer assistant David Kopp last offseason.

During Bell’s time with the Gators, the program made seven College World Series appearances and won the 2017 national title. They also won five SEC championships and made the NCAA Tournament every year.

He helped 28 Gators players reach the major leagues. UF has had a total of 98 players drafted since 2008, and that number should reach triple digits in July.

Bell, 56, played college baseball at Palm Beach Community College from 1986-87 and at the University of North Florida from 1988-89.

He spent 11 years as a high school and American Legion coach in South Florida after graduating. In 2000, he joined the Seattle Mariners organization as a supervising area scout for Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The West Palm Beach, Florida, native accepted his first college coaching position at Florida in 2008.

After 627 wins and countless memories, Bell will be looking for a new job.

Ethan Hughes
Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and also wrote for for two years before joining Gator Country in 2021. He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can follow him on Twitter @ethanhughes97.