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OPINION: Mark Kingston Has South Carolina Going In The Right Direction

Updated: Mar 4

By: Sinderella

After South Carolina’s recent series loss against rival Clemson, a section of Gamecock fans have voiced an opinion that hasn’t quite sat right with me.  Those calling for Head Coach Mark Kingston to either be on the hot seat or immediately lose his job, I feel, are missing the mark. 

I believe the issue at hand is constant comparison to Ray Tanner and the run of success that came with the end of his tenure.  Many, when evaluating Kingston, forget how long it took Tanner to get to that point.  It was year 14 under Tanner when we won our first National Championship.  That year, 2010, started a stretch of reaching the CWS finals in three consecutive seasons and winning the National Championship in two of them, but you already knew that. 

This isn’t a call to lower your expectations or give a struggling Head Coach more time; in fact, Kingston isn’t struggling at all.  It wasn’t long ago that this program had fallen in to a pattern of missing the NCAA tournament and being overlooked in the SEC. 

Now, Kingston has his program in the national spotlight once again.  It’s a long road back, and no one knows that like we do.  Think back to 2010, the year we first tasted the spoils of a championship season.  The Gamecocks started that season with a 6-4 record, thanks to two series losses to ECU and Clemson that featured the Tigers winning a 19-6 blowout at Founders Park.  Ray Tanner wasn’t fired; in fact, he bounced back and became one of the game’s greatest, so great that it would be unfair to compare many coaches to him, let alone one who is on the right track.

It hasn’t always been pretty for Kingston, sure. In fact, I am willing to admit that my trust in him has wavered at certain points.  However, Kingston recognized the mistakes he made and has adapted.  The program has since hired quality assistants, improved recruiting and embraced the transfer portal. 

Kingston has taken this program from one that hoped to make Hoover to one that expects to host a regional and hopes to play in Omaha once again.  We almost forget how difficult it is to make it to Omaha, to be one of the remaining eight teams in June.  Don’t allow Tanner’s excellence in making it to Omaha six times in sixteen seasons nudge you to discredit the near impossibility of that accomplishment.  It doesn’t happen too often, and that’s okay.  Even better? We still have an entire season ahead of us.

Back the players, back the coaches, and be loud and proud every game. It will help this program achieve success a lot faster than booing, attacking, and calling for jobs.

Look at the positives. This is a very healthy program with the direction Kingston has it going. Last but not least, stop attacking the players. If you have something to say, keep it private and remember the frustration of years past. Lift them up and let's roll!  The national talking heads aren’t flinching about a series loss to a rival, who also happens to be a Top 10 team by the way.

Neither should you.  

(All pictures courtesy of and


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