College of Charleston AD Matt Roberts in no hurry to hire new baseball coach | Sports

College of Charleston athletics director Matt Roberts said there is no timetable to hire a new baseball coach.

College of Charleston fired baseball coach Matt Heath on Friday.

“We will take the appropriate amount of time necessary to hire the best coach for CofC,” Roberts said in a text message. 

Heath, 38, was 59-57-1 with the Cougars since taking over the program from former head coach Monte Lee, who left the College of Charleston two years ago to become the head coach at Clemson.

The Cougars were 28-31 last season, suffering through their first losing season since 2001.

Last week, The Post and Courier learned the school had launched an investigation into allegations of abusive behavior by Heath toward his players. Heath denied any wrongdoing in a statement he released on Friday.

Former South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook is considered to be the leading candidate to replace Heath along with former College of Charleston pitcher and assistant coach Scott Foxhall and Clemson assistant coach Bradley LeCroy. North Carolina assistant coach Scott Forbes is also a candidate. Roberts was a pitcher at the University of North Carolina when Holbrook served as an assistant coach with the Tar Heels. In the past, Roberts has described their relationship as “close” with the former Gamecocks head coach serving as a “mentor” to him during his athletic administration career.

Holbrook, who has interviewed for an assistant’s job at Vanderbilt, said he’s not been contacted about the Cougars’ position. In five seasons, Holbrook compiled a 200-106 (.653) record at South Carolina with three NCAA berths and two trips to the super regionals, most recently last season. The Gamecocks began the 2017 season ranked in the top-10 in most preseason polls, but finished 35-25 and was passed over for a spot in an NCAA regional. South Carolina missed the postseason in two of Holbrook’s last three years at a school that had made the NCAAs for 15 straight years, reaching the College World Series six times over that span.

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about an opportunity out of state the last few days,” Holbrook said Friday night. “The College of Charleston is a great baseball job, a great city and a great university. There will be a lot of great candidates for that job and I’m not going to comment on my interest in that position. My focus and 100 percent of my attention has been on that other job out of state and not any position at the College of Charleston.”

Foxhall, 46, served as an assistant coach with the Cougars from 1995-2008 and went with John Pawlowski to Auburn as an assistant coach from 2009-2014. He has served as N.C. State’s pitching coach since 2015. In all, 33 pitchers that Foxhall has coached have been drafted by Major League Baseball.

Foxhall said he has not been contact about the vacancy.

“The College of Charleston is my alma mater and I have many great memories from my days as a player and coach there. Some of my best friends are my former college teammates,” Foxhall said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the school for me to comment at this time about my interest in the job. I want to respect what Matt Roberts is trying to do. I have a great sense of pride in the fact that I was an assistant coach and had a part in building College of Charleston baseball from humble beginnings into a championship caliber program.

“I spent 14 of my 23 years in coaching in Charleston. Some of the best highlights of my coaching career were in Charleston winning conference championships, playing in multiple regionals, and playing in a super regional in 2006.”

Foxhall spent two years as a pitcher at Auburn before heading to College of Charleston, where he was a three-time letterwinner from 1992-94. He is among College of Charleston’s all-time leaders in strikeouts (156), games started (28), complete games (nine) and innings pitched (193.2).

“My years in Charleston are a huge part of my coaching journey and helped lead me to N.C. State,” Foxhall said. “I have a great job at N.C. State working with a legendary head coach, Elliott Avent, and a terrific staff that is committed to winning the right way.”

LeCroy, 39, just finished up his 10th season as an assistant coach, mainly working with the Tigers’ infielders and hitters.

“I would be very interested in the job at College of Charleston,” LeCroy said. “No one has reached out to me, but I think it’s a great baseball job in a great city.”

LeCroy, who played at Clemson from 1997-2001, has been an assistant coach at Anderson (2001-02), Clemson (2003-05, 2011-16), Western Carolina (2006-07) and Tennessee (2008-10).

“I think Charleston is an elite job because you have so many great things to sell about the program,” LeCroy said. “It’s got a great tradition and you’ve seen what Monte and John have done in the past, making deep runs in the postseason. It’s the kind of job that a lot of assistant coaches from Power 5 schools are going to be interested in. I’ve got a great job here at Clemson and I love it here, but ultimately I want to be a head coach and run my own program.”

Heath was fired with “cause’ and will not be paid the remaining three years left on his contract, a source in the athletic department confirmed. Heath, who declined to comment when reached on Saturday, made $154,875 this past season. Heath is expected to file a lawsuit against the school seeking the more than $450,000 he was owed in his contract.

Reach Andrew Miller at 843-937-5599. Follow him on Twitter @APMILLER_PandC