Coastal Carolina

Longtime assistant coach Schnall returning to CCU baseball program

A familiar face is returning to the Coastal Carolina baseball program in a move head coach Gary Gilmore says was made, at least in part, with the future in mind.

Former longtime assistant coach Kevin Schnall is rejoining the Chanticleers after leaving to spend the past three years at Central Florida, Gilmore confirmed Thursday. Prior to his departure after the 2012 season, Schnall had spent 12 years as an assistant coach with the Chants after previous starring as a player under Gilmore.

“Coach Schnall is going to come back as an assistant coach here,” Gilmore said. “[The move stemmed from] just basically evaluating the whole program overall and preparing for the future down the road, different things. A lot of factors come into play with that. I thought at this moment it was the right move to make.”

The university has not issued an official news release yet as president David DeCenzo has been out of town and Schnall indicated he did not want to comment until all the details are finalized.

Meanwhile, Joe Hastings, who was hired away from Notre Dame in August 2012 to replace Schnall as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, will no longer be part of the coaching staff, although he remains employed by the Coastal Carolina athletic department at this time, Gilmore said.

Hastings declined comment through the athletic department.

“Right now, for the foreseeable near future he is still actively employed in our athletic department at this point. I can’t speak for him, but he has several lines in the fire [for other baseball jobs],” Gilmore said. “He’s a good man and a good coach. I’m sure things will work out for him to be in college baseball.”

Gilmore has stated before that he does not plan to coach past the end of his current contract in 2020, and given his history with the program and his decision to return at this point Schnall would seem a logical successor whenever Gilmore does indeed decide to pass the torch.

For his part, though, Gilmore said that will be a decision left for others to make whenever that time comes.

“That will be something that [athletic director] Matt Hogue and Dr. DeCenzo and those people will make that decision,” he said. “[Schnall’s hiring] is about continuity in the staff and allowing all of us at the forefront to be in situations coaching-wise that are to the strengths of what we know and do. He’s one of the best catching [instructors] in the country, and that’s a great thing to have back here as well. He’s proven himself here and at Central Florida, so I’m looking forward to having him back and being part of our program.”

Schnall was the Big South Player of the Year in 1999 while leading the Chants to a 43-15 record for the program’s best finish since 1983. He was a 25th-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds that same year and spent two seasons in the minor leagues before returning to Coastal Carolina to begin his coaching career.

“There’s been several guys in our program coaching-wise and all of them have bled teal, and I’m not sure anyone more so than him,” Gilmore said.

Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318 or on Twitter @RyanYoungTSN.