COLUMBIA — Mike Current wasn’t bad at his job, but South Carolina would be better served with him doing what he was more comfortable doing.
Mark Kingston announced Tuesday that Current, his hitting coach and recruiting coordinator the past two seasons, will trade jobs with director of player development Trip Couch.
Former Charleston Southern head coach Stuart Lake, the team’s volunteer coach, will take over as hitting coach.
“Mike Current has done a really good job on the recruiting trail for us,” said Kingston, who also noted that Current and his wife, Heather, are expecting their second child. “But with me, he’s always been close to me in terms of the inner workings of a program, and he has not been able to do that for the last two years, and I think that’s where he really helps me the most.”
Current was instrumental in landing what Kingston called the best junior-college class in the country for next season, and six Top-100 high-school recruits as well. But he was often out recruiting and unable to help the Gamecocks’ hitters, creating the issue.
The moves solve it. Lake can be around 100 percent of the time while Couch will now be a recruiter and on-field coach, which he wasn’t allowed to do in his former role. The former Diamondbacks scout is credited as one of the best talent evaluators in the country.
Lake started his college coaching career at USC in 1999 and stayed four years before embarking on a journey that included stops at all three of Charleston’s main programs. Lake was at College of Charleston in 2003, The Citadel from 2007-08 and head coach at Charleston Southern from 2009-16, also working at Ole Miss from 2004-06.
Lake left CSU for a volunteer spot at USC in 2017, then became Director of Player Development midway through that season. He’ll be trusted to correct a team that batted .236 this year with 75 home runs but 511 strikeouts.
“Stuart Lake has developed a ton of hitters over the year, here, Ole Miss, a lot of the places he’s been,” Kingston said. “This year was a speedbump, obviously, but it doesn’t affect how good we’re going to be in the future.”