Trojans hire LMU’s Jason Gill as new baseball coach

Jason Gill will help lead junior infielder Ben Ramirez and the Trojan baseball team as it starts its 2020 season. (Daily Trojan file photo)

Jason Gill will take over as head coach of USC Baseball, Athletic Director Lynn Swann announced Friday. Gill will replace former coach Dan Hubbs, who was terminated after the Trojans missed the postseason for the fourth consecutive year.

“We are very excited to welcome Jason Gill to the Trojan family as the head coach of USC Baseball,” Swann said in a statement.

Gill brings plenty of head coaching experience to his new position at USC, having served as head coach of Loyola Marymount for the past 11 years. During that time, Gill’s LMU teams had an overall record of 322-286-1 for a .530 winning percentage.

This season, Gill guided the Lions to a 34-25 record, earning a spot in the postseason before being eliminated by the top overall seed in the nation, UCLA.

Gill began his collegiate baseball career as an infielder for Cal State Fullerton, reaching the College World Series in 1994. He served as an undergraduate assistant at CSUF the following year when the Titans won the national championship. After brief assistant coaching stints at Nevada, LMU and UC Irvine, Gill returned to CSUF in the same role and reached the College World Series in 2006 and 2007.

Gill will now try to bring USC to the College World Series as well — a feat the Trojans have not accomplished since 2001.

“Our desire was to get someone who can elevate USC baseball back into the postseason and help the team once again compete for a College World Series title,” Swann said.

Gill is known for his recruiting and player development skills. Gill coached 31 players at LMU that were selected in the MLB Draft and has seen 24 of his players reach the big leagues over the entirety of his coaching career.

Gill also has seven years of experience as a recruiting coordinator while serving as an assistant coach, bringing in six recruiting classes in the top 30 and two in the top 10 during that span. His recruiting classes at LMU ranked in the top 25 twice — which the program had failed to do for the previous 15 years.

“College baseball has some unique challenges with the roster size and the number of scholarships, and with recruits being drafted out of high school,” Swann said. “We wanted someone familiar with those challenges. We also wanted someone with a history of putting together a staff that can consistently prepare players to not only succeed in the college game but at the next level as well. All of those things led us to Coach Gill and to inviting him to lead our program forward.”

USC has not made the postseason since 2015, despite seeing 32 players selected in the MLB Draft in that span and welcoming top 25 recruiting classes the last two years.

This is uncharacteristic of a Trojan program that has won 12 national championships, six more than any other Division I school. USC has also sent a record 114 players to the Major Leagues.

Despite this, the Trojans have not made the College World Series since 2001 and have not brought a national championship trophy to Heritage Hall since 1998.

Gill, who has made the postseason nine times as a coach, hopes to be part of the solution.

“I would like to thank Lynn Swann and the USC administration for their belief in me as the next head baseball coach at USC,” Gill said in a statement. “I am looking forward to building on the traditions established by the great players and coaches from the most storied college baseball program in the country. USC’s commitment to winning championships while providing a top tier education is unmatched. I am extremely excited and can’t wait to get started.”