College Baseball

USC Beaufort moves Lewallyn from interim to head baseball coach

mmccombs@islandpacket.comJune 22, 2012 

As of Thursday afternoon, the recording on Bryan Lewallyn's phone lets you know you've reached the "assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of South Carolina Beaufort."

He might want to change that.

USC Beaufort named Lewallyn its head baseball coach Thursday. Lewallyn served as the team's interim head coach this season, leading the Sand Sharks to a school-record 41 wins and their first appearance in the Avista-NAIA World Series.

"I'm pretty excited," Lewallyn said. "It's been obviously a pretty crazy year, and I haven't really slowed down to think about it. It's nice to have it finally be official."

After one season as an assistant at USCB, Lewallyn took over as interim head coach in November when Rick Sofield left to take a position as a minor-league manager in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

The Sand Sharks enjoyed the best season in their four-year history under Lewallyn, going 41-19 overall and 22-7 in Sun Conference play. The school hosted its first NAIA National Championship Opening Round tournament and won five straight elimination games to reach the NAIA World Series. The Sand Sharks finished the season ranked seventh in the nation, the highest ranking in their four-year existence.

The position was posted after the season, and after a full search, athletics director Ty Rietkovich chose the known over the unknown.

"We went through the process and stacked him up against everybody else and felt like he could continue to grow the program," Rietkovich said. "I think this program, in a very short period of time, has become very attractive to a lot of people. There was no reason not to continue the path that we were on. As a coach he understands the experience and what it took to get us where we are. I think he did a pretty good job in his eight-month interview."

Lewallyn has his work cut out for him as he looks to replace 19 seniors and reload for next season.

"Obviously, we want to recruit well," Lewallyn said. That's the foundation of any good program, players who work hard and do things the right way. Going forward, we'll not change anything, not overthink and just try to do things the way we always have."

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