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Terry Rooney - Clemson Baseball Coaching Candidate

In the wake of a potential rebuild, Clemson may want to look to the state of Florida to find one of the nations premier recruiters, Terry Rooney.

Terry Rooney, currently at UCF, is one of the up-and-coming coaches in the country and should be one of the first considered for the Clemson Tigers if they decide to look outside of the Clemson pipeline. At only 41 years of age, Rooney would inject much needed life and energy into a Clemson program that was noted to have "plateaued" according to Athletic Director Dan Radakovich.

Coach Rooney has an extensive pitching background as he began his career with stints as pitching coach at Old Dominion, James Madison, George Washington, Stetson, and Notre Dame. After his stint as Pitching Coach at Notre Dame, Rooney spent 12 years (in 2 stints) as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at powerhouse LSU. Rooney and his pitching staff were considered a major success on the 2008 LSU team that won 23 straight, had a team ERA of 4.11, the least amount of walks per 9 innings and ended in a trip to Omaha.

Rooney took the helm at Central Florida in 2009 during a notable rebuilding period for the Knights. Rooney would produce an almost immediate turnaround for the Knights behind strong recruiting. During his time at UCF, Rooney brought in four Top-40 nationally ranked recruiting classes, including the class of 2010 in which he brought in 24 players and ranked as high as #4 in the country by Collegiate Baseball.

The recruiting prowess of Rooney paid dividends on the field as the Knights have been ranked in the Top-30 for 5 consecutive years (2011 to 2015). The Knights made trips to the postseason in 2011 and 2012 while the 2012 team notched 45 wins (the most the program as won since 2004). After a rough 2013 due to the departure of the highly touted 2010 recruiting class, 2014 was yet another stunning turnaround for Rooney and the Knights. After bringing in another 24 player recruiting class, Rooney was named The American Coach of the Year leading the Knights to 39 victories and just missed the NCAA tournament.

Rooney is no stranger to the post-college success of his players as UCF is one of seven schools with a player chosen in the Top-5 rounds of the MLB Draft in the last four years including the drafting of Beau Taylor, Zach Rodgers, Eric Skoglund and Ben Lively.

Terry Rooney fits into the Clemson Family off of the field as well with his focus on Academics. The UCF Knights currently hold a Top 20 ranking in the Graduation Success Rate with 95 percent of their players graduating.

UCF Athletic Director praised Rooney in 2012 noting

"Terry has done a great job in establishing a program that consistently competes at the highest level and pushes his young men to become leaders both on and off the field."

Rooney is an ideal candidate that should be considered as the upcoming MLB Draft will gut the Tigers of many of its key returning players including Steve Duggar, Tyler Krieger, Zack Erwin, Matthew Crownover, and Eli White. Rooney was given a contract extension by UCF which runs through the 2017 season, but if Radakovich calls, Rooney would be sure to listen. Personally, I consider Rooney to be the top candidate of those outside of the Clemson pipeline.