The Citadel officially introduced Bulldogs alum and current East Tennessee State head coach Tony Skole as the school's new head baseball coach on Tuesday.
"I am extremely honored and grateful for this opportunity," Coach Skole said in a statement. "The Citadel has meant so much to me and my family over the years, and I have tremendous pride and passion for The Citadel and its athletic department. To once again be part of this wonderful institution is an amazing feeling. The legacy of The Citadel baseball built by Coach Port and Coach Jordan is unrivaled, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to follow them and the tradition they established. I cannot wait to connect with our wonderful alumni, former players, current players and future Bulldogs. I'm ready to get to work."
Skole is replacing Fred Jordan who retired after 26 years as the head coach of the Bulldogs last month. He'll become just the 3rd head coach in the last 5+ decades along with Chal Port, who Skole played under when he helped lead the team to the College World Series in 1990.
"It is rare that an athletic director has the opportunity to hire an alumnus with hall-of-fame status," Athletic Director Jim Senter said. "In this case, we found a candidate with an amazing understanding of The Citadel and what it takes to be a successful cadet-athlete. Coach Skole has 18 years of Division I head coaching experience, including nine seasons in the Southern Conference, so he is familiar with our league. We had an outstanding pool of sitting head coaches express interest in our job and we ended up with three strong finalists. It was apparent to our search committee that Coach Skole was the best fit for The Citadel at this time."
The new head coach also played football at the Citadel and led the SoCon in interceptions back in 1990.
Skole just finished his 18th season as the head coach of the Buccaneers where he's gone 436-509 in his tenure including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2013.
Skole was one of three finalists interviewed for the position. The others included Presbyterian head coach Elton Pollack and North Greenville head coach and former Gamecocks star Landon Powell.
"Tony is the epitome of The Citadel man." said former Bulldogs teammate and Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "Obviously, he had an outstanding career as an athlete and was inducted into The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame for his success in both football and baseball. But, he has also been a longtime asset and loyal part of the East Tennessee State program showing his commitment with 18 years of service as their head baseball coach. He's a wonderful husband and father, and he will carry the torch of The Citadel baseball with enthusiasm and energy. I can't think of a better person to follow in the legacy from Coach Port to Coach Jordan than Coach Skole."
"I'm very excited to hear Tony Skole has become the next head coach at The Citadel." said Bulldogs alum and Indiana head coach Chris Lemonis. "He'll succeed in a long line of great coaches with the program and will continue the strong baseball tradition. His experience as a baseball and football player will help him and his players with the daily cadet life. There are very few alumni that love The Citadel the way Tony does. I am thrilled about the future of the baseball program under his leadership."