USC Aiken baseball assitant taking job with the Padres

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Wednesday Jan. 6, 2010

AIKEN, S.C. – University of South Carolina Aiken head baseball coach Kenny Thomas announced on Wednesday, Jan. 6 that assistant coach Mark Conner will depart the program.

Conner has taken a position with the San Diego Padres as an Area Scout. Conner will be in charge of scouting operations for the Padres in the Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Eastern Indiana areas.

Conner has been with the Pacers for the last five seasons, where as USC Aiken’s pitching coach, he helped the Pacers to a school-record 47 wins in 2008 and the Peach Belt Conference regular season championship in 2009.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to coach here that I was given by Coach Thomas,” said Conner. “I've been honored to work at USCA for the past five-and-half-years and to be a part of such a special program. I'll miss USCA's coaches, faculty, staff, and most of all, the players. I believe that the 2010 players and coaches have everything in place to compete at the highest level, and I look forward to their success."

Thomas noted that his program “really hates to lose Mark as he has done a great job with our pitchers; at the same time though we are tickled that he obtained this position,” noted Thomas. “For the past couple of years he has decided that he wanted to be a scout. We are glad that he is getting the opportunity.”

A local scout for the New York Yankees (1980-81), Cincinnati Reds (1981-82) and St. Louis Cardinals (1982-88), Thomas believes that Conner will be a great scout.

“Over the past couple of years, Mark has taken on more responsibilities, particularly with recruiting,” noted Thomas. “One of the parts of the job here that he has enjoyed the most has been the evaluation of the players and going on the road. This scouting job fits perfectly for what he likes to do and, more importantly, he is going to be able to do this in area that he is very familiar with.”

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