Jason Gill, who has College World Series experience as both a player and coach, and guided Loyola Marymount to the brink of a 2019 NCAA Super Regional appearance, was named USC baseball’s head coach on June 14, 2019.
Gill comes to USC after 11 seasons at Loyola Marymount, where he posted a 322-286-1 (.530) overall record. This past year, he led the Lions to a 34-25 record and into the NCAA postseason, with LMU reaching the final of the Los Angeles Regional after wins over Baylor and UCLA, before narrowly falling to the top-seeded Bruins.
Gill’s LMU teams have made the West Coast Conference Tournament (top four teams in the conference) five of the last six years, with the Lions winning the tournament title this past season and a regular season title in 2017.
He has made a total of four trips to Omaha as a player and coach, reaching the College World Series as a player with Cal State Fullerton in 1994 and then returning as an undergraduate assistant under legendary coach Augie Garrido with the Titans’ 1995 National Championship squad. Gill later served under George Horton as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping to lead the Titans to CWS appearances in 2006 and 2007. In total, Gill has been to the postseason nine times as a coach.
Known as an outstanding recruiter and developer of talent, Gill has seen 31 Lions selected in the MLB Draft during his tenure at LMU and three of them have reached the big leagues, including David Fletcher with the Angels. Over the entirety of his coaching career, both as an assistant and head coach, Gill has worked with 24 players who went on to make it to the majors. Notable names on that list include Khris Davis, Justin Turner, Lyle Overbay, Aaron Rowand, Mike Lamb, Mark Kotsay and Jeremy Giambi.
Gill brought in a pair of Top 25 recruiting classes while at LMU, something that hadn’t been done in 15 years at the school. In total during his time as an assistant, Gill served as a collegiate recruiting coordinator for seven seasons, recording six recruiting classes in the Top 30 and two in the Top 10 over that span to solidify his place as one of the top recruiters in the country. In his 11 years as a head coach at LMU, Gill helped develop 62 All-WCC players, four WCC Defensive Players of the Year, two WCC Pitchers of the Year and five All-Americans.
Prior to his time at LMU, he was the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator under Horton at both Cal State Fullerton and Oregon, bringing in a Top 10 recruiting class in 2007 at Fullerton. He was Horton's first hire as both men left Cal State Fullerton to begin the reconstruction of the Oregon baseball program in 2007.
Gill spent the three years (2001-04) preceding his time with the Titans at UC Irvine, where he brought in the No. 8 class in the country for the Anteaters in 2002 and had a pair of Top 30 classes following that. At UC Irvine, he helped guide the program back from extinction and worked alongside then UCI head coach John Savage to get the Anteaters back to the postseason in 2004.
Gill was an assistant at LMU in 1999 and 2000, helping to lead the Lions to WCC titles in both seasons, and prior to that worked as an assistant at Nevada (1997-98), helping to lead the Wolfpack to the program’s second ever postseason appearance.
He also comes to the Trojans with Team USA experience, serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. Collegiate National Team in both 2012 and 2016.
A local product who prepped at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., Gill received his bachelor's degree from Cal State Fullerton in kinesiology in 1996. Gill, who was born on April 7, 1970, lives with his wife, Kacey, and his son, Shane.
Silva comes to USC after serving as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Nebraska under Darin Erstad, helping the Huskers to three NCAA Tournament appearances and six appearances in the Big 10 Tournament since 2012.
Silva’s pitching staffs at Nebraska were ranked in the top 100 nationally in ERA four times during his tenure, including the 24th best ERA (3.12) in the country in 2015. On the recruiting side, Silva’s 2019 class was ranked as high as No. 16 in the country and his 2013 class was the highest ranked in school history, coming in at No. 11 nationally that year. The Huskers’ 2014 class was also ranked in the top 25 as well.
During Silva’s time as the Nebraska pitching coach, nine Husker arms were selected in the MLB Draft, including Aaron Bummer, who made his Major League debut with the White Sox in 2017.
Prior to his time in Lincoln, Silva served as Gill’s pitching coach in his inaugural season at LMU in 2011, helping the Lions’ pitchers cut their ERA nearly in half from the previous season to 3.25, which was good for 30th in the country. Three LMU pitchers were eventually selected in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Silva served the three preceding seasons (2008-10) at UC Irvine under legendary skipper Mike Gillespie, helping the Anteater pitchers to 19 combined All-America awards and some of the best numbers in program history. Silva’s UCI staffs had the nation’s third-best ERA (3.27) in 2008, a program-record 503 strikeouts in 2008, tied the program record with 20 saves in 2009 and led the Big West in ERA (3.98) and strikeouts (483) in 2010.
He spent the 2007 season at Fresno State, working under Head Coach Mike Batesole, and helping to lead the Bulldogs to an NCAA Regional appearance and the second best ERA (4.54) in the WAC.
Silva started his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater Cal State Fullerton (2005-06), working for Head Coach George Horton and alongside Gill to get the Titans to Omaha in 2006.
As a player for the Titans, Silva pitched three seasons (1993-95), posting a 26-7 overall record and 2.92 ERA. As a teammate of Gill, he helped lead the 1994 team to Omaha and then played a central role on the 1995 National Championship squad, earning the win in the title game against USC.
Silva was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 21st round of the 1995 MLB Draft and spent five seasons in the Rangers organization. He also spent a year pitching overseas in Taiwan and played one year of independent ball in the Atlantic League.
A Southern California native, Silva attended Redondo Union High School, where he graduated in 1992. He and his wife Tiffany have one son, Andrew.
Fonteno comes to USC after three seasons with UC Santa Barbara, where he helped revitalize the Gauchos’ offense and lead the team to the postseason each of the last two full seasons. Fonteno was elevated to associate head coach by UCSB following the 2019 season.
UCSB’s runs per game jumped nearly two full runs after Fonteno arrived in 2019, with the Gauchos going 45-11 and earning a No. 2-seed in the Stanford Regional that year. After posting a 13-2 record in the shortened 2020 season, the UCSB offense scored the 18th most runs in the country in 2021, propelling the team to a 41-20 record and No. 3-seed in the Tucson Regional.
A tremendous developer of talent, the Gauchos saw seven position players selected in the MLB Draft under Fonteno’s watch, produced three All-American position players (two freshmen) and had 10 position players earn All-Conference recognition.
Prior to his time in Santa Barbara, Fonteno served as an assistant at Saint Mary’s for five seasons. In just two years, he helped turn the Gaels into perennial contenders on the West Coast. After a 16-39 record in 2014, St. Mary's improved to 28-27 in 2015, its first winning season in six years. The 2016 season was even better for SMC as the Gaels went 33-25 en route to its first ever West Coast Conference regular season title, first ever WCC Tournament championship and first ever trip to an NCAA Regional. St. Mary's continued its success with a 37-20 showing in 2017 and its third straight 30-win (31-23) season in 2018.
With Fonteno on staff, the Gaels matched a program record twice, with four players selected in both the 2016 and 2018 MLB drafts. In all, 13 Gaels were drafted during Fonteno’s tenure, including 10 since 2016 when Fonteno took over as recruiting coordinator.
Prior to St. Mary's, Fonteno spent one season as an assistant coach at Nevada and four seasons as an assistant at Chico State. While at Chico State, Fonteno was a part of the 2012 Wildcats team that won the NCAA Division II West Region and advanced to the World Series. While serving as the recruiting coordinator at Chico State, he brought in 17 all-conference selections, one conference Freshman of the Year, eight All-West region selections, one All-American and two MLB Draft selections.
Before arriving at Chico, Fonteno spent three seasons as an assistant at UNLV where he worked with outfielders, hitters and base runners and had seven players taken in the MLB draft.
He has also served as an assistant coach at Cal Lutheran, one of the top Division III programs on the West Coast, while coaching summer ball with the Battle Creek Bombers (Mich.), Petersburg Generals (Va.) and the Highland Park Blue Sox (Texas).
Fonteno graduated from York College in Nebraska, where he was an all-conference centerfielder and led the Panthers to their first ever national ranking. He also played collegiately at College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif.
David Tillotson comes to USC after spending two season with UC Santa Barbara as the Director of Analytics.
To help grow the knowledge and understanding of the game, Tillotson employs different analytics, apparatuses, and metrics to help both the coaches and student-athletes improve on a day-to-day basis.
Prior to his time UC Santa Barbara, Tillotson served as both a high school teacher and baseball coach for three years at Cleveland Central High School in Cleveland, MS.
Tillotson attended the University of Washington from 2014-2016 where he earned his B.S. in general biology while also serving as an undergraduate manager and video coordinator for Husky Baseball. In his final season with the team, the Huskies made it to the 2016 NCAA Regional in Nashville, TN. where they would battle the Gauchos in the first game of the postseason. UCSB edged out UW 3-2 in a 14-inning thriller.
The Oak Harbor, WA native played his college ball at Centralia College in Centrailia, WA. from 2011-2014.