Brian Buscher, a 2003 All-American at South Carolina and former major leaguer with the Minnesota Twins, has returned to Columbia and is in his first season as volunteer assistant coach, it was announced on August 20 by head coach Chad Holbrook.
Buscher served as an undergraduate student assistant on the 2011 national championship team at Carolina and most recently was head coach at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School as well as manager for the 2012 Columbia Blowfish that won the Coastal Plains League Petit Cup Championship.
"We are ecstatic to welcome back Coach Buscher," added Holbrook. "He was a fantastic player here in 2002 and 2003 and also made a great impact on our team when we won the 2011 national championship. He's a wonderful coach, he brings big league experience and is a perfect fit for our program."
Buscher made an immediate impact as head coach of the Columbia Blowfish this past summer. Reaching the playoffs as the No. 4 seed, Buscher directed his squad to a pair of sweeps in the first two rounds of the playoffs before coming back from one game down to win the 2012 CPL Petit Cup with consecutive victories on the road. It marked the first title for the Columbia Blowfish in team history. Buscher returned to Columbia in 2010 to complete his work and graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology. His influence on the 2011 Gamecock squad was evident with his work with the corner infielders and on game day as bench coach to Ray Tanner. Prior to his one-year stint on Coach Tanner's staff, Buscher completed a successful seven-year stint in professional baseball highlighted by three years in Major League Baseball with the Twins.
As a player, Buscher was a member of consecutive College World Series teams in 2002 and 2003 for the Gamecocks. Buscher never missed a game in two seasons at Carolina starting 140 of 142 games played at third base. He was a staple in the lineup as a junior on the 2002 SEC championship team that reached the national championship game at the College World Series and he followed that up with an even more successful year in 2003 that saw him earn All-America honors as the Gamecocks made a second straight trip to the CWS. Buscher's .393 batting average (106-for-270) his senior season is the best batting average by a Gamecock player over the last 12 years and his 106 hits is tied for the second highest single-season total in school history. He totaled 201 career hits, one of 23 players at Carolina to record 200 or more hits.
His success at Carolina led him to being selected in the third round of the '03 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants. He would spend three seasons in the Giants minor league system before being selected by the Twins in the Rule Five Draft. Buscher made his MLB debut on July 27, 2007 and spent two and a half seasons with the Twins culminating in a first place finish in the American League Central division in 2009.
Buscher has a bachelor's degree in psychology. He and his wife, the former Sarah Simmons, have two daughters, Finley Amelia and Allyn Isabelle.