The rumors have been swirling, and on Friday evening, Jay Jacobs hired Oklahoma head coach Sunny Golloway to lead the Auburn baseball program. Matt Stewart of CSS first broke the news.
Done deal. Sunny Golloway will be the new baseball coach at Auburn. Led ORU & OU to 14 Regionals last 15y, 2010 CWS, 2 straight Supers— Matt Stewart (@matt_stewartcss) June 14, 2013
Jacobs confirmed the move about an hour later.
It's been a great day and it just got better. I'm excited to announce Sunny Golloway as @AUTigerBaseball's new head coach.— Jay Jacobs (@jayjacobsauad) June 15, 2013
You wanted a big hire? Well, here you go. It's hard to imagine Auburn luring a bigger name. In addition to serving as head coach, Golloway instructed the Sooners' hitters, and in 2012, they were third in the Big 12 with a .281 average. OU's 32 home runs were tied for the conference lead, and its 314 RBIs were second. During his 16 seasons as a head coach, Golloway has seen 74 of his players taken in the MLB Draft, including 11 in 2011. For comparison, Auburn had three players selected off the roster in 2013.
"I'm really excited about this opportunity because I've always held the Auburn baseball program in very high regard," Golloway said in a joint statement with Jacobs released after the hire was announced. "The history of the Auburn program was a huge factor in making this decision. Secondly, the Southeastern Conference is the top baseball conference in America. Being able to compete in the SEC is a challenge that we look forward to. With our location, we are in a hotbed of talent. We will be able to hit the road recruiting right away, and we look forward to recruiting the best student-athletes to represent this outstanding university."
Golloway was at Oklahoma for nine seasons, reaching eight regionals, four super regionals, and one College World Series during his tenure. At OU, he compiled a 346-181-1 overall record and a 116-97-1 mark in Big 12 play. The Sooners won at least 40 games in each of the last five seasons.
"The goal in this search was to find a proven winner who can put our baseball program in a position to compete for championships, and we found our man in Coach Golloway," Jacobs said in the statement. "His program at Oklahoma is one of only a handful nationally to have won 40 or more games each of the past five years, so his record speaks for itself. After having the chance to hear his vision for Auburn baseball, there is no doubt in my mind he has the tenacity, the passion and the drive to get our program back to a level that matches our strong baseball heritage."
With his wealth of experience and winning track record at a big-time program, Golloway should be able to turn the Tigers around and make the program a perennial postseason contender. Not since Hal Baird retired in 2000 has that been the case.
War Damn Sunny Golloway!