UPDATE, 2:14 p.m. CT: Clint Myers is officially the new Auburn softball coach. What a hire.
We sought winner who could compete for championships, and we found our man in Coach Myers. Join me in welcoming him and wife, Katie, to AU.— Jay Jacobs (@jayjacobsauad) June 14, 2013
Tyler Killian from AZCentral.com posted a neat little nugget about the Auburn softball coaching search. Well, there are nuggets ... and then there's the entire goldmine. According to Killian's sources, Auburn is actively pursuing Arizona State head softball coach Clint Myers for the now vacant position:
Though Myers likely would command a hefty pay raise at Auburn, money is not expected to be the deciding factor. The source indicated that ASU is prepared to increase Myers' salary, although it is not clear if it would match the offer made by Auburn.
Instead, Myers is deciding whether he wants to be closer to family members that live in Alabama.
Landing Myers would be a major coup for Auburn as well as the SEC, which is looking to challenge the Pac-12 for softball superiority. Alabama gave the SEC its first national championship in softball in 2012, and Tennessee was runner-up to champion Oklahoma this past season.
This would be a major hire for Auburn. Replacing the longstanding and program founder Tina Deese with a coach who has been to the Women's College World Series every season except one since 2006, a coach who has two rings and a coach who's son already has a preexisting and positive relation with many of the softball players in the state of Alabama
The "family" that Killian refers to is likely Corey Myers, Clint's son, who is currently a special instructor and coach for the Birmingham Boltz Travel Softball Team and runs the CM Softball Academy. His other son, Casey, is currently a volunteer for the Sun Devils.
The Arizona State fan sentiment has changed from disbelief to now simply waiting to see if the offer is accepted. In that same message board thread comes another nugget (again, take this as message board chatter):
I'm not here looking to stir any more controversy up but just wanted to give you guys a little information on Corey's situation.
He is in Birmingham working for a travel ball organization called the Birmingham Thunderbolts. They were founded and are funded by an Auburn football alum named Richard Shea. Richard knows Corey and Clint because he used to take his daughter out to ASU's camps and spent time talking with them. A former ASU player (I forget her name) also used to come help the Bolts during the summer and was a live in nanny for the Shea's as well. Corey coaches the Gold team and gives private lessons in Birmingham. The Bolts have a 2 field complex with an indoor hitting facility. Richard's daughter will be a senior this fall and is committed to play softball at Missouri.
I'm not sure of the nepotism laws in Arizona if that's ever kept Clint from hiring either Casey or Corey as a full time assistant but there are loopholes in Alabama laws that could allow him to work for his dad at Auburn.
No one over here is sure of what is happening. This situation is totally crazy if you ask me. There are so many rumors and disinformation no one really knows what is happening. The article in the AZ paper is the first public acknowledgement of anything related to the process. One thing Auburn does is keep its hiring process top secret to protect both the coaches involved and themselves.
Here's a quick overview of Clint Myers from the Arizona State website:
Softball coach Clint Myers won his second national title in 2011 (also in 2008). In ASU Softball's now 40-plus year history, the sport has only had three coaches. A few of Myers' accolades include:
• Won two NCAA softball titles (2008, 2011) and the rest of the NCAA has won two as well.
• Went 60-6 in 2011, earning the softball staff's second NFCA Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
• Set ASU and NCAA records to leading the program to it's first NCAA title in 2008 with an astonishing 66-5 record which garnered he and his coaching staff 2008 NFCA Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
• After seven completed years he has put together a 377-90 (.807) mark at ASU as well as an 858-131 overall career record as a softball coach (.868 winning percentage).
• Led six of his seven Sun Devils teams WCWS appearances, a school record.
• Recorded his 400th Division I win against Pittsburgh on March 9, 2013.
So, Auburn could get a veteran and winning softball coach and develop a coach-in-waiting to take over around 2020? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for the Tigers if it comes through.