For the second time in a matter of hours, athletics director Jay Jacobs snatched a big-name coach with a glittering resume for Auburn on Friday night.
Sunny Galloway moves to Auburn after nine seans at Oklahoma
Sunny Golloway, head coach at Oklahoma for the past nine seasons, was named Auburn’s head baseball coach. He replaced John Pawlowski, who was fired after missing out on NCAA regional play for the fourth time in five seasons.
Earlier Friday, ultra successful Arizona State softball coach Clint Myers was named the second coach in Auburn softball program history.
Golloway interviewed earlier in the week in Atlanta, then flew to the Auburn campus on Friday to finalize the deal.
Jacobs chose Golloway over a field of candidates that included Samford head coach Casey Dunn, Liberty head coach Jim Toman, Arkansas assistant Todd Butler, Mississippi State pitching coach Butch Thompson, North Carolina pitching coach Scott Forbes and North Carolina State head coach Elliot Avent. All but Avent were formally interviewed.
Golloway said Auburn's history and the opportunity to coach in the Southeastern Conference were deciding factors.
"I'm really excited about this opportunity, because I've always held the Auburn baseball program in very high regard," Golloway said. "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 said he and his family were quickly impressed by Auburn and Jacobs.
"I had heard quite a bit about Jay and really wanted to meet him," Golloway said. "And right after I met him, I knew it was going to be a great fit. I think that's very important - who you're working with on a daily basis, the commitment to the student-athletes in your program, and making sure that everything is in place to pursue an opportunity to win championships. That's what we want to be about. We want to win championships."
Jacobs said Golloway had the qualities for which he was looking in his search.
"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. "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."
Golloway will be Auburn’s fourth head coach since Hal Baird retired after the 2000 season as the winningest baseball coach in school history. Steve Renfroe went to three consecutive regionals but was fired after missing out in 2004. Tom Slater went to one regional in four seasons before being fired and Pawlowski to one regional in five seasons.
In nine seasons as Oklahoma head coach, Golloway has taken the Sooners to eight NCAA regionals, four super regionals and to one college World Series. His record at Oklahoma is 346-181-1 overall and 116-97-1 in the Big 12. He coached at Oral Roberts from 1996 through 2003, going to NCAA regionals in each of his last five seasons. His overall record is 638-316-1.
This season, Golloway’s Sooners were 43-21 overall, 13-11 in the Big 12 and lost at LSU in a super regional.
Golloway was named the eighth head baseball coach at Oklahoma on July 15, 2005. His appointment was made after successful stints on the Sooner staff as an assistant and interim head coach and at to Oral Roberts.
In 2005, Golloway was elevated from associate head coach to interim head coach on May 1 when Larry Cochell resigned. Golloway rallied the program to a 12-6 mark down the stretch and led the Sooners to a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
When Golloway took over the Sooners in 2005, the team was 23-20 with a seventh-place Big 12 record of 7-11.The team won its last three Big 12 series to move its overall record to 35-26 and its Big 12 record to 14-13, good for a fifth-place finish.
Golloway has won 40 or more games six times at Oklahoma, including the last five straight. His 2010 team went 50-10 and played in the College World Series.
As an assistant, Golloway was part of three Oklahoma teams that played in the College World Series, including the 1994 national champions. With Golloway on the staff, the Sooners beat Auburn in the 1994 College World Series and beat the No. 1 seed Tigers twice in 1995 to win the Oklahoma City regional championship.
Born in Springfield, Mo., Golloway grew up in Stillwater, Okla., and graduated from Stillwater High School in 1979. He attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College in Miami, Okla., for one year before transferring to Oklahoma Christian College, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1984.
Golloway has done graduate work at the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Charlotte, have three children - Sunni Kate, 23, Taylor, 17, and Callen, 7.