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New Auburn baseball coach Butch Thompson calls new job ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Mississippi State assistant coach Butch Thompson (right) is set to become Auburn's next baseball coach. (Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com)
Mississippi State assistant coach Butch Thompson (right) is set to become Auburn's next baseball coach. (Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com)

Butch Thompson’s new job comes with some familiar colors.

Auburn officially announced the Mississippi State assistant as its next baseball coach Thursday afternoon. He returns to Auburn where he spent three seasons as an assistant from 2006 to 2008.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime to be the head baseball coach at Auburn University,” Thompson said, in a statement. “My entire family is excited to return to The Plains and be part of such a special place.”

Thompson steps in to fill the void left by Sunny Golloway, who was dismissed by athletic director Jay Jacobs before fall practice started in September.

Jacobs cited Thompson’s track record as a pitching coach, and recruiter as deciding factors in the interview process.

“Coach Thompson is widely known and respected as one of the best men in college baseball. He has an outstanding track record as an elite recruiter, and he has been recognized as the best pitching coach in the country. His track record of developing players who have gone on to highly successful careers in baseball is second to none.”

Thompson’s boss at Mississippi State was quick to issue a statement congratulating now former assistant.

“In the last 12 years I have been extremely fortunate to have two of the very best pitching coaches in the nation on my staff both of whom are now head coaches in the Southeastern Conference,” Mississippi State coach John Cohen said. “We are proud and happy for Butch Thompson, and there is no one more deserving of this opportunity.”

Thompson was welcomed on campus Thursday afternoon at the team’s athletic complex, and will be part of an introductory press conference at 4 p.m.

Auburn alum Josh Donaldson also sent out congratulations to Thompson with a tweet that said Thompson was, “back in the Plains where he belongs.” Thompson was a member of the Tigers’ coaching staff during Donaldson’s sophomore and junior seasons.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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