Thursday, October 4, 2012

SxSE: Auburn Tigers Baseball, 1933-2012

Auburn was once a solid NCAA Regional team, expected to reach the Regionals most years, and occasionally made it farther. But now they would have to be considered a Conference Tournament team at best.  Auburn's average W-L record over the past 10 seasons has been 32-26.

The Auburn Tigers began playing baseball in 1933.

Auburn had 11 different head coaches in the 30 years from from 1933 through 1962, resulting in very little success.

Paul Nix was hired in 1963 and took the Tigers to their first NCAA Regional that season, as well as three more times in his 22 years through 1984. He took Auburn to the College World Series twice, in 1967 and 1976.

Hal Baird coached from 1985 through 2000, taking the Tigers to 9 NCAA Regionals and 2 College World Series (1994 and 1997).

From 2001 to 2004, Steve Renfroe coached the Tigers, reaching the Regionals three times.

Tom Slater took over from 2005 to 2008, reaching the Regionals just once.

John Pawlowski, the current coach, has not had much more success, reaching the Regionals in only one of his four seasons at the helm (2010).

In the 13 yeas from 1993 through 2005, the Auburn Tigers were in the NCAA Regionals 11 times, hosted 3 times, and made the College World Series twice.

In the 7 seasons from 2006 through 2012, Auburn was in only one Regional, which they hosted in 2010.

Notable Auburn Ballplayers

2012 Auburn Baseball

The 2012 Auburn Tigers posted a 31-28 overall record, 12-17 in the SEC.  They played in the SEC Tournament but did not make it to the NCAA Regionals.

Alabama, Auburn baseball endure droughts during SEC golden age (al.com, 5/22/12)
From 1988 to 1999 . . . Auburn got to the CWS twice and was fifth in the SEC for NCAA postseason wins. In the subsequent 12 years without ... reaching Omaha, Alabama tied for eighth in the SEC for NCAA Tournament wins and Auburn ranked 11th.
. . .
Consider this: In 2010, LSU spent $7.4 million on baseball and produced $9.2 million in revenue. Alabama and Auburn baseball combined for $4.5 million on costs and $762,726 in revenue in 2010.
. . .
Unlike football and basketball, baseball relies on partial scholarships because the NCAA maximum is 11.7 per team. The more a coach can stretch out that athletic aid by using other resources, the better off he is.

Most SEC teams other than Auburn and Alabama benefit from state-funded academic scholarships. Many are paid for by a lottery, which Alabama and Mississippi don't have. States with lottery money can offer in-state players who qualify for academic aid a better financial deal than Alabama and Auburn and save the 11.7 for out-of-state players.

"It's a huge advantage," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "When your scholarship dollars can be stretched and you have other resources to use, it makes an unbelievable difference."

Many SEC schools, including Mississippi State, also use out-of-state waivers, former Alabama coach Jim Wells said. These schools allow out-of-state students who meet academic criteria to be charged the cheaper in-state rate.

Pawlowski declined to say if Auburn waives out-of-state tuition.

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