Butch Thompson Moves To Improve Tigers’ Hitting—Hires Nonemaker
Karl Nonemaker will return to Auburn. (photo: ODU Athletics)
It didn’t take Auburn baseball coach Butch Thompson long to replace departed assistant Brad Bohannon. Just one week after Bohannon was named the new coach at Tuscaloosa, Thompson tapped old friend Karl Nonemaker to be his recruiting coordinator.
The two worked together at Auburn from 2005-2007, serving as Auburn assistants on Tom Slater’s staff. Nonemaker comes to Auburn from Old Dominion University where he was the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach for the past six years. The hire appears to be more about correcting the Tigers’ deficiency at the plate than hiring a friend or replacing a recruiting coordinator.
Nonemaker’s on field responsibilities will be to coach hitting, an area that needs improvement for Auburn to reach the next level. The Tigers were pretty good this season when facing fastball pitchers but struggled whenever they came up against offspeed hurlers. That was the case in the Tigers losing four shutout games this season, including the championship game of the NCAA Regional.
Hitting is an area Nonemaker knows something about, both as a coach and a player. He was a four-year starter at Vanderbilt from 1999-2002, a freshman All-American in 1999 and first-team All-SEC in 2000. He still ranks second in career batting average (.369) and hits (283) at Vandy, and his .415 average in 1999 stands as the ninth-best SEC batting average in the last 20 years. In addition he’s helped eight ODU players be taken in the MLB Draft in the last four seasons.
“We got everything we were looking for in Karl Nonemaker. We wanted someone with experience coaching and playing in the SEC, someone who is a great recruiter that could work with our hitters,” said Thompson. “[And,] Karl has been at Auburn, and understands Auburn. That’s very important.”
Nonemaker said, “It is kind of surreal to come back to the place where I got my first coaching job at such an exciting time. I understand the expectations at Auburn and can assure the players, coaches, and Auburn family that they will get my very best.”
Welcome back Coach and …