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Pawlowski Out at Auburn, Jacobs Starts His Third Coaching Search This Year

By on May 27th, 2013 in Baseball 6 Comments »

After Auburn Baseball failed to make the NCAA Tournament today for the third consecutive year, John Pawlowski was fired as the Tigers’ head coach. In making the decision, Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said a change was “necessary to help us achieve the goal” of playing for championships.

The Tigers finished the regular season strong, going 12 – 9 in league play including series wins over Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Florida. But an early exit from the SEC Tournament saw a drop in their RPI rating. That coupled with a poor out of conference schedule prevented them from making the NCAA.

However, it was more than the failure to make the 64-team field that brought about Pawlowski’s dismissal. Auburn has failed to make the NCAA in four of the last five years and only got into the SEC Tournament the last two because of tournament expansion first to 10 and then 12 teams this year.

The Tigers finished 33-23 overall and 13-17 in the SEC. They were 20-5 in non conference games, but only played one team with an RPI of better than 100 (College of Charleston).

Even though Coach Pawlowski came to Auburn with an impressive resume (three league championships and a 338–192-1 record at Charleston) he just couldn’t seem to get the Tigers playing consistently. There have been flashes of good spells but Pawlowski built his teams on Juco transfers and while that’s a formula for short term success; you just can’t sustain a winning program on transfers.

With the exception of the 2010 season when Auburn hosted a regional, the Tigers have finished in the bottom half of the league every year.

This writer has been a supporter of Pawlowski in this space but it became obvious even to this homer that this would be his last year at the helm, if he didn’t get the job done. The truth of the decline in the program since Hal Barid and Steve Renfroe left has been painfully clear.

And so now we wait to see who Jay Jacobs will be choosing as the new baseball coach at Auburn. Early names already surfacing in the rumor mill are former Auburn player and Samford Head Coach Casey Dunn, Troy Head Coach Bobby Pierce. and North Carolina pitching coach Scott Forbes.

No matter whether its one of these early names or someone else, the pressure is on Athletic Director Jay Jacobs to get it right. With the end to what has been the lowest year in Auburn’s major sports coming to a close … there simply are no mulligan’s left for him to hit.


  1. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Obviously I like your mulligan golf reference. I actually thought it would be a couple of days. After some more thinking about it I was not surprised the trigger was pulled so quickly. Waiting for too long has bitten him in the butt already. Maybe he is learning from his mistakes. I hope so.

  2. AETiger AETiger says:

    Jay, please fire yourself.

  3. WoodrowAU95 says:

    Besides Casey Dunn, who are some names floating around? I know Dunn played and coached @ AU, but I’m not too familiar with his coaching success @ Samford. Can someone share their opinion on him as well? WDE!!

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      It’s still early but the three names I listed in the article above are the ones I heard about the last couple of days. And you can click on Casey Dunn’s name in the article to read a bio on his time at Samford.

  4. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Casey Dunn is one of the top coaches under 40….nationally. This would be a pretty forward thinking hire—which sadly means that unless JJ has someone holding his hand (or feet to the fire), it won’t get done.

    It gives me a warm fuzzy whenever I see the CofC cougs mentioned in an Auburn article. My two favorite places…….

  5. mstrowd says:

    Three major sports. Dead last in all three. Two coaches fired. All of them should have been. But, in reality, is it really the coach? Or, is the problem deeper than that? Has Jay Jacobs developed a system at Auburn that creates an impossible situation for success? Are the coaches the problem or does the crux of the issue lie with the leadership above them?

    In my opinion, the problem is much deeper than the coaches who are in place. The problem is that we do not have leadership at the highest level. Instead, we have a puppet “yes man” who is a terrible leader. Jay Jacobs has destroyed the Auburn Athletic Program. I have asked the question many times before, and I will ask it again. When will the Auburn Family finally say “enough is enough”?

    The players, fans, and alumni deserve better than this. #FireJayJacobs