Mississippi State

Mississippi State's Butch Thompson headed to take over Auburn baseball program

COURTESY MISSISSIPPI STATE 
 Long-time Bulldogs pitching coach Butch Thompson has been hired as Auburn's head baseball coach.
COURTESY MISSISSIPPI STATE Long-time Bulldogs pitching coach Butch Thompson has been hired as Auburn's head baseball coach.

Long-time Mississippi State pitching coach Butch Thompson has been hired by Auburn as its next baseball coach.

The Tigers position became open when the school fired Sunny Golloway "with cause" on Sept. 27 after 64-54 overall record (23-37 SEC) in two seasons on The Plains. According to the Associated Press, the school has not elaborated on the coach's dismissal.

Thompson is a former Auburn assistant who spent the last seven seasons as Mississippi State's associate head coach and pitching coach. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs officially announced the hiring Thursday.

Thompson was named the 2014 assistant coach of the year by Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association.

He has been part of seven teams that made the College World Series and nine that won conference championships during 23 years as an assistant coach. The Bulldogs were national runners-up in 2013.

Thompson called his new job "the opportunity of a lifetime."

MSU coach John Cohen released the following statement after the hire was made official.

"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," he said. "We are proud and happy for Butch Thompson, and there is no one more deserving of this opportunity. Our nationwide search for a new pitching coach begins immediately. We look forward to the new hire developing our talented group of arms and recruiting tirelessly as we continue our goal of winning championships at Mississippi State."

Auburn's incoming signing class was ranked 10th in the country by Collegiate Baseball, making it the highest-ranked Tigers signing class since 1996.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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