Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Pawlowski is out, but AU baseball woes go deeper than him
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
May 27, 2013 | 6845 views |  0 comments | 76 76 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Tigers will miss the NCAA tournament for the third straight year. (Photo by Dave Martin/Associated Press)
The Tigers will miss the NCAA tournament for the third straight year. (Photo by Dave Martin/Associated Press)
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Auburn missed the NCAA baseball tournament for the third straight year, and blame the coach who was fired Monday, John Pawlowski, all you want, but this program didn’t fall off the ledge just recently.

This is the seventh time in eight years Auburn has missed the tournament. The Tigers made it 10 times during 1993-2003. In 2004, Auburn missed the tournament and responded by firing the fourth-year coach, Steve Renfroe, who is now the head baseball coach at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham. The Tigers had only one winning season in the SEC under Renfroe

Tom Slater took over the slumping program and remained four years, taking the Tigers to the 2005 NCAA tournament, although his Auburn teams never finished higher than fifth in the SEC West. He resigned after the 2008 season to join the New York Yankees’ minor league staff and now serves as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator.

Pawlowski completed five years in the job, with one NCAA tournament appearance. In 2010, Auburn hosted a regional and finished second. Like Renfroe, he has had only one winning season in the league.

The SEC is a tough league, with nine teams making the NCAA tournament. It’s been a tough year for Auburn all the way around anyway. The Tigers are the first SEC school in 50 years to go winless in the league in football, finish last in basketball and finish last in their division in baseball. For good measure, they were next-to-last in the division in softball – and that coach, Tina Deese, was fired.

You can go get a new baseball coach, but will it really solve anything? Then again, weren’t some folks asking the same thing about Alabama football in 2006?

Contact Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Read "In My Opinion" in every Anniston Star sports section, written by Star staff members.
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