Auburn righthander Casey Mize has taken a big step forward this fall (Aaron Fitt)


Fall Report: Auburn

Fall Report

AUBURN, Ala. — It’s easy to forget that Butch Thompson’s first day as Auburn head coach was barely one calendar year ago — Oct. 22, 2015. He came in at the end of the fall and took over a program in turmoil after the dismissal of Sunny Golloway. Given the circumstances, it’s no surprise that Thompson’s first season at Auburn was trying; the Tigers went 23-33 overall and 8-22 in the SEC, as the new coaching staff felt like they were stuck in catch-up mode.

They don’t feel like that anymore. As awkward as the timing of coaching change was, Thompson now sees it as a blessing in disguise.

“I think in 11 months, I’m thankful for where our staff is. I’m thankful for where we’re at — and I know we’ve got nothing to show for it. At the end of the day, you’re 10 games under .500 any way I slice it, any kind of good story I try to put out to you,” Thompson said after a scrimmage last weekend. “But I’m glad that we’re here, because this is our class that came in. If we came in in the summer, this is not our class. So I’m glad we came when we did. I think I’m a better coach, I learned a whole lot. It was a really challenging situation every day. But I give our players a lot of respect, they did a good job. I call it a ‘head start’ now. Everything that seemed like we were behind, and lagging, with the pace of the SEC — I call it a head start now. And that’s a positive way to look at it.”


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