Fall Report: Auburn

Fall Report

AUBURN, Ala. — Hanging around the Auburn Tigers as they went through a fall scrimmage a few weeks ago, the first thing that seemed obvious to me is that head coach Butch Thompson has nearly completed a concerted effort to do a make-over of the program.

It seems that the tumult of the Sunny Golloway era and the ugly end it came to is long in the rear view mirror now. The energy around Thompson and the program is palpable and evident.

“When we started at this time last year it started to feel like everything was finally at a normal place,” Thompson said. “And this fall it feels like every player is a player we have a connection to or brought into our program. There is a different feel to it now.”

The Tigers got back on track last season, going 37-26 overall, finishing 16-14 in conference play and most importantly, pushing Florida State to the brink in the Tallahassee Regional finals.

“I felt last year that we kinda steadied the program,” Thompson said. “We felt like we were one pitch away and just wanted to do more, but at the same time we knew we were doing something pretty special here as long as we keep paying attention to detail and working hard.”

Thompson, heading toward year three of his reign on the Plains, said that this fall was spent like so many other coaches try to do each fall: “just trying to change the culture.” He and his staff have 17 players from last year’s squad returning and melding with 17 newcomers. But this year’s incoming class has been highly lauded and should feature a number of difference-makers.

“It seems like last fall the vision of having a good team was a little more of a dream,” Thompson said. “But going into this fall, it’s like we could actually see it. It’s not just a dream, it’s tangible. We feel like we can seize it every day. It feels good right now.”

Here is how things break down for the Tigers in the closing days of their fall practices.


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