Butch Thompson was named Auburn's head baseball coach, Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs announced on October 22, 2015. Thompson, who spent three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Auburn from 2006-08, returns to the Plains after seven seasons at Mississippi State as both associate head coach and pitching coach.
Widely regarded as one of the premier pitching coaches in the country, Thompson was named the 2014 Baseball America and American Baseball Coaches Association National Assistant Coach of the Year while at Mississippi State.
In 23 years of coaching at the collegiate level, including 13 in the Southeastern Conference, Thompson has coached seven College World Series participants, including a national runner-up finish, won nine conference championships and made 14 postseason appearances. He has also served as an assistant under three National Coach of the Year recipients.
In seven seasons at MSU, Thompson made four NCAA regional trips, two Super Regionals, won the SEC Tournament and advanced to the College World Series finishing as NCAA runner-up in 2013. In three of the last four seasons, the Bulldogs' staff ERA finished no higher than 3.06. Thompson's 2013 pitching staff was one of two nationally to finish in the top 15 in ERA, strikeouts per nine innings and hits allowed per nine innings.
Additionally, Mississippi State was 168-4 under Thompson the last four seasons when holding a lead after eight innings.
Thompson is considered one of the top recruiters in the country. Since 2003, he has secured nine recruiting classes that were ranked in the top 10 by either Baseball America or Perfect Game. His classes signed from 2006-08 at Auburn each ranked in the top 18 nationally including the No. 5 class nationally in 2008 which included All-American and SEC Player of the Year Hunter Morris.
Player development has been equally important for Thompson, who has turned 23 student-athletes who went undrafted out of high school into Major League Baseball draft picks.
A native of Amory, Miss., Thompson has coached 22 Division I All-Americans and 29 all-conference honors. In 2014, former Mississippi State pitcher Kendall Graveman became the ninth player Thompson tutored to pitch in the big leagues.
Thompson had three pitchers drafted in the first 11 rounds of the 2014 MLB Draft, and in 2013 five of his pitchers were drafted including three in the top 10 rounds.
In addition to his experience at Auburn and Mississippi State, Thompson also spent five seasons at Georgia from 2002-05, including a trip to the College World Series in 2004.
Thompson launched his coaching career as pitching coach and top assistant at Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Ala.) in 1993, before returning to his alma mater in Birmingham, where he helped lead the Panthers to back-to-back Southern States Conference championships and in 1995 coached BSC to its first NAIA World Series berth.
Thompson left BSC briefly to serve as head coach at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham in 1997. While at JSCC, he was honored as the Regional Tournament Coach of the Year, the ABCA Alabama Junior College Coach of the Year and the Southeast Region Coach of the Year after guiding JSCC to a 39-21 mark, the AJCAA Region 22 State Championship and a third-place finish in the NJCAA Division II World Series.
He returned to Birmingham-Southern as top assistant the following season, beginning a four-year run during the most successful span in BSC baseball history. The Panthers won 196 games and four TranSouth Conference championships and made three-consecutive appearances in the NAIA World Series. BSC's 2001 team posted a school-best 55-11 mark and captured the NAIA National Championship.
In 2002, Thompson joined the SEC baseball coaching fraternity, beginning a four-year term as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Georgia's 2003 recruiting class was ranked 10th nationally, while capturing the SEC title in 2004 en route to advancing to the NCAA College World Series.
Thompson, honored as the 2006 Fellowship of Christian Athletes SEC Coach of the Year, has shared his expertise as a featured speaker at numerous baseball coaching clinics throughout the United States.
Thompson prepped at Amory (Miss.) High School and later starred as a pitcher at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College from 1989-90. On Oct. 25, 2014, Thompson was inducted into the ICC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Coach Thompson Quick Facts
(As of October 27, 2015)
|2015-Present||Auburn - Head Coach|
|2012-2015||Miss. State - Assoc. Head Coach|
|2009-2012||Miss. State - Asst. Coach|
|2006-2008||Auburn - Asst. Coach|
|2002-2005||Georgia - Asst. Coach|
|1998-2001||Birmingham South. - Asst. Coach|
|1997||Jeff. State CC - Head Coach|
|1994-1996||Birmingham South. - Asst. Coach|
|1993||Huntingdon - Asst. Coach|