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Tigers hire Daron Schoenrock

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Tim Hudson leaves Auburn baseball staff for Lee-Scott; Tigers hire Daron Schoenrock

By Tom Green | tgreen@al.com
5-6 minutes

Tim Hudson

Auburn pitcher Chase Isbell (43) in for Carson Skipper (29) talks with with catcher Nate LaRue (28) and pitching coach Tim Hudson (15) in the sixth inning during an NCAA College World Series baseball game Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson)AP

Auburn legend Tim Hudson is stepping down as the Tigers pitching coach after three seasons to take over as head coach at Lee-Scott Academy, where his son is entering his senior year of high school.

Auburn announced Hudson’s departure Monday afternoon while also naming his replacement on Butch Thompson’s staff: veteran pitching coach Daron Schoenrock.

“Auburn University has been special to my family and I for nearly three decades, and I couldn’t thank Butch and his staff more for the opportunity to give back to the program during the last three seasons,” Hudson said. “Being able to help lead these young men back to Omaha was something I will cherish forever. We have two daughters attending Auburn this fall, and our son will be a senior in high school. It is time for me to devote my time and energy to my family during this important and busy season of their lives.

“Auburn baseball is in great hands, and I look forward to cheering them on from Plainsman Park.”

A four-time MLB All-Star, Hudson spent 17 years in the majors before retiring at the end of the 2015 season. He won 222 games during his stories professional career, which included a World Series title in 2014 with the San Francisco Giants. Prior to his MLB tenure, Hudson was a standout two-way player for two seasons on the Plains after transferring to Auburn from JUCO.

During the 1996-97 seasons, he posted a 3.07 ERA and 255 strikeouts and held opponents to a .211 batting average in 45 career appearances on the mound. Hudson also hit .379 with 102 RBI, 21 home runs and a .419 on-base percentage during his two seasons at Auburn, which included an All-America campaign in 1997, when he was the SEC Player of the Year and helped guide Auburn to a College World Series appearance.

He returned to the program prior to the 2020 season.

While Hudson’s first two seasons on Thompson’s staff were impacted by the pandemic, his influence paid dividends this season as Auburn made a return to the College World Series behind a pitching staff that posted a collective 4.49 ERA and held opponents to a .255 batting average on the season. Under Hudson the last three seasons, Auburn’s pitching staff ranked top-50 nationally in ERA twice and struck out a combined 1,330 batters in 1,202 1/3 innings. That included a program-record 666 strikeouts this past season.

Now Hudson will take over at Lee-Scott to coach his son, Kade, whose junior varsity team he previously coached before joining Thompson’s staff at Auburn.

“The whole college baseball world recognizes Tim’s enhanced legacy as our pitching coach the last three seasons,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day, he earned his Auburn degree and helped lead our program back to the College World Series. No student-athlete has given more back to their university, and Tim’s desire to work hard every day is an amazing example to respect and strive for.”

With Hudson’s departure, Thompson tabbed Schoenrock as the Tigers’ new pitching coach. A 38-year coaching veteran, Schoenrock comes to Auburn after spending the last 18 seasons as head coach at Memphis. Schoenrock and Thompson first crossed paths more than 30 years ago, when Schoenrock served as Thompson’s pitching coach during his playing days at Birmingham-Southern.

“I could not be more excited to welcome my college pitching coach to our staff at Auburn,” Thompson said. “Daron and his wife Carol have impacted so many along their baseball journey. He is an elite teacher with an incredible track record. Our pitchers will be cared for and developed at the highest rate possible in college baseball.”

Along with his time at Birmingham-Southern and Memphis, Schoenrock also has seven seasons of experience as a pitching coach and recruiting coordinator in the SEC, including the 1998-99 seasons at Kentucky, 2000-01 seasons at Georgia and 2002-04 seasons at Mississippi State. During his 38-year career, Schoenrock has sent 111 players into professional baseball, including 68 pitchers, nine of whom have made it to the big leagues. That includes 2006 Cy Young winner Brandon Webb, six-time MLB All-Star Jonathan Papelbon (11th on the MLB career saves list) and 10-year MLB veteran Paul Maholm, who was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2003 draft.

“It is a tremendous honor to join Coach Thompson and the entire Auburn baseball family,” Schoenrock said. “The culture he has built, the staff he has assembled, and the success they have achieved are second to none. I can’t wait to build upon the outstanding groundwork that has been established for Auburn Tiger pitching by Coach Thompson and Coach Hudson.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

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Auburn legend Tim Hudson is stepping down as the Tigers pitching coach after three seasons to take over as head coach at Lee-Scott Academy, where his son is entering his senior year of high school.

Well, that right there is the best reason to step down.  I hope he and his son have a great senior season.  The memories alone would be worth the change of venue.

Edited by I_M4_AU
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