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Nonemaker Named ABCA Asst Coach of the Year

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Nonemaker named ABCA Assistant Coach of the Year

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AUBURN, Alabama—A valuable member of the current Auburn baseball staff and the recruiting coordinator for Butch Thompson’s Tigers, Karl Nonemaker was rewarded for his hard work on and off the field on Wednesday when the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) named him as the Division I Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the team to a second appearance in the College World Series in the last three baseball seasons.

A former Auburn assistant and All-SEC outfielder at Vanderbilt, Nonemaker returned to Auburn in the fall of 2017 to join Thompson’s staff and has helped the program continue to grow every step of the way by leading the charge in recruiting and also coaching the infield defense for the Tigers. Thompson said Nonemaker's impact in every facet of the program has been invaluable.

"It validates what we already know," Thompson tells Auburn247. "He's the architect of our recruiting. He's done an amazing job with that. He leads our infielders and you can just look at the last three or four years and see how well we've performed defensively. He adds so much value to not only our coaching staff, but adds value to our players. I'm just thankful he's recognized as one of the best in the country because he is. 

"He's going to make an amazing, and he's prepared and ready to be a head coach whenever he finds the right fit and the right match."

Until that time Nonemaker will continue to be a vital part of helping Auburn baseball continue to grow and compete for championships under Thompson.

"Consistency is the word that comes to mind," Thompson said of his staff. "He can coach at a high level and recruit at a high level, teach, forecast (recruiting), all of the things a recruit and coach needs he can do at a high level. He checks so many boxes. Having him for a prolonged period of time gives us stability at a high rate. I keep looking into the future of the next two, three, four years and he has Auburn baseball competitive in a Top 10 space for the foreseeable future with recruiting classes. I tip my hat to him. 

"I always talk about our staff and talk about it being as good as there is out there. An award like this puts some credibility to those statements and beliefs."

Overseeing Auburn’s defensive efforts as well as helping Gabe Gross with the hitting, Nonemaker has helped the Tigers become one of the most consistent defensive teams in the country during his time on the Plains. In 2022, Auburn finished with a team fielding percentage of .981, which put the Tigers in the Top 10 nationally.

Nonemaker's career includes two years playing professionally in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and 11 years coaching at three universities; Old Dominion (2012-17), Monmouth (2010-11) and Auburn. He also spent two years (2008-09) working for Louisville Slugger.

A four-year starter at Vanderbilt from 1999-02, Nonemaker was a freshman All-American in 1999 and first-team All-SEC outfielder in 2000. His .415 batting average as a freshman in 1999 is the 15th best single-season average in SEC history (min. 200 AB) and ninth-best mark in the conference in the last 20 years (min. 200 AB). Nonemaker ranks second in career batting average (.369) and hits (283) for the Commodores.

ODU was 162-124 during his six years, winning 30+ games four times and making an appearance in a NCAA Regional in 2014. During his time at ODU, he was responsible for coaching the hitters, base runners, and outfielders.

In 2017, Nonemaker helped the Monarchs to a 37-21 record, including a 19-11 mark in Conference USA, the best conference win total in the program's four years in C-USA. The program cracked the national polls for the first time in 10 years in 2017.

This season Nonemaker helped tutor three freshman All-Americans and C-USA Newcomer of the Year in infielder Jared Young. He also helped coach shortstop Zach Rutherford, the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and 2016 Cape Cod League MVP.

In 2014, ODU's first in Conference USA, the program advanced to its first NCAA Regional appearance in 14 seasons.

Eight players, all in the last four years, were taken in the MLB Draft during Nonemaker's tenure at ODU, leading up to this year's draft. Among those drafted include LHP Ryan Yarbrough in the fourth round of the 2014 draft by Tampa Bay and P.J. Higgins, a 12th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2015. Higgins is rated the top defensive catcher in the Cubs' organization.

Prior to Old Dominion, Nonemaker served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Monmouth University for two years. In 2011, Monmouth won the NEC regular season title, winning every league series. Nonemaker tutored NEC Player of the Year, and Louisville Slugger/TPX Third Team All-American second baseman Ryan Terry, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays.


A 20th-round draft choice of Philadelphia in 2002, Nonemaker went on to be a member of the Phillies Gulf Coast Championship team in 2002, and in 2003, split the year between the Lakewood Blue Claws (Single-A) and the Reading Phillies (Double-A).


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