Less than a week after Oklahoma's season ended in the NCAA Super Regionals, Sooners baseball coach Sunny Golloway is headed to the SEC.
Golloway was announced as Auburn's coach Friday night, ending his nearly nine-year run at Oklahoma.
“I'm really excited about this opportunity because I've always held the Auburn baseball program in very high regard,” Golloway said in a release. “The history of the Auburn program was a huge factor in making this decision.”
Auburn has appeared in four College World Series without a title. Oklahoma has appeared in the CWS 10 times, winning twice.
The Sooners' last appearance came in 2010 under Golloway.
Golloway said the fit with Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs was also important.
“Right after I met him, I knew it was going to be a great fit,” Golloway said. “I think that's very important — who you're working with on a daily basis, the commitment to the student-athletes in your program, and making sure that everything is in place to pursue the opportunity to win championships.”
After interviewing for the job earlier in the week, Golloway and his family toured Auburn's campus Friday afternoon, AL.com reported, before the school made the announcement of his hiring a few hours later.
He is expected to be formally introduced at a Saturday morning news conference.
“We appreciate Sunny Golloway’s contribution to the Oklahoma baseball legacy and now look forward to an exciting new chapter for our program,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement. “This is a place where coaches and student-athletes can realistically aspire for championships, including the national championship, and we anticipate great interest in our head coaching position from top candidates across the country.”
Castiglione said a national search for the next head coach was already underway.
Oklahoma won 40 games for the fourth consecutive year this season, winning the Big 12 Tournament for the first time in Golloway's tenure and winning the Blacksburg, Va., Regional. The Sooners finished the year 43-21, making the Super Regionals for the second consecutive season.
Golloway, a Stillwater High and Oklahoma Christian University graduate, was 346-181-1 as the Sooners' head coach. Golloway was also the head coach at Oral Roberts for eight years.
Golloway's teams have made a regional in 14 of his 15 years as head coach. The Sooners missed a regional in only 2007 under Golloway.
At Auburn, he replaces John Pawlowski, who was fired after missing NCAA regionals for the fourth time in five seasons.
After coming to Oklahoma as an assistant under Larry Cochell after the 2003 season, Golloway was named the interim head coach in 2005 after Cochell resigned amid controversy over racially insensitive remarks.
Following the season, longtime Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson was named as Cochell's permanent replacement. A few hours later, though, Stephenson decided to stay with the Shockers. Three days later, OU lifted Golloway's interim tag.
Stephenson, a former OU assistant himself, was fired earlier this month after 36 seasons with Wichita State.
Golloway's hire comes on the same day Auburn hired Arizona State softball coach Clint Myers, who won two Women's College World Series titles with the Sun Devils.