Sunny Golloway has been named Auburn's head baseball coach, Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs announced Friday. Golloway has spent the past eight seasons as head coach at the University of Oklahoma, where he led the Sooners to seven NCAA Regional berths, four NCAA Super Regionals and the 2010 College World Series.
"I'm really excited about this opportunity because I've always held the Auburn baseball program in very high regard," Golloway said. "The history of the Auburn program was a huge factor in making this decision. Secondly, the Southeastern Conference is the top baseball conference in America. Being able to compete in the SEC is a challenge that we look forward to. With our location, we are in a hotbed of talent. We will be able to hit the road recruiting right away, and we look forward to recruiting the best student-athletes to represent this outstanding university."
Golloway said he and his family were impressed with Auburn as soon as they arrived on campus for a visit with Jacobs on Friday.
"I had heard quite a bit about Jay and really wanted to meet him," Golloway said. "And right after I met him, I knew it was going to be a great fit. 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 an opportunity to win championships. That's what we want to be about - we want to win championships."
Golloway has been a proven winner at each of his head coaching stops. In 16 full seasons as a head coach - eight seasons each at Oklahoma and Oral Roberts - Golloway has amassed a record of 681-337-1 (.669), including 12 seasons with at least 40 wins. He recorded a mark of 346-181-1 (.656) in eight-plus seasons as the Oklahoma head coach, an average of more than 40 wins per season. Prior to the 2013 season, Golloway's winning percentage ranked No. 15 nationally among active head coaches.
This season at Oklahoma, Golloway led the Sooners to a 43-21 overall record, a Big 12 Tournament title, an NCAA Regional title and a Super Regional appearance. His final team at Oklahoma also produced a pair of All-Americans, including pitcher Jonathan Gray, the No. 3 overall pick in last week's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Under Golloway, Oklahoma posted the program's fifth-straight 40-win regular season in 2013, making Oklahoma one of few programs nationally to win at least 40 games in five consecutive years. The Sooners finished third in the Big 12 standings while making the program's sixth-straight NCAA postseason appearance (36th overall). OU finished the 2013 campaign ranked as high as No. 18 in the nation after falling to LSU in the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional.
"The goal in this search was to find a proven winner who can put our baseball program in a position to compete for championships, and we found our man in Coach Golloway," Jacobs said. "His program at Oklahoma is one of only a handful nationally to have won 40 or more games each of the past five years, so his record speaks for itself. After having the chance to hear his vision for Auburn baseball, there is no doubt in my mind he has the tenacity, the passion and the drive to get our program back to a level that matches our strong baseball heritage."
The Sooners hosted three NCAA Regionals under Golloway while appearing in the program's only Super Regional appearances (2006, 2010, 2012 and 2013) and making it back to the College World Series in 2010 for the first time since 1995.
Golloway has 22 years' experience as a collegiate coach. He served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma from 1992-95, helping lead the Sooners to three trips to the College World Series in those four years and a national title in 1994. He took over as head coach at Oral Roberts in 1996, and the Golden Eagles won the Mid-Continent Conference title and advanced to an NCAA Regional in each of his final six seasons at ORU.
He returned to Oklahoma as associate head coach in 2004 and was elevated to interim head coach on May 1, 2005. Two months later, he was named Oklahoma's eighth head baseball coach.
Golloway has produced 80 MLB draft picks in his 16-year tenure as a collegiate head coach, and a total of 113 players have been draft selections in his 22 years in college baseball. He has also coached 94 all-conference selections between his two head coaching stops, including 61 All-Big 12 selections at Oklahoma in the last eight years.
Three of OU's recruiting classes under Golloway have ranked in the top 10 in Collegiate Baseball's national rankings, including the 2007 group of newcomers that was tabbed the fourth best in the country, the highest ranking since 1987 and tied for the second best in program history. At ORU, Golloway posted a mark of 335-156 (.682). He coached 16 All-Americans, three Freshman All-Americans and 26 of his ORU players were drafted or signed professional contracts. He was honored four times as Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year by his peers (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002).
In his final six seasons at Oral Roberts, Golloway was responsible for turning the Golden Eagles into one of the nation's winningest programs. The program flourished under Golloway's guidance and tallied 277 wins in that time, an average of more than 46 victories per season, and a .731 winning percentage. Golloway and the Golden Eagles dominated the Mid-Continent Conference after joining the league in 1998, winning six consecutive regular season and tournament titles, and advancing to six consecutive NCAA Regionals. ORU was an amazing 85-5 in conference play over his last four seasons.
Golloway is a former Team USA assistant and head coach of several collegiate summer teams. In the summer of 2002, he was selected to serve as pitching coach for the USA Baseball National Team. Under his direction, the team recorded the lowest ERA in its history. Golloway also helped team USA to a silver medal
Born in Springfield, Mo., Golloway grew up in Stillwater, Okla., and graduated from Stillwater High School in 1979. He attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College in Miami, Okla., for one year before transferring to Oklahoma Christian College where he received his bachelor's degree in business in 1984. He has also done graduate work at the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma.
Golloway and his wife, Charlotte, have three children: Sunni Kate, Taylor and Callen.