Archived Story

Is Sunny Golloway’s future in doubt?

Published 10:26am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

By Andy Graham
The Outlook

The 2014 NCAA baseball tournament began with a robust 64-team field.
That number has now been whittled down to just eight (UC Irvine, Texas, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, TCU, Ole Miss & Virginia), and those select few have earned their way to Omaha with their play on the diamond.
As I’ve watched this tournament unfold, I’ve been reminded once again of my great love for baseball and my growing desperation to see good baseball played at Auburn University.
I won’t go over all the depressing statistics again, but I will reiterate that the Tigers have only had a winning record in the conference twice in the last 15 years.
Unfortunately, this past season did nothing but add to the ugliness. Auburn’s 10-20 mark in the SEC this year was obviously a giant step in the wrong direction.
There were apparently serious discussions last week within the administration concerning the future of Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway.
Different sources indicated all manner of grievances brought against the first-year coach.
One report mentioned the parents of several players voicing their concerns about the treatment their children had been receiving.  Another report talked about Golloway’s bizarre behavior at times and his generally abrasive personality.
Frankly, I thought it was probably 50/50 whether he would return or not in 2015.
I don’t know if these “reports” and “sources” are 100% accurate, but I do know that AD Jay Jacobs felt the need to publicly address his future late last week.
Jacobs gave Golloway a vote of confidence (usually a kiss of death) and expressed his excitement about the future.
I’m not sure how close Golloway actually came to losing his job, but I’m pretty confident it was at least discussed.
Now that it appears Golloway will be in an Auburn uniform next season, my thoughts quickly turn to the future.
The Tigers knew full well what they were getting in Golloway when he came from Oklahoma. He’s had a reputation of being difficult to work with ever since he’s been a head coach.
However, he also led his two teams to 13 NCAA tournament appearances in 16 years.
History says that if Auburn leaves Golloway alone, he’ll win. The question now, apparently, is at what cost?
I’ve never met Sunny Golloway, so I can’t in good conscience say for a fact what he’s like in person.
I can, although, look at the disturbingly large number of people who celebrate whenever he leaves their particular school.
I can also look at the surprisingly vast amount of turmoil that has surrounded his program on the Plains in a remarkably short amount of time.
It is really worth it?  I’ve said many times how desperate I am for Auburn to be a consistent winner again in baseball, and I suppose a lot of other people felt the same way. That’s how we ended up with Sunny Golloway.
We all want to win so badly that we’re willing to overlook major character flaws to get there.
It’s true that winning cures a lot of ills.  We don’t have to look any further than across the state to see that winning makes an abrasive personality just seem eccentric.
Golloway apparently has the unpleasant personality down pat, but the winning still remains to be seen.
Graham is a sports columnist for The Outlook.