On Tuesday new Auburn baseball head coach Butch Thompson announced the hiring of assistant Brad Bohannon from the University of Kentucky. A young and talented coach and recruiter who has helped build the Kentucky program into one of the most consistent in the league, Bohannon is already on the job with the Tigers as they work towards the early signing period in November.
We had a chance to catch up with Bohannon to talk about the move for him, what made it the right decision, and much more.
ITAT: Talk about making the move now. What was it about this job that made it the right one for you?
Bohannon: “Really, it starts with Butch Thompson. I spent 12 years at Kentucky, which is an eternity in the SEC world. It’s almost like dog years. I had deep roots there and it’s just an awesome place with awesome people. It was certainly tough to leave, but I have a great relationship with Butch and a tremendous amount of respect for him as a person and as a leader. I just felt like it was time for a new challenge and this was the right situation and he was the right man to go to work with.”
ITAT: How important was Butch Thompson being at Auburn and a guy you respect to you taking the job?
Bohannon:”It’s everything. As college coaches at this level you live together, you cry together, you do everything together. All of the other stuff after time, it’s all about relationship.”
ITAT: Butch Thompson is known as a strong recruiter and you’ve done that well in your career. To have a couple of guys who can do that so well the importance of that can’t be understated, can it?
Bohannon: “It can’t. Our league is so competitive and everybody is good. You have to have good players and you have to coach them. It’s all about recruiting and developing, but it starts with recruiting. Butch has a tremendous track record with that and I have done some things as well in different areas and I think we can tag team and cast a pretty wide net.”
ITAT: Any idea what you’re doing to be doing as far as your role? I know you have done outfield work and defense. Is that your focus right now?
Bohannon: “I’m pretty comfortable with all areas of position players. We’re still finishing the staff so we’ll get together and see where the best pieces fit in the right places. Being in the league for so long I’m pretty versatile. I’ll fill in wherever I’m needed.”
ITAT: This timetable was a little different during the year. What made it the right time and the right fit for you?
Bohannon: “There is never a good time to leave. What made it a good time for me is knowing I left a special team at Kentucky that can win a regional and is a legitimate Top 25 team. They’re going to sign an outstanding recruiting class next month. I have a piece of mind that Kentucky baseball is in a lot better place now than when I got there. They are in a good place with tremendous leadership so that gives me comfort.”
ITAT: Now it’s right to work with visits coming up. Are you ready to hit the ground running?
Bohannon: “It’s time to dial it up. I’m still trying to learn the roster, but it looks like it’s an older team which bodes well for the spring. There are going to be some needs to be filled moving forward and we want to make sure we get those taken care of.
“There’s still a lot of good players out there. It’s an awesome place where we can get kids from anywhere. There are still good players available so we’ll be okay.”