Steve Renfroe Out As Auburn Baseball Coach

Steve Renfroe has been head coach at his alma mater for the past four seasons been coach or player during all or parts of five decades.

Auburn, Ala.--Veteran Auburn baseball coach Steve Renfroe is out as head coach of the Tigers after a disappointing 2004 season in which his club did not make postseason play.

The Tigers, who were expected to be one of the top teams in the country, slumped late in the season and finished with a 32-24 overall mark and a 12-18 SEC record.

Coach Steve Renfroe

Renfroe, who is 46, was informed of the decision on Monday by Auburn University interim president Dr. Ed Richardson. Renfroe declined to comment on being fired from his post.

Hal Baird, the special assistant to Richardson who is in charge of the athletic department, did have a comment on Monday. " "This is obviously a difficult day for me based on my 20-year relationship with Steve, including 16 years as my assistant coach. He is and has been loyal to Auburn and our baseball program. Rarely has an individual had the opportunity to serve an institution as a player, an assistant and a head coach. I greatly appreciate those years of service."

A former player and assistant coach at Auburn, Renfroe just completed his fourth season as head coach. His overall record at Auburn as a head coach is 145-92. His teams were 4-6 in NCAA Tournament games.

His first Auburn team posted a 37-21 overall mark and it was 15-15 in the SEC. In 2002 the Tigers were 34-26 overall and 15-15 in the conference again. In 2003 the Tigers 42-21 overall and 18-12 in the SEC.

Each of Renfroe's first three teams made the NCAA Regionals, but none advanced of those squads advanced to the next round. The 2003 team was seeded fourth nationally going into NCAA play, but was upset by Ohio State in the regional played at Plainsman Park.

Steve Renfroe is shown following a game during his rookie head coaching season at AU.

Renfroe served as an assistant to head coaches Paul Nix and Baird from 1981-2000 prior to taking over as head coach in 2001. He played baseball for the Tigers from 1997-2000 and played minor league baseball for the Chicago Cubs in Geneva, N.Y., in 1980 and for the New York ankees in Oneonta, N.Y., in 1981 before joining Nix, his college coach, as an assistant at Auburn.

Renfroe posted a 60-60 record in SEC games after officially taking over as head coach from Baird on Sept. 1, 1999.

"We appreciate the years of service Steve has provided to Auburn, but after looking at the program closely I felt it was time to make a change," Dr. Ed Richardson said in a statement on Monday. "We will begin the search for a new coach immediately."

Counting his time as a player, assistant coach and head coach, Renfroe spent 28 years with the Auburn baseball program. He set an SEC freshman record and AU record with a 23-game hitting steak in 1977. As a senior in 1980, he was named to the SEC All-Western Division team as an outfielder. A native of Lilburn, Ga., he earned his degree at AU in marketing in 1982.

Renfroe spent much of his time at AU as the hitting coach and continued those duties when promoted to head coach. His teams produeced eight of the top 10 batting averages in school history and led the SEC in hitting five of the past 11 seasons. The 1997 Tigers set the school record for team batting average at .341. This year's team hit .279.

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