Slater Adds New Coach To Staff

Coach Tommy Slater talks about the coach taking over for the departing Chris Finwood.

Tallahassee, Fla.-–With Coach Chris Finwood moving on after this season to be the head man at Western Kentucky, Auburn's Tommy Slater has been looking for a replacement and has found that man in Georgia assistant Butch Thompson. A former pitcher at Birmingham Southern, the 33-year old Thompson is moving divisions in the SEC to be Auburn's chief recruiter and assist with the defense under Slater.

"I'm very excited," Slater says. "Butch Thompson is the former Junior College Coach of the Year in Alabama in 1997 (Jeff State) and the former longtime assistant at Birmingham Southern and the recruiting coordinator at Georgia the last four years. He's done a tremendous job. He's a proven recruiter with a great track record. He recruited all the players for Georgia that went to Omaha and won the SEC a year ago.

"He just knows Alabama and Georgia as good as anybody. We're just thrilled to have such a quality baseball guy on our staff. He's a former head coach. He has head coaching experience and that's important to me. I'm just thrilled that we're adding a guy that is not only a great baseball guy but a tremendous person."

Thompson just finished his fourth season with the Bulldogs, having served as the pitching coach under David Perno. In 2004 Thompson led an experienced and deep pitching staff and they responded by taking the Bulldogs to the College World Series. Georgia went 24-8 in its last 32 games of the season and that included a 12-game winning streak in SEC games.. The pitching staff held opponents to a .258 batting average, which was the lowest in 27 years and third lowest in school history.

Before joining Georgia's pitching staff Thompson was an assistant for seven seasons at Birmingham Southern under coach Brian Shoop. During his tenure at BSC the Panthers won the 2001 NAIA World Series and made three other trips to the world series. During his time at Birmingham Southern the Panthers won 331 games. Before that he was the coach at Jefferson State Junior College in Birmingham.

A 1992 graduate of BSC, he earned a bachelor's in history and in 1996 completed a masters in sports administration from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Thompson played his final two seasons at BSC under Shoop. He began his collegiate career at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss., where he pitched two years for Roy Cresap. Thompson is married to the former Robin Ashe of Birmingham, Ala. and they have three daughters.

With the addition Slater's staff is now complete. Thompson will work with the catchers as his defensive assignment and also assist Karl Nonemaker with the overall defensive team. Slater will continue to coach the offense while Matt Myers will work with the pitchers. Thompson will begin his new job following the conclusion of Auburn's season.


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