New Beginning Exciting For AU Baseball

Auburn pitchers Paul Burnside and Austin Hubbard talk about the hiring of new coach John Pawlowski.

Auburn, Ala.--When Auburn hired John Pawlowski on Friday to be the new baseball coach several current Tigers were on hand to welcome him when he arrived for his press conference to be introduced to the public. Among the players on hand were pitchers Paul Burnside and Austin Hubbard.

Known for his prowess both on the mound and a coaching pitchers from his time at Clemson as a player and coach to his recent success at the College of Charleston, Pawlowski has been successful wherever he's been and that is especially good news when talking with a pair of pitchers.

"It's definitely exciting and particularly for me as a pitcher hearing everything he's done as a pitcher himself and coaching other pitchers at Clemson and College of Charleston," Burnside says. "I've talked to a couple of guys that knew him and said on and off the field, that was probably the most exciting part, they said as a person he's top-notch and it doesn't get any better. I'm looking forward to getting to know the person and the coach."

Austin Hubbard

For Hubbard the fact that he's been successful comes as no surprise once he had a chance to meet him and then sit in and listen as he told his plans for the future and what his teams would be like at Auburn.

"It's huge news," Hubbard says. "One of the things we all noticed was 'blue-collar'. Down South that's just how we are. I was really excited to hear him say that. From the pitching aspect I'm really excited because he's got a really good resume. He had Billy Koch, who was the fourth pick that year. He's coached a lot of good guys."

In 1996 under Pawlowski's guidance as pitching coach, Clemson led the nation in ERA with Koch and number one overall selection Kris Benson. In five years at Clemson Pawlowski had 15 pitchers drafted and also the recruiting coordinator he had Top 10 classes in each year.

Both Burnside and Hubbard were supposed to be big parts of the 2008 pitching staff, but it didn't work out that way for either as Burnside was injured during a baseball camp in December and Hubbard never got in the groove all season long. With a fresh start both say they're excited to be getting back on the field, particularly Burnside.

"I feel real good," Burnside says. "Everything with my rehab is getting better every day. Obviously I'm looking forward to see what he has to show me. I look forward to learning new things every day and he's got a lot to teach. It should be fun."

Now Pawlowski will begin to try to contact the rest of his new team to get to know them before they get back on the practice field in the fall. Burnside says they tried to notify as many of the guys as they could before the announcement was made and now all that is left is a new beginning.

"We told them while we were on our way over," Burnside says. "We told them we just got a call and we're going to meet our new coach. They're all in Massachusetts and Virginia right now so they don't get a chance to meet him for another month or two. It's pretty exciting. I'm ready to see what happens.

"We're excited to bring him in," Hubbard adds. "He seems like a really great guy. He's very likeable. We're excited."

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