New Assistant Coaches Excited to Be at Auburn

Auburn's two new assistant baseball coaches talk to Inside the Auburn Tigers about rejoining Coach John Pawlowski's staff.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn baseball head coach John Pawlowski has made it official as assistant coaches Scott Foxhall and Matt Heath have been hired as the newest members of the Auburn coaching staff.

Members of Pawlowski's staff at College of Charleston, Foxhall and Heath both have experience in the SEC and should provide stability to the Auburn program with their histories of performing well with Pawlowski.

"My excitement about being at Auburn is two-fold," Foxhall tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "One, the university is special to me with my background having played here a little bit and both my parents graduated from here.

"The second thing that is special about it is just being with Coach Pawlowski," Foxhall says. "We've been able to form a pretty good team for the last nine years at Charleston. We're excited about continuing that here at Auburn and getting the program to winning the SEC and on a national level."

John Pawlowski is Auburn's new head coach.

A former walk-on pitcher at Auburn who finished his career at College of Charleston the 36-year-old Foxhall has been a big part of the building process for the Cougars in his time as an assistant. Coaching 13 seasons in Charleston, Foxhall is known as a quality pitching coach and his numbers speak for themselves. He says having the staff together at Auburn makes for an easier transition for everyone involved.

"I think any time you have continuity it helps," Foxhall says. "For us we're going to have to figure out Auburn a little bit even though I've been here some before. We're certainly going to have to figure out the current team, but it definitely helps that we don't have to figure out each other. We know each other's habits, work ethics, how to communicate with each other. I think we're a step ahead of the game because of that."

Foxhall helped the Cougars produce four consecutive Southern Conference pitchers of the year heading into the 2008 season and in 2007 the pitching staff led the Southern Conference in strikeouts and opponent batting average. In 2006, the Cougars led the SoCon and ranked second nationally with a 3.02 ERA. Nick Chigges, who posted an 11-2 record, earned All-America honors and was named the Southern Conference's Pitcher of the Year. Right-handers Josh McLaughlin (20th round by the Oakland A's) and Graham Godfrey (34th round Toronto Blue Jays) signed professional contracts.

In 2005, his pitching staff led the Southern Conference with a 4.09 ERA. Brett Harker, a fifth round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies, was named the league's Pitcher of the Year. Lefties Ryan Edell (8th round, Cleveland Indians) and Reid Price (29th, St. Louis Cardinals) were selected in June's Major League Baseball Draft. He led a very young but talented corps of Cougar pitchers to a school and Southern Conference record 47 wins in 2004 and a 4.35 team ERA. Opponents hit a Southern Conference-low .268 against Charleston hurlers.

Foxhall tutored the 2004 Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year in senior Ryan Johnson. Johnson posted a 12-0 record and a 3.40 ERA. Sophomore closer Brett Harker led the SoCon with a school-record 13 saves.

Overall, Foxhall's accomplishments are impressive. During his career he has coached 27 professional players, two Southern Conference Players of the Year, four Southern Conference Pitchers of the Year and one Freshman of the Year, 50 all-conference selections, 16 SoCon all-tournament team members, 14 All-American honorees, five Freshman All-Americans and nine Academic All-Americans, including Phillip Coker earning National Academic All-American of the Year in 2006.

Foxhall, who served as College of Charleston's pitching instructor from 1996-99, helped the Cougars to a 31-24 record and a Southern Conference-leading 4.54 earned run average in 1999. His 1996 Cougar pitching staff ranked in the top 20 in the nation in ERA and included three pitchers drafted in the top 12 rounds of the Major League draft. Scott Oliver was selected in the eighth round by the New York Yankees in 1999.

A player at LSU, Heath comes to Auburn after putting together the most successful offensive season in College of Charleston history. The Cougars broke the school record for home runs while also improving in nearly every offensive category. That's something he did while coaching junior college ball in Florida and the production carried over for the Cougars.

Matt Heath will coach Auburn's offense after a successful two-year stint at the College of Charleston.

In 2008 College of Charleston hit .334 as a team with an unusual high number of 130 home runs. Three players hit more than 20 home runs for the season with Michael Harrington totaling 26 and Jeremie Tice just behind him with 25. In his first year with the Cougars the team hit .350 with 92 home runs. The year before Heath arrived College of Charleston hit .325 with just 39 home runs.

Auburn returns the bulk of talent from a 2007 team that had a very good year offensively led by Freshman All-American selections Hunter Morris and Brian Fletcher along with quality hitters such as Trent Mummey, David Cunningham, Ryan Jenkins, Kevin Patterson and several others. Heath says as a hitting coach it's exciting to think about the talent he has to work with beginning this fall.

"I can't wait to work with these guys," Heath says. "I have started to look at their swings already on video and I can't wait to start working with them. I think really good things are going to happen this year on offense."

At LSU, Heath was a two-time All-SEC Tournament selection, making the team as a catcher in 2001 and an outfielder a year later. In 2002, he led the Tigers in home runs (10) and runs scored (57). That season, he was also selected to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team at the Baton Rouge Regional.

"I'm real excited," Heath says. "I really appreciate coach Pawlowski and Auburn University for giving me the opportunity. I played in the SEC and I know what kind of conference it is. It's probably the most competitive conference in the country. I'm really looking forward to the challenge."

Pawlowski says,"I am really excited about bringing Scott and Matt on board here at Auburn. I think they will be great additions to the Auburn baseball program. They both have a tremendous amount of energy and experience, which will have an immediate impact on our program.

"They have been with me for a number of years and that makes the transition a little easier," Pawlowski said. "That allows me to keep my same system in place and I think Auburn will benefit immediately from the addition of these guys."

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