NORMAN — The search is over. Oklahoma has found their next baseball coach, and this one isn't turning back.
Just four days after Gene Stephenson accepted the position and then bolted back to Wichita State, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione didn't waste any time realizing the man for the job was already on campus.
On Friday, Castiglione officially gave the reigns of the Oklahoma baseball program to interim head coach Sunny Golloway.
"We feel that we have found someone that shares the unwavering commitment to our vision, our values and passion that we have to build an outstanding baseball program and to help our student-athletes be the best they can be," said Castiglione during Friday's press conference.
"The coach we are introducing has demonstrated enormous passion for the University of Oklahoma and has demonstrated exceptional skill. He's been here as an assistant one other time and then left a head coaching position to come back here and be an assistant again. He has committed his talented skills to help this program become better, become more competitive and become, obviously, more successful in everything we do."
"Much has been made about the process," said Golloway during his press conference with the media on Friday. "At no time did I ever feel that this coaching search wasn't in the best interest of the University of Oklahoma, and I mean that sincerely. I will tell you that Gene Stephenson has an impeccable record and a hall of fame type coach. He's No. 1 in winning percentage and I felt that it was no foul in Gene Stephenson being named the head coach at that time."
"Let's make very clear that this program deserved the opportunity and time to go out and try to find who they felt would be the very best person for this position. During the process, we accepted it and stayed the course. We are very excited about the opportunity and outcome."
Golloway, who took over the OU baseball program after Larry Cochell resigned on May 1 and promplty led the Sooners to a 12-6 record down the stretch and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, is not stranger to being in charge of a Division 1 program.
Before coming to Oklahoma to work under Cochell two years ago, Golloway took Oral Roberts to six consecutive NCAA Tournaments while also leading the Golden Eagles to a 335-156 record in eight seasons. He also coached 16 All-Americans and 26 of his players either were drafted or signed professional contracts.
And when you factor in Golloway's record last season after taking over for Cochell with his work at Oral Roberts, he ranks 10th nationally among active coaches in winning percentage (.681).
"My family and I are extremely excited about the opportunity, but we are also equally humbled about the opportunity to lead this program," said Golloway, who was an assistant on OU's national championship team in 1994. "We understand clearly what it entails at the University of Oklahoma and we accept this knowing that. Again, we are very humbled about this opportunity."
The Golloway File
Golloway excited about new position
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