By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
Keegan Thompson’s road to Auburn University was no doubt built upon extraordinary talent and unmatched determination.
Although the former Cullman ace wrestled between attending college and making the leap to the major leagues, he ultimately decided that going from a Bearcat to a Tiger was his best bet at future success in the game of baseball.
Enter Scott Foxhall.
Aside from Thompson and his immediate family, most people in the Cullman County area have probably never heard that name brought up during a conversation.
Foxhall has been a coach and one of the top recruiters for Auburn’s baseball team since 2008. He has spent the last three seasons as pitching coach for the Tigers under the recently fired John Pawlowski.
With the hiring of Sunny Golloway, however, Foxhall’s future with the programwas in jeopardy.
Luckily for Thompson, he received a text message on Tuesday morning from Foxhall stating the coach had been retained under Golloway’s new staff.
“I was really relieved about it,” Thompson said. “He was a big part of my recruitment in Auburn. If it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have ended up going there.”
Foxhall was one of the few bright spots for the Tigers during the Pawlowski era.
He’s been the architect of the Tigers’ last several recruiting classes, landing some of the best talent the country has had to offer over the past few seasons. His most recent recruiting class was ranked ninth in the country by Baseball America.
In his 16 seasons as a collegiate coach, Foxhall has seen 54 of his players drafted by a major-league organization, 29 of whom were pitchers. Seven of those were taken within the first 10 rounds of the draft, which can only make Thompson happier about the news.
“He’s a great guy with a great personality,” he said. “My family has gotten close with his family during the time we’ve known each other. I’m really glad they kept him.”
Like many other folks in the Auburn circle, Thompson had little inkling as to whether or not Foxhall was going to be back for the 2014 season.
Fortunately for Thompson and the Tiger squad, coach Golloway made it clear with an announcement on Wednesday, welcoming the veteran coach back into the fold.
“After meeting with Scott on a few occasions and visiting with him, it became very apparent to me that he has the ability and experience to lead our pitching staff towards the championships that we pursue,” Golloway said. “I visited with many high school and junior college coaches in our area, and also talked to many pitching coaches around the SEC, and have heard nothing but rave reviews regarding Scott’s ability."
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at email@example.com.