Butch Thompson Heads to Auburn as Head Baseball Coach


Sep 19, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs live mascot Bully XXI (Jak) is seen before the game against the Northwestern State Demons at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 62-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The Mississippi State baseball team now has a big hole to fill. After weeks of speculation, Butch Thompson is officially joining Auburn’s baseball team as its head coach.

Rumors had been spreading for a while, but it was made official this morning. Robbie Faulk of 247sports. com sent out this tweet earlier today.

Butch Thompson is going to be best remembered for his work with the 2013 Mississippi State baseball team. He threw the traditional line of thinking about how to manage a staff out the window, and Thompson implemented something no one had ever seen before or thought possible when it came to pitching.

Instead of building a rotation and pitching staff around its starters, Thompson decided to use the strength of his staff, which was the bullpen, and give them the bulk of the innings. The only starter on the team who was able to go consistently deep into games was Kendall Graveman. After his usual Friday start, the starter normally only went 2 or 3 innings before giving way to the Bullpen.

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It was unconventional but it worked. The best pitchers on the staff were in the bullpen. Chad Girodo, Ross Mitchell, Ben Bracewell put up big innings and shut opposing hitters down out of the bullpen. Once the team got to the 8th or 9th, the game was then turned over to the stud closer Jonathan Holder who would “cut ’em down”.

Butch Thompson successfully navigated a difficult situation and led the pitching by the Bulldogs led the team to a place no Mississippi State team had ever been, an appearance in the National Championship.

Mississippi State lost the National Championship series two games to none, but it was still a tremendous performance by the staff of Butch Thompson. We wish him well as he goes to Auburn, just not well enough to finish ahead of Mississippi State.

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