Following the departure of Steve Smith, who left in December to become the head coach at Tennessee Tech, Auburn has named Tim Hudson as his replacement.
Hudson is no stranger to Auburn fans, playing in the outfield and pitching for the Tigers during the 1997 season. In that season Hudson hit .396 with 18 home runs and 95 RBI.
Hudson was named First Team All-SEC in the outfield and earned even more accolades as a pitcher, going 15-2 with a 2.97 ERA. This earned him SEC Player of the Year and consensus All-American honors.
Head coach Butch Thompson announced the news Tuesday.
"Tim has already impacted Auburn baseball, Auburn University and our community enough to last a lifetime," Thompson said. "But amazing people always seem to have more to give, and that couldn't be more true for Tim and Kim Hudson.”
“I've never been more excited for our current pitchers and future recruits to be able to learn from one of the best competitors of all time," Thompson added. "I believe Tim's experience makes Auburn the premier pitching development experience in amateur baseball. Adding Tim to the mix with Chris Joyner, Anthony Sandersen and Blake Logan will form an elite group of teachers."
Following that season, the right-handed ace entered the MLB draft and was selected in the sixth round by the Oakland Athletics. Hudson spent five seasons as an Athletic before being traded to the Atlanta Braves. Hudson finished his career with the San Francisco Giants where he won a World Series in 2014.
Along with his World Series ring, Hudson was a four-time all-star and won 15 games five different seasons.
Auburn is coming off its first trip to the College World Series since Hudson’s Tigers made it there in 1997.
Hudson will inherit one of the top pitchers in the country in Tanner Burns. Burns was named a second team, preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and named a first team All-American by Perfect Game. Pitcher Jack Owen was also drafted but opted to return to Auburn.
Not only will Auburn return Burns, but the Tigers bring back all but two position players. The NCAA preseason rankings have Auburn at No. 8 just behind fellow SEC school Arkansas.
The Tigers will start their season in a month, hosting Illinois-Chicago kicking on Feb. 14.
Hudson will become a volunteer assistant, since the NCAA only allows two full-time assistants.
"There's no doubt that we have a great pitching staff, and I'll do my best to get to know each of those pitchers to help them be as successful as they can be, both on and off the field," Hudson added. "I'm excited about getting started, and I'm grateful for this chance to rejoin the Auburn baseball family. I can't wait to put that Auburn uniform on again."
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