On Jan. 14, the Auburn baseball fanbase received word that fifth-year head coach Butch Thompson would be adding a familiar face to his staff for the Tigers 2020 campaign: Auburn alumnus and four-time MLB All-Star pitcher Tim Hudson.
And there's little doubt that the 44-year-old former pitcher is eager to get to work.
“It’s exciting to see the success they’ve had since Butch has been here and the direction that he’s taken the program,” Hudson said. “... I was thrilled that Butch though enough of me to offer me that position, and I was excited to be a part of it.”
Hudson mentioned that Thompson’s offering of the position on staff came rather unexpectedly to him.
“It was something I wasn’t really expecting at this point, but I’m very happy for the chance” Hudson said.
Despite having played an active role within the program since his departure to the MLB in 1997, the Auburn alum expressed his passion and excitement for taking an on-field role with the Tigers.
“I just enjoy being able to help the boys, trying to help them get better, both on and off the field," he said. “I’ve always been a big supporter of Auburn baseball and everything that we’ve had going on here since I left in ‘97, and I’m just thrilled to death in the direction that Butch has taken the program.”
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Hudson also took time to acknowledge that — despite his experience with major league pitching and his excitement for being a first-time coach in the bullpen — his lack of experience in the position will present a definite learning curve.
“Obviously this is a new thing for me,” Hudson said. “I can’t say I have a lot of experience as a pitching coach, but I think I know my way around the mound a little bit ... the challenging part was getting to know the boys ... the night before I came on campus I was looking at pictures on the internet and names and trying to match them up.”
Although Hudson does have some concerns regarding how ready he is to take on the upcoming season, the pitching coach does find reassurance in mentoring from his skipper.
“I’m going to have Butch to lean on a lot; he has a lot of years with a pitching background," Hudson said.
Hudson said he's not sure a bunch of students around Auburn know his name. He knows fans of years past do, however, and he hopes these Tigers will make a name for themselves with a successful 2020 campaign.
"The work is just about to start with the season just around the corner," Hudson said. "I’m not going to lie, I’m a little more nervous right now than when I was playing. When I was playing, I knew what to expect from myself and how to prepare, but this is a new area for me. I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
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