After nine seasons, four super regionals and a College World Series appearance, Oklahoma baseball coach Sunny Golloway has decided to leave Norman.
Golloway has accepted the vacant head coaching position at Auburn after flying out to Alabama on Friday for an interview.
Auburn fired John Pawlowski in May after the Tigers missed out on the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the past five years.
On the flip side, OU won the Big 12 Tournament this season during a 43-21 campaign under Galloway's leadership and advanced to a super regional for the second consecutive year.
The Sooners are three years removed from a College World Series appearance and have gone to the postseason in eight of his nine seasons in Norman.
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Golloway is 346-181-1at OU and has led the Sooners to four super regionals; his success at Oklahoma made his decision a shock to some but Golloway said he has desired to coach in the SEC, which he referred to as the most prominent baseball league in the country.
"I'm really excited about this opportunity because I've always held the Auburn baseball program in very high regard," Golloway said. "The history of the Auburn program was a huge factor in making this decision. Secondly, the Southeastern Conference is the top baseball conference in America. Being able to compete in the SEC is a challenge that we look forward to. With our location, we are in a hotbed of talent. We will be able to hit the road recruiting right away, and we look forward to recruiting the best student-athletes to represent this outstanding university."
Golloway might be a Springfield, Mo., native but his Oklahoma roots are deep. He grew up in Stillwater and graduated from Stillwater High School before playing his college ball at Oklahoma A&M Junior College for a season before transferring to Oklahoma Christian, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1984.
His Oklahoma ties are just as tight in his coaching career. He was an assistant at OU from1992-95 and was a part of the Sooners' 1994 national championship run in Omaha. He left to become the coach at Oral Roberts in Tulsa, where he amassed a 335-156 record and was named conference coach of the year on four occasions. He led the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Tournament in his final six seasons at ORU before returning to Norman.
In 17 years as a head coach, Golloway has directed his teams to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and has 12 seasons with 40 or more victories, highlighted by a 50-18 mark with the Sooners en route to Omaha in 2010.
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione released a statement following Golloway's decision.
"We appreciate Sunny Golloway's contribution to the Oklahoma baseball legacy and now look forward to an exciting new chapter for our program," Castiglione said. "This is a place where coaches and student-athletes can realistically aspire for championships, including the national championship, and we anticipate great interest in our head coaching position from top candidates across the country."