FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M baseball head coach Rob Childress announced Wednesday that Andy Sawyers will rejoin the Aggie baseball staff as the team’s associate head coach. He will coordinate the Aggie hitters in addition to working with the team’s catchers defensively.
Prior to a very successful two-year stint at Kansas State, Sawyers spent the 2008 season at Texas A&M helping the Aggies capture a Big 12 Championship and advance to an NCAA Super Regional.
“We are very excited to announce the hiring of Andy Sawyers as our associate head coach,” Childress said. “I have known Andy for some time and have truly been amazed to watch him develop as a coach. He was very successful at Kansas State the last two seasons in helping Coach Brad Hill’s teams to the postseason for the first two times in their school history. He helped take an offense that hit .261 in 2008 to the top of the Big 12 Conference the last two seasons in batting average and stolen bases. They have also been among the top two in the league both seasons in on-base percentage and runs per game. We are truly proud to welcome Andy, his wife Dena and six-month-old son AJ to College Station and the Texas A&M baseball program.”
Sawyers returns to Texas A&M following two seasons at KSU where Sawyers helped the Wildcats transform into one of the top hitting clubs in the Big 12 and advance to the NCAA Regionals in both 2009 and 2010, the first two postseason appearances in school history.
Besides leading the Big 12 in batting average and steals in 2010, Sawyers saw his KSU hitters finish second in the league in runs (448) and RBI (414) despite hitting fewer home runs (39) than any other team in the league. The Wildcats led the Big 12 in both batting average and steals in both of his seasons at KSU, hitting .323 in 2010 and .317 in 2009. Additionally, the Wildcats also stole 149 bases in 2009 to break the school record and tallied 120 steals in 2010 to rank as the third highest season total in school history.
Under Sawyers’ eye, Nick Martini led the league in both batting average (.416) and on-base percentage (.509) en route to Big 12 Player of the Year honors. It was the sixth time in the history of the league that a player coached by Sawyers was named the Big 12 Player of the Year after Matt Hopper (Nebraska) in 2002, Alex Gordon (Nebraska) in 2004 and 2005, and Jose Duran (Texas A&M) in 2008.
“I’m very excited to be back at Texas A&M and have the chance to work with Rob Childress and his staff,” Sawyers said. “The new facility improvements that are on the horizon, the talent level and the unbelievable fan support make this a very special place. My family and I are certainly excited about this opportunity and the chance to be around a lot of people we know.”
Prior to taking his position at KSU, Sawyers joined Childress in the Aggie dugout as the team’s volunteer coach during the 2008 season. While at A&M, Sawyers handled the outfielders and assisted hitting coach Jeremy Talbot, helping the Aggies win a Big 12 regular-season championship and earn a berth into the school’s second-straight NCAA Super Regional. He helped tutor Duran to both Big 12 Newcomer and Player of the Year Awards, as well as five other Aggies who were named All-Big 12 in 2008.
“We are very pleased to welcome Andy Sawyers back to the Texas A&M baseball program,” Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. “He brings with him an impressive list of coaching credentials as well as an understanding of the rich tradition and proud heritage of Aggie baseball.”
Sawyers, a native of Willits, Calif., has also worked alongside Childress at Nebraska where he served as an assistant coach from 2003-07, the last two as the team’s hitting coach. Additionally, Sawyers served as the academic coordinator and worked with the catchers during his time in Lincoln.
After serving as the volunteer assistant at Nebraska in 2000, Sawyers spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons as the head coach at Hutchinson Community College, compiling an 87-30 record and two postseason berths. In 2001, the Dragons went 40-16 and won the Jayhawk West Sub-Regional, while the 2002 squad set a school record with 47 wins and was ranked as high as seventh by the NJCAA.
Sawyers’ coaching career began at Northwestern (La.) State in 1999 as a volunteer assistant coach. That season, the Demons went 38-21 en route to a second-place finish in the Southland Conference.