“I have concluded it is time for our baseball program to move in a new direction,” Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “We have a rich baseball heritage and our goal is to compete for championships. I believe a change is necessary to help us achieve that goal, and I look forward to finding a coach who can get us there.”
Pawlowski was 167-126 in five years at Auburn. He was 71-79 in SEC play, including a 13-17 this season. When the NCAA tournament field was announced Monday morning, the Tigers were not among the nine SEC teams picked.
“I appreciate the opportunity I had here at Auburn and I wish nothing but the best for this program and Auburn University,” Pawlowski said in a released statement. “I’m grateful for the student-athletes that have played in this program, and I wish them all the success in the future.”
Pawlowski’s best year at Auburn was 2010, when the Tigers went 43-21 overall, won the SEC West with a 20-10 conference record and played host to an NCAA regional. They lost to Clemson in the regional final.
Auburn has not had a winning SEC record since, going 14-16, 13-17 and 13-17.
The Tigers made the SEC tournament four times in Pawlowski’s tenure, going 2-7. They lost 6-3 to rival Alabama during Tuesday’s single-elimination round of the expanded league tourney.
“I want to thank Coach Pawlowski for all he has done for Auburn baseball over the past five years,” Jacobs said. “Coach Pawlowski worked extremely hard throughout his time here, and he has been a great representative for Auburn University.”
Pawlowski is the third-winningest coach in Auburn history, behind Hal Baird and Paul Nix, and picked up his 500th collegiate victory this season. All three Auburn coaches since Baird have been forced out, including Steve Renfroe and Tommy Slater.
Pawlowski replaced Slater, coming to Auburn after going 338-192-1 record in nine seasons at the College of Charleston. He won three Southern League regular-season titles there.
Sports columnist Joe Medley: 256-235-3576, firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @jmedley_star.