Steve Renfroe, Tommy Slater and, as of Monday, John Pawlowski were forced out after failing to win like Baird won at a naturally challenged program.
But appreciate Baird for more than winning in a non-lottery state, competing in a conference with mostly lottery-state schools and in a sport where coaches spread 11.7 scholarships among nearly 40 players.
Appreciate Baird because he was right in 2004. While serving as interim athletics director, he advised then-interim president Ed Richardson not to fire Renfroe.
Baird wasn’t batting for a long-time assistant. Months after “Jetgate” and amid the SACS probation, he knew Auburn was a hot potato in the coaching ranks. He knew Auburn would look even more hot in firing a baseball coach a year after he produced a No. 4 national seed in the NCAA tournament.
Now, in another year of house cleaning at Auburn, the baseball program appears locked in a cycle of swinging and missing.
Contact Sports Columnist Joe Medley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read “In My Opinion” in every Anniston Star sports section, written by Star staff members.