“Aric has some responsibilities right here that make it difficult for him to leave. He needs to be an integral part of the program,” Golloway said. “I have to allow somebody that knows the recruits, that has a relationship with the recruits and that the recruits and current players trust to be here and that they can call on a daily basis as they search. He’s a Sooner through and through.”
One thing is for sure: the program Golloway is leaving is in very good shape. The Sooners had three freshmen All-Americans — outfielder Craig Aikin, catcher Anthony Hermelyn and reliever Jacob Evans. The Sooners lost a lot of talent with pitcher Jonathan Gray, Dillon Overton and first baseman Matt Oberste going in the first seven rounds of Major League Baseball draft, but they were still a young team.
OU also has highly touted recruiting class arriving in August.
“We out-recruited Texas and LSU for some of those guys. We have eight or nine freshmen that played significant roles this past year. This program is not set up for one year, it’s set up for two or three,” Golloway said. “The head coach just has to coach them up and they have to help him get some people in the stands.”
It’s the overlaying issue for OU going forward. Spending money on baseball has not been the problem. In 2012, the last year figures have been reported to the U.S. Department of Education, OU spent $808,135 on baseball. That figure would have placed OU fourth among current SEC schools, trailing only Arkansas, LSU and Florida. It’s more than Auburn ($644,297) was willing to part with that year. Only Texas ($1,003,315) spent more in the Big 12 Conference. OU also spent more than $2 million in facility improvement in Golloway’s tenure and renovations are currently going on at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Clearly, there are some major advantages to being OU’s baseball coach. Golloway, however, saw a greener pasture at Auburn.