“I saw a ton of young positional players, I saw some good young arms … I saw a team that was fundamentally sound, that played hard and was talented,” he said. “I really like what we have returning.”
Before Virginia Tech, Hughes led Boston College’s program for eight seasons. Prior to that, he led Division III Trinity, in San Antonio, for two seasons. He still has the Texas contacts he developed at Trinity, though Hughes admitted he’s become accustomed to being “a stranger in a strange land.”
“It’s a matter of getting out there and hustling and communicating with people and making yourself accessible,” Hughes said, adding “families and people that trust you with their sons, if they believe in the (coach) and they respect their work, that’s how you recruit.”
His first recruiting job will be keeping the current roster and recruiting class together. Outfielder Craig Aikin was the only player at Thursday’s press conference. He drove up from his home in Texas.
“I had a feeling in my gut it would happen soon,” Aikin said. “I hoped it would be and I wanted to be here for it. I wanted to be here to make an impression … and be here to kind of represent the team.”
Most college baseball players go home for the summer and play for local teams or travel to play in wood-bat leagues as far away as Alaska or Cape Cod.
The remaining members of OU’s coaching staff — pitching coach/recruiting coordinator Jack Giese, assistant coach Aric Thomas, volunteer assistant Rich Hills and operations director Ryan Gaines — attended Thursday’s press conference. None of them will be joining Golloway at Auburn.
“I’m going to attract the top coaching staff that I possibly can that’s Omaha-worthy,” Hughes said. “I will certainly pay attention to the staff that I inherited. Their track record speaks for itself. There will be no stone unturned.”