“It clearly is part of the equation,” Golloway said. “You clearly have a better home-field advantage with more people in the stands.”
Golloway said the fans who routinely attended games at L. Dale Mitchell Park were great, but the inability for OU baseball games to register as must-see events was discouraging.
The only major accomplishments missing from Golloway’s resume at OU were a national championship or a Big 12 regular-season title.
“I think the lack of a regular-season title has a lot to do with our attendance and our teams going to Texas and playing in front of 8,000 fans and Texas coming here and playing in front of less than 2,000,” he said. “It’s been tough on the University of Oklahoma’s baseball program to not have the support of larger crowds.”
The other issue was the status of the Big 12 Conference in college baseball. In 2009, the league sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament and was clearly a power league.
This year, they were down to three.
Shrinking from 12 to 10 teams has something to do with the lack of NCAA tournament bids. But Golloway preached about the league’s RPI problems the last two years.
It’s an issue he won’t have to deal with in the SEC, which sent nine teams to this year’s NCAA tournament and four were regional hosts.
“Nobody seemed to care about the middle of the road. I thought it was a problem. I thought it was a big problem. When you become that team, you’re gonna care. We’ve been that team,” he said. “There’s an RPI that has to be fixed. I think the coaches and the league will do that, but it hasn’t been dealt with yet.”
That will be a problem for OU’s next coach to contemplate. Golloway said pitching coach Jack Giese and coordinator of baseball operations Ryan Gaines will likely join him at Auburn. Current OU assistant Aric Thomas will remain at OU, at least until a new coach has been hired.