Greg Norton
Greg Norton

Hitting Coach

1st Year at Auburn

Greg Norton, a 13-year Major League Baseball veteran, was named Auburn's hitting coach on July 15, 2013.

Norton spent last season as the minor league hitting coordinator in the Miami Marlins organization, and he served two years with the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate, as both a hitting coach and manager.

"As soon as Greg announced his retirement from major league baseball, I began seeking him to be a part of my coaching staff," Golloway said. "Through our relationship, I knew he possessed the character and the skills to relate to collegiate student-athletes. He is a great teacher of the game of baseball, and more specifically hitting. As I sought out his expertise in this hiring process, it became apparent that he had the desire to tutor collegiate hitters."

Norton made his coaching debut during the 2010 season as the Zephyrs' hitting coach. Midway through the year, he was promoted to manager when the Zephyrs' manager, Edwin Rodriguez, replaced Fredi Gonzalez as the Marlins' skipper. Norton finished the 2010 season and stayed on as manager for the entirety of the 2011 campaign.

"I am excited to be reunited with Coach Golloway, a coach I have great respect for. What is really appealing about coaching in the college ranks is the family atmosphere and the ability to develop young men," Norton said. "When this opportunity arose, I was very interested in helping turn a program around. It felt like the right move for my family. Obviously, I was in a great position in the minor leagues as a hitting coordinator, but this is a dream opportunity to coach with a head coach who has a proven track record, be at a great university and conference."

In 1,107 big-league games, the switch-hitting Norton batted .249 with 89 home runs and 338 RBI. He played professionally from 1993 until 2009, spending time with the Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Seattle and Atlanta.

He made his major league debut on Aug. 18, 1996, for the White Sox. His most productive year in Chicago came in 1999, when he hit .255 with 50 RBI and 16 home runs while splitting time at first base with three other players, including former Auburn great Frank Thomas.

Playing for the Rockies from 2001-03, he hit .252 in 344 games. His final year in Colorado, Norton led the major leagues in successful pinch hits and pinch-hit RBI. After spending time with the Tigers, Rays and Mariners over the next five years, he was traded to the Braves in 2008. That season, he led the majors with three pinch-hit home runs. He played alongside Auburn great Tim Hudson during that season.

Norton played collegiately at the University of Oklahoma from 1991-93, under then-assistant coach Sunny Golloway. In his junior season of 1993, the Sooners' third baseman was the team's batting champion with a .370 average, and he was named a second-team All-American by the NCBWA. He was a seventh-round draft pick out of high school in 1990, but improved his draft stock to a second-round pick by the White Sox in 1993.

Norton and his wife, Jaena, have a son, Jace (8) and a daughter, Ciana (7).