Karl Nonemaker, a former Auburn assistant and All-SEC outfielder at Vanderbilt, has been named an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Tigers' baseball program, head coach Butch Thompson announced Monday. Nonemaker spent the previous six seasons as an assistant and recruiting coordinator at Old Dominion University. Nonemaker was on Auburn's staff from 2005-07, helping the program to a NCAA Regional final in 2005.
"We got everything we were looking for in Karl Nonemaker," Thompson said. "We wanted someone with experience coaching and playing in the SEC, someone who is a great recruiter that could work with our hitters, and someone who is a great family man. Karl is all of that. He was an outstanding hitter in the SEC, he has a brilliant mind and he has been a successful recruiter and offensive coach. Karl has been at Auburn, and understands Auburn. That's very important. We're very excited to welcome Karl and his family to Auburn."
Nonemaker's career includes two years playing professionally in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and 11 years coaching at three universities; Old Dominion (2012-17), Monmouth (2010-11) and Auburn. He also spent two years (2008-09) working for Louisville Slugger.
A four-year starter at Vanderbilt from 1999-02, Nonemaker was a freshman All-American in 1999 and first-team All-SEC outfielder in 2000. His .415 batting average as a freshman in 1999 is the 15th best single-season average in SEC history (min. 200 AB) and ninth-best mark in the conference in the last 20 years (min. 200 AB). Nonemaker ranks second in career batting average (.369) and hits (283) for the Commodores.
"I am extremely grateful to Auburn University for giving me this opportunity and to Coach Thompson for believing in me," Nonemaker said. "It is kind of surreal that I get to come back to Auburn, the place where I got my first coaching job, at such an exciting time. I understand the expectation at Auburn and can assure the players, coaches, and Auburn family that they will get my very best."
ODU was 162-124 during his six years, winning 30+ games four times and making an appearance in a NCAA Regional in 2014. During his time at ODU, he was responsible for coaching the hitters, base runners, and outfielders.
In 2017, Nonemaker helped the Monarchs to a 37-21 record, including a 19-11 mark in Conference USA, the best conference win total in the program's four years in C-USA. The program cracked the national polls for the first time in 10 years in 2017.
This season Nonemaker helped tutor three freshman All-Americans and C-USA Newcomer of the Year in infielder Jared Young. He also helped coach shortstop Zach Rutherford, the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and 2016 Cape Cod League MVP.
In 2014, ODU's first in Conference USA, the program advanced to its first NCAA Regional appearance in 14 seasons.
Eight players, all in the last four years, have been taken in the MLB Draft during Nonemaker's tenure at ODU, leading up to this year's draft. Among those drafted include LHP Ryan Yarbrough in the fourth round of the 2014 draft by Tampa Bay and P.J. Higgins, a 12th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2015. Higgins is rated the top defensive catcher in the Cubs' organization.
Prior to Old Dominion, Nonemaker served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Monmouth University for two years. In 2011, Monmouth won the NEC regular season title, winning every league series. Nonemaker tutored NEC Player of the Year, and Louisville Slugger/TPX Third Team All-American second baseman Ryan Terry, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays.
A 20th-round draft choice of Philadelphia in 2002, Nonemaker went on to be a member of the Phillies Gulf Coast Championship team in 2002, and in 2003, split the year between the Lakewood Blue Claws (Single-A) and the Reading Phillies (Double-A).
A native of Roxbury, N.J., Nonemaker was a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection, graduating from Vanderbilt with a degree in Human and Organizational Development in 2002. He and his wife Katie have two daughters, Ellie and Ainsley.