New energy for Glevenyak, Auburn baseball seniors

Feb. 12, 2014

Senior shortstop Dan Glevenyak says his confidence has soared since the arrival of head coach Sunny Golloway

By Phillip Marshall

AUBURN, Ala. - By the end of last season, Auburn shortstop Dan Glevenyak felt battered and bruised. What he had thought would be his final season at Auburn had gone nothing like he expected.  The major league draft came and went without his name being called.

After transferring from Palm Beach (Fla.) Community College, Glevenyak had put together a solid sophomore season, hitting .319. But as a junior, he struggled at the plate and in the field. He hit .230 and made 17 errors. He lost his starting job for eight games. His fielding percentage of .930 was next-to-last among Auburn regulars.

Glevenyak's confidence was shot. He didn't feel comfortable at the plate or in the field.

"At the l end of the year, I knew I didn't get the job done enough to get drafted," Glevenyak said.

When Auburn's season ended with no NCAA regional, head coach John Pawlowski was fired. Sunny Golloway moved to Auburn from Oklahoma, and things began to change. Golloway told Glevenyak things were going to change for Auburn's team and for him.

Golloway saw early that Glevenyak had more talent than his production had shown the previous two seasons. And he let him know.

"It's unbelievable," Glevenyak said. "When he first got here there were all kinds of thoughts going through my head with my past two years here. Every day he would just put this confidence in my head. It's a great improvement, and everybody has seen it on the field."

Among those who have seen it is Golloway.

"He's our guy," Golloway said. "He's going to make more good plays than anybody else in the country. I believe in him. He's a good player, he's a good kid, he's very physical. He can do it.

"I tell him every day `you don't know how good you are. You really don't.' When his mind catches up with his physical ability and he puts it all together, he's going to be special."

Glevenyak's story is not unique on Auburn's team. Auburn will have 11 seniors on the roster when it opens the season against Indiana State in the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Friday. Most expected to be drafted and be gone after last season.

"We have some seniors that are talented, that should have gotten drafted last year in my estimation," Golloway said. "But I didn't see them perform last year. In defense of those making the decisions, they must have not been playing at the level they are playing at right now."

Glevenyak says his confidence is higher than it's ever been, particularly in the field. And when errors happen, they don't stick with him.

"I'm a lot better with my arm," Glevenyak said. "As long as I get the ball in my glove, I don't have any problem putting the ball on the chest. Offensively, I've bought into his philosophy of trying to get on no matter what. Don't think about personal stats as long as you get on base."

The high goals Golloway brought from Oklahoma, Glevenyak says, have re-energized Auburn baseball. At every turn, they see the word "Omaha," home of the College World Series.

"I'm actually kind of sad that I'm a senior and can only experience this once," Glevenyak said. "For the younger guys and the people that getting recruited, I think it's a great thing for everybody around this program. I think it's a psychological thing.

"We hear Omaha at least about 10 times a day. We believe it."


Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for Follow Marshall on Twitter: