Aug 25, 2013
Clint Myers knows where he wants to go with Auburn softball (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Clint Myers is lowering the outfield wall to six feet and moving the fences back to mirror the dimensions of ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Why the sudden construction and obsession at Auburn's Jane B. Moore Field?
Because the softball College World Series is played in Oklahoma City, and that's where the new Auburn coach and his precise measurements plan to be with his Tigers.
"We've got to learn how to play the wall," Myers says. "Every time we practice, every time we play, we're getting ready for the College World Series."
Myers knows all about the softball College World Series. He led Arizona State there seven times, won two championships and compiled a 427-102 record in eight years with the Sun Devils.
Myers can't wait — can't wait — to start preparing his new team for that journey, even if it's August, even if it's off-season practice, even the regular-season doesn't start until the calendar flips to 2014.
"Westerners," he concluded, "are not as patient as Southerners."
But the Tigers could begin work this week with a new coaching staff that will ultimately include Myers' two sons, Casey and Corey.
Casey Myers will soon join his dad. Corey Myers was hired this month after finishing his duties as assistant coach and director of player development for the Thunderbolts 18 Gold softball team in Birmingham. He was a volunteer coach with his father at Arizona State in 2007-08.
Corey is already on the job as a coach, and student. That took Clint Myers, who had an eye on making Auburn a family affair, back in time.
"It was father-son finding out how his classes were," Clint Myers said. "It was a fun conversation. The only difference is when he's 30 and going to school I don't have to pack his lunch."
Clint Myers attracted some of the top softball talent in the country at Arizona State. He's hoping to do the same at Auburn, and figures his sons' knowledge of the recruiting game will pay dividends.
"Coming from Birmingham, Corey has a lot of very good contacts in the South and the state and in the state."
Casey, Myers said, "is phenomenal, but most of his contacts are in the West. We're still maintaining our Western ties, but we're branching out to the East so we can get more of the hometown kids and keeping the talented players at Auburn."
Myers said team meetings have gone well. But, he added with smile, "when there's lifting at 5:45 a.m. and a three-hour practice later in the afternoon we'll see how chipper they are. We told them it would be a grind. There's so much teaching to do."
But Myers said his goal is to make softball fun for everybody. They'll be fun races at every game. Players will stay and sign autographs and pose for photos, too. Kids will run the bases on Sundays, high-fiving players along the way.
Myers isn't stopping there.
"All of our practices are open. The public can walk in any time," he said. "We would love to have people come watch us and build that relationship. We're going to be very active in the community.
"We want the people to see us. We want them to see us out there helping community. It's our belief that our grads make a difference in the world, and we're going to make a difference in at least one person's life. You don't get that done sitting in the dorm room. We're going to be very visible. We're the lucky ones, so we want to take a second, a minute, an hour and say, 'Hey, thank you.' The tax dollars, that and football, support everything. We're very grateful we're at Auburn and getting the great opportunity that we are to learn about life and people and the game of softball."
They're moving the outfield walls back at Jane B. Moore Field
Getting the field ready for off-season practice at Auburn
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine