Sunday, November 29, 2015

Andy Sawyers returning to K-State

Former Kansas State hitting coach Andy Sawyers is coming back to the Wildcats.

In a move made official today, Sawyers left his position as hitting coach at Texas A&M to return to K-State, where he served as hitting coach from 2009-10. Sawyers’ official title for K-State will be associate head coach/offensive coordinator.

Sawyers came to K-State in the summer of 2008 after helping the Aggies to a Big 12 regular season championship and a super regional berth. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Nebraska, after previously serving as head coach at Hutchinson Community College in 2001 and 2002.

He will replace former hitting coach Mike Clement, who took the same position at Ole Miss.

K-State coach Brad Hill said in a release Friday morning that Sawyers’ name was the first on his mind when Clement left.

“He was directly involved in our four NCAA postseason appearances, from his offensive leadership during his coaching tenure to the recruitment of key players who led us to a Big 12 Conference championship three years after his departure to Texas A&M,” Hill said. “He is a great offensive coach, passionate teacher for student-athletes, and leader of young men. We look forward to the aggressive offensive philosophy that he will instill, an approach that led the Big 12 in numerous offensive categories during his previous time at K-State.”

In Sawyers’ previous stint at K-State, the Wildcats led the Big 12 in both batting average and stolen bases for two consecutive seasons.

K-State posted a school-record 149 stolen bases in 2009, and batted .323 in the 2010 season. The Wildcats were also among the leaders in runs and RBIs in 2010, despite hitting fewer home runs (39) than any other team in the league. K-State’s 2010 on-base percentage (.426) — the highest in the Big 12 — was aided by a school-record 110 hit-by-pitches, which ranked eighth nationally.

Sawyers said in the release K-State is a place that holds very special memories for him.

“I’m very close to coach Hill, and to get a chance to work with him once again is special,” Sawyers said. “Manhattan is a place where my son was born, and although I am a California native, it is as close to home as I am ever going to have in the coaching profession. My wife and I are very excited to be coming home.”

With Sawyers as hitting coach, Nick Martini became the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2010. Sawyers also coached Big 12 Player of the Years at Nebraska (Matt Hopper and Alex Gordon) and Texas A&M (Jose Duran and Tyler Naquin).

Sawyers also coached successful collegiate infielders Adam Muenster and Carter Jurica to first team All-Big 12 honors, while Jurica went on to become a third-round MLB draft pick, the highest since 1969. Muenster hit .434 in conference play, the fifth highest in Big 12 history.

Sawyers was also central in the recruitment of Jared and Jason King, who went on to be MLB Draft picks.

In 2009, the Wildcats finished with 58 home runs, which was third most in school history and the most for K-State since 1997. The team’s 149 steals ranked second nationally, and Martini was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.

At A&M, Sawyers helped the Aggies reach the College World Series in 2011, but the Aggies have failed to advance past the regional round since.


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