Former Auburn Head Coach and Major League pitcher John Pawlowski begins his first season as a member of the Aztec baseball staff as the pitching coach. Pawlowski brings with him 14 years' experience as a Division I head coach and six more as an assistant at nationally-ranked programs.
In five seasons at Auburn (2009-13), he guided the Tigers to a 167-126 (.560) record and took the program to the 2010 Southeastern Conference's Western Division Championship, its first since 1995, and a 2010 NCAA Regional Host assignment.
Under Pawlowski's direction Auburn had 29 players drafted over the past five seasons, the most in a five-year period in Auburn history. Seventeen of those draft picks had never before been selected and eight went in the first 10 rounds.
The past two seasons Pawlowski took a more active role in Auburn's pitching staff, returning to a role he flourished in as an assistant coach. The 2012 and 2013 campaigns saw Auburn record staff earned run averages of 3.92 and 3.40. The team's ERA in 2013 was the lowest since the 1989 season and the past two years marked only the second and third times since 1996 that the team ERA was under 4.00.
"John brings a wealth of experience with him to the position of pitching coach at San Diego State," commented Gwynn. "We had a number of outstanding applicants and we feel he's the best fit for what we're trying to accomplish in our program. His experience as a pitcher at both the collegiate and Major League levels along with his time as a collegiate coach with nationally recognized programs makes him a valuable asset to our team."
Pawlowski has a pedigree that includes a seven-year professional baseball career and stops on the coaching staffs at perennial powers Clemson and Arizona State, respectively, before a nine-year run as head coach at the College of Charleston (2000-08). During his stay at CofC, he guided the Cougars to a .637 winning percentage, two regular season conference championships and three straight NCAA Tournament berths from 2004-06.
A three-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year (2004, 2005 & 2007), Pawlowski turned a regionally successful program at the College of Charleston into a nationally recognized program as the Cougars twice established school records for wins in a season and advanced into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in CofC history in 2004, an accomplishment that the Cougars repeated in 2005 and 2006.
In nine years at the College of Charleston, Pawlowski guided the Cougars to a 338-192-1 (.637) mark overall and a 170-86-1 (.663) record in Southern Conference play. He also helped develop his players into 42 all-conference honors, four academic All-America honors, three SoCon Pitchers of the Year and two SoCon Players of the Year accolades. Additionally, he had 17 all-America honors bestowed upon his players since 2001.
Prior to his arrival at College of Charleston, Pawlowski was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Arizona State in 1999. Before that he served as the pitching coach and assistant recruiting coordinator at Clemson from 1994-98. During that time, the Tigers made five consecutive NCAA regional appearances and two trips to the College World Series (1995 and 1996).
While an assistant at Clemson, Pawlowski's staff led the country in earned run average in 1996 with a staff that featured the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in that's years MLB draft in Kris Benson and Billy Koch. In his five years at Clemson, the Tigers had 15 pitchers drafted, while the recruiting classes ranked in the top 10 nationally each year.
As a player at Clemson from 1983-85, Pawlowski finished his Tiger career with a 21-12 record and a 3.89 ERA over 54 games. He made 30 career starts working 240 1/3 innings with eight complete games, three shutouts and five saves.
Pawlowski was the sixth-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1985 and made his major league debut in September of 1987. After playing more than seven years for the Chicago White Sox (1986-91), California Angels (1991-92) and Baltimore Orioles (1992) organizations, Pawlowski returned to Clemson to begin his coaching career and complete his degree.
Pawlowski received his bachelor's degree in Industrial Education from Clemson University in May of 1996. The Johnson City, N.Y. native graduated from Seton Catholic Central in Binghamton, N.Y. in 1982. In 2007, he was inducted into the Upstate New York Section IV Hall of Fame. Pawlowski has three daughters, Christine (21), Mary Louise (18) and Jenny Caroline (12).