Dunn gone to Auburn

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2004

A famous coach in the state of Alabama once said his decision to return to his alma mater was made because &uot;mama called him home.&uot;

Last week, &uot;mama&uot; called former Auburn catcher and Spain Park head baseball coach Casey Dunn home.

Dunn, an Auburn catcher from 1996-99 and Spain Park head baseball coach from 2002-04, has been named as an assistant coach by new Auburn head baseball coach Tom Slater.

&uot;I am extremely excited and this is an excellent opportunity for myself, my family and my coaching career,&uot; Dunn said.

Slater, who served as an assistant at Auburn from 1996-99, replaces Steve Renfroe after Renfroe’s Tigers failed to make the 2004 SEC Tournament and compiled only a 32-24 record.

&uot;(Playing for Slater) is one of the things that drove me to make this decision,&uot; Dunn said of his familiarity with Slater’s coaching style.

While at Auburn, Dunn earned many honors and still sits in the top five in several statistical categories.

Dunn holds the SEC’s fourth longest and Auburn’s longest hitting streak at 31 games.

In the Auburn record book, Dunn is also third in career at bats with 905, third in career hits with 307 and third in career RBIs with 232.

Dunn’s 307 hits and 232 RBIs are both the 10th highest in SEC history.

During his playing career, Dunn earned SEC Player of the Week honors the last week of his senior year, played on the SEC Tournament Champion team in 1998, played for the fifth-place Tigers in the 1997 NCAA World Series and was named Auburn’s Top Male Athlete in 1999.

Once his playing days were over, Dunn took the head baseball coaching position for Spain Park High School’s inaugural season.

&uot;I feel so fortunate to be blessed with the opportunity I had at Spain Park, starting a program from the beginning –

from the ground up,&uot; Dunn said.

&uot;I learned so many things that I feel I would not have learned had I gone somewhere else.&uot;

During the Jaguars first season, Dunn lead the then-4A squad, consisting of only freshmen and sophomores, to their first playoff appearance.

Last year, Dunn’s Region 6 champion Jaguars were eliminated in the second round of the 6A playoffs after compiling a 22-13 record.

While Dunn leaves Spain Park for bigger things, he knows he is leaving the program in great shape and in great hands.

&uot;The kids who are involved in our program care a lot about baseball,&uot; Dunn said.

&uot;There is definitely the support in that community, from the kids, faculty and parents, to take the program to where it needs to be.&uot;

Dunn will join fellow assistant coaches Scott Duval, Chris Finwood and Matt Myers on Slater’s new staff