Brad Bohannon introduced as 32nd coach in program historyBy Cody Estremera | 06/06/2017 9:31am
Athletic director Greg Byrne (left) with Brad Bohannon. Photo courtesy of Kent Gidley.
With the hire of Brad Bohannon, Alabama will start its season with a different coach for the third time in as many years. However, Bohannon is determined that the team will be run differently than a year ago.
“My goal moving forward is to make Alabama the absolute best place to play college baseball in the country,” Bohannon said. “We are going to be a players-first program. Everything that we do as a coaching staff is going to be about our kids getting their college degree, them grow as men and help them become the best version of themselves.”
He wants the alumni to be as involved as possible, unlike last year.
This is Bohannon’s first job as a head coach. He has been an assistant coach since 2004 with Kentucky (2004-2015) and Auburn (2016-2017).
“When you get into college coaching, it’s a tough road,” Bohannon said. “You move around like crazy, living week to week, working baseball camps for peanuts, and when you’re doing that, at times, you question what you are doing.”
Bohannon started as an assistant coach at Wake Forrest and moved on to Lexington, Ky. There he served under John Cohen, the current athletic director at Mississippi State.
“He saw something in me. That I’m not too sure I saw in myself,” Bohannon said.
Bohannon was hired just eight days after former head coach Greg Goff was fired, and one day before Auburn took the field against UCF in its first game of the Tallahassee regional.
“As we identified potential candidates, Brad Bohannon’s name continued to surface,” athletic director Greg Byrne said. “We sat down on Monday in our home in Tuscaloosa. What I thought it was going to be was an hour conversation of getting reintroduced to Brad and talking a little about the program, and about three and a half hours later he left my house. I could tell right away this is where he wanted to be. He wanted to work with our current team.”
Bohannon’s background comes from recruiting. He served as the recruiting director at Kentucky from 2005-2015. His recruiting classes have been ranked in the top-25 since 2008. His highest class finished at No. 4.
One of the recruits he signed was A.J. Reed, who turned into the national player of the year in 2014. Sixty-nine of his players were drafted while at Kentucky. Nine of those were in 2012, setting a Kentucky record.
“In the 14 years I have been in the league, I have not gotten a hit, and not pitched a pitch,” Bohannon said. “It’s really all about the kids making the plays.”
Bohannon is still coaching at Auburn and said he would give Auburn everything he has in his time left there. Auburn plays in its elimination game on Monday.
“When you coach, the relationships that you build are stronger than any jersey you wear,” Bohannon said.