New Auburn coach Clint Myers trying to raise softball program's profile, build fan interest

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By: Joel A. Erickson

AUBURN, Alabama -- Clint Myers has only been on campus for a week and a half, dead-smack in the middle of the summer, a time of the year most coaches have a chance to rest.

But Myers has barely stopped moving.

The way Myers had been going, clicking on with Women's College World Series appearances on an annual basis at Arizona State, he could have asked for a permanent locker in Oklahoma City.

Now, Myers is hard at work trying to turn Auburn into the kind of program he left behind in Tempe.

"I put on my Auburn hat the 22nd," Myers said. "We were out here for 36 hours, my wife and I, and we made a list of things we'd like to do and see and create while we were here, and now we're trying to make all of those things happen."

Myers' first priority is raising the profile of Auburn's softball team, turn a Tigers team that has been an afterthought at times into a hot ticket in the spring.

For starters, Myers wants to establish a booster club. At Arizona State, the booster club ran more than 100 active members and raised more than half a million dollars last year, half of which went to a brand-new scoreboard and video board, bought by Myers before he left.

When he started at Arizona State, the Sun Devils only had eight season-ticket holders, and two were complimentary, Myers said. By the time he left, Arizona State had 481 season-ticket holders, and some earned the right to be guest coaches in the dugout during games.

Myers also has a plan to build the softball program's community service. Arizona State's softball program was heavily involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, orphanages in Africa and other organizations.

"It's getting people involved in our program," Myers said. "We want involvement. We're going to be out and about with the community."

And Myers says that kind of community involvement translates to the field. Under his leadership, the softball players themselves have to work with marketing, work with operations and set everything up for the fundraisers.

Asking them to take ownership forces his players to handle plenty of responsibility.

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