Thompson tabbed among nation's top assistants


Mississippi State's Butch Thompson (right) has been named one of college baseball's top assistant baseball coaches.

Mississippi State associate head baseball coach Butch Thompson has been singled out as one of college baseball's top assistant baseball coaches by Perfect Game USA, a leading national baseball scouting service.

Thompson, a native of Amory, directed the development of a Bulldog pitching staff that compiled an SEC-leading 2.58 staff earned run average, the second-best ERA in college baseball last spring. State's staff ERA dropped by 3.32 runs over the past two years, helping propel Mississippi State to the 2012 SEC Baseball Tournament championship and the program's 32nd advancement to NCAA postseason competition.

Thompson's pupils in 2012 included a pair of All-American hurlers, junior right-hander Chris Stratton (11-2, 2.38 ERA), a first-round selection and signee of the San Francisco Giants, and rookie relief ace Jonathan Holder (0.32, 2-1, 9 saves), who established a school record when he opened his career with 27-1/3 innings of shutout pitching.

Five MSU pitchers have earned All-SEC or SEC All-Freshman accolades during Thompson's first four seasons as State's pitching. Thompson is in his 12th season coaching pitchers and directing recruiting efforts in the Southeastern Conference, having previously served in similar capacities at Georgia (2002-05) and Auburn (2006-08). Seven of his last nine recruiting classes have garnered top 25 national ranking.

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