Texas coach Garrido won’t resign, wants another year
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas heads into the Big 12 tournament after a disappointing regular season and the winningest coach in college baseball history finds himself pleading to keep his job.
That’s what it’s come to for Augie Garrido in his 20th season with the Longhorns as his two national titles with Texas (2002 and 2005), and five overall, fade into the distance.
Garrido has one year left on a contract that pays him nearly $1.1 million per year and a losing record in the Big 12 over the last five seasons. Texas is 22-30 this year and seeded No. 7 heading into Wednesday night’s tournament opener against No. 2 Oklahoma State.
Texas will need to win the Big 12 tourney to make the NCAA postseason. That seems a long shot considering Texas hasn’t put together four straight wins all season.
Garrido’s status after this season has become an open question among Texas fans. And Garrido, who has 1,972 career victories in a college coaching career that dates to 1969, has said he won’t resign.
“I want to finish next year and I will do all I can to convince the powers that be that I’m capable of turning it around, because I have five times in the past and I’ll do whatever it takes and make any adjustments I need to make to turn it around,” Garrido said after Texas beat Baylor on Saturday.
“I’m not going to resign,” Garrido said. “If they give me a chance, I’ll fix it. I’d like to go out on my own terms, and I’d like to go out a winner.”
Texas hasn’t been so patient in recent years. National championship-winning coach Mack Brown was pushed out in 2013 after four seasons without a Big 12 title. Basketball coach Rick Barnes got similar treatment in 2015 even though his teams made the NCAA Tournament in 16 of his 17 seasons.
But those decisions were made by previous administrations. First-year President Greg Fenves and athletic director Mike Perrin have been quiet on whether they plan to fire Garrido or bring him back. Texas could buy out Garrido’s final contract year for about $300,000.
Garrido has fought through tough times at Texas before.
He was hired away from Cal-State Fullerton in 1997 to replace Cliff Gustafson, who had won two national titles and 17 conference titles with the Longhorns. And it took some time for Garrido to win over Texas fans.
His first team failed to qualify for the Big 12 Tournament. In 1998, Garrido had the program’s first losing season since the 1950s. Texas showed signs of life when the Longhorns went 36-26 in 1999 and made it the postseason but finished sixth in the Big 12.
By then, some fans were calling for his job. Those didn’t last long.
Texas went back to the College World Series in 2000. Garrido guided the Longhorns to the two national titles and three more CWS bids in a seven-year span. From 2002-2010, Texas had six 50-win seasons.
But now the Longhorns could miss the NCAA Tournament for the third time the last five years.
“If they’ve decided it’s now, I still have a million ‘thank yous’ for all the excitement this has created and brought to my life,” Garrido said.