ASU softball coach Clint Myers leaves Sun Devils for Auburn

After eight dominant seasons, ASU softball coach Clint Myers has left the program to become Auburn’s next head coach.

Auburn officially introduced Myers as its new softball coach Friday in a media teleconference.

The move comes as a shock to many considering his ASU roots and the consistent level of excellence he instilled in the program.

Myers advanced the Sun Devils into the Women’s College World Series seven times in his eight seasons, which included NCAA championships in 2008 and 2011.

The unexpected decision to leave ASU, he said, was based on the opportunity for his two sons to join his coaching staff at Auburn.

“I’m a family-oriented guy and Auburn has given me the opportunity to bring my family together and have both my sons on staff,” Myers said.

His son, Corey, who was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the No. 4 overall pick in the 1998 MLB draft, coaches for the Birmingham Thunderbolts, a youth travel softball team. His other son, Casey, was a volunteer coach with ASU.

Myers said Corey will be his No. 1 assistant at Auburn and Casey will be the volunteer assistant. Myers added that he accepted the job today and his last day at ASU will be June 21.

“These people that I work with (at ASU) on a day-to-day basis mean the world to me,” Myers said. “Leaving them was the toughest thing. (My wife) Katie and I were sitting down to make the decision. They are class people, hard-working people. They are people I respect and I admire. These are people that taught me about life. To say goodbye to them, which I haven’t done yet, is going to be extremely difficult.”

In Tempe, current associate head coach and pitching coach Chuck D’Arcy could be Myers’ successor. D’Arcy won a silver medal as an assistant coach for the USA National Team in the 2008 Olympics.

ASU certainly is an attractive job for potential candidates. The Sun Devils bring back almost every major contributor from the 2013 Women’s College World Series, except for second baseman Sam Parlich.

“They should be a preseason top-five (team),” Myers said. If you look at history we won the national championship in ’08, one in ’11. History has a tendency to repeat. Arizona State should win it in 2014. They’ve got a great nucleus… They’re going to better than we were last year.”

Clint Myers played for the ASU baseball team in 1970-73 and graduated from ASU in 1976.

Myers, just the third coach in ASU’s program history, went 427-102 in eight seasons (.807) at ASU.

In 2006, he inherited an ASU program that hadn’t achieved at least a .500 record in conference play since 1993. Myers has a winning record against every Pac-12 school and went 113-59 (.657) in conference play.

At Auburn, Myers steps into a struggling program that went 30-23 and 7-17 against the SEC in 2013 and was one of two SEC schools to miss the NCAA Tournament.

ASU athletic director Steve Patterson released a statement Friday regarding Myers’s departure.

“As we have talked with Coach Myers over the past few weeks, it is apparent to us that Coach wants to make a move to be with his family,” Patterson said. “As great of a coach he is, he is just as great as a father and grandfather, and this move will allow him to be with his family more. Clint has elevated our program to be one of the best, if not the best, in the nation, the past eight years. Because of his efforts, the Sun Devil head coaching position also is one of the best in the nation and we will proceed to hire a great fit for Arizona State that continues the Sun Devil tradition at the highest level.

“We appreciate Clint for his honesty with us throughout this process and for all his efforts, which will eventually result in a place in our Sun Devil Hall of Fame,” Patterson said. “We wish Coach and his family all the best on and off the field, and we expect to meet Auburn and Coach Myers in Oklahoma City in late May in the near future.”

Reach the reporter at justin.janssen@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @JJanssen11