A proven winner with an aggressive offensive approach, Andy Sawyers has coached at the collegiate level for 16 years. In July of 2014, he returned to familiar setting: K-State and the Big 12 Conference.
Sawyers was named the Wildcats' Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator in 2014 after four years at Texas A&M. With K-State, Sawyers will oversee the hitters and catchers defensively as well as help coordinate recruiting.
Manhattan is a familiar setting for Sawyers. Prior to coaching at Texas A&M, Sawyers spent two years on Brad Hill's coaching staff in 2009 and 2010, helping the program make its first two trips ever to an NCAA Regional. He quickly made his mark with the Wildcats, helping guide the team to a .317 batting average and a school-record 149 stolen bases in 2009. The next season in 2010, the Cats batted .323 and stole 120 bases, which are the fourth-most in school history. In both seasons, K-State led the Big 12 in both batting average and stolen bases.
The two NCAA Regional appearances during his first stint at K-State help make up 12 NCAA postseason trips Sawyers has directed his teams to since the 2000 season. He has also helped lead teams to four Super Regional berths and two trips to the College World Series, with the last being in 2011 with Texas A&M.
The 2011 season was Sawyers' first with the Aggies in his second stint with the program. Prior to joining K-State in 2009, Sawyers was a volunteer assistant coach with the Aggies in 2008. The Aggies made an NCAA Regional in each of Sawyers' five seasons at Texas A&M while they also won two Big 12 championships.
In 2011, Texas A&M ranked first in conference-only games with a .290 batting average, en route to winning the Big 12 title and reaching the program's fifth College World Series. The Aggies also led the conference in hits and doubles, and seven hitters earned All-Big 12 honors, including a pair of honorees who also earned national accolades.
Tyler Naquin and Krey Bratsen were the offensive standouts under Sawyers in 2011. Naquin was named Big 12 Player of the Year - the sixth different player Sawyers has worked with that went on to earn the conference's top honor for a hitter - after he led the Big 12 in batting average (.383), runs scored (68) and total bases (147) while also finishing as the national leader in hits (104). Bratsen, meanwhile, was named a Freshman All-American after he hit .332 and stole 31 bases, the ninth-most in the nation.
In 2012, Naquin once again earned All-American honors under Sawyers' watch as he hit .380 with 27 extra-base hits, 49 RBI and 21 stolen bases. Naquin went on to be drafted in the first round (15th overall) by the Cleveland Indians, one of 35 draft selections Sawyers has helped tutor in 14 years at the Division I level.
During the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Sawyers helped Texas A&M transition to the SEC, finishing with a winning overall record and trips to an NCAA Regional in both campaigns.
Sawyers' first stint at K-State was successful from many perspectives. From the program-record stolen bases in his first season to .323 team batting average in his second campaign, he made his mark on a program for years to come.
The 2009 campaign was a year of power for the Wildcats under Sawyers. The team hit 22 triples and 58 home runs, the most in both categories since the 1997 season. The Cats offense shined brightest when it came to stolen bases as the 149 steals were the second-most in the nation and two shy of breaking the Big 12 record for steals in a single season. Overall, the team finished among the Big 12 leaders in OBP (second, .399), runs scored (second, 458), hits (second, 675), RBI (second, 420), doubles (third, 123), and fewest strikeouts (fourth, 393).
Six Wildcats earned All-Big 12 honors in 2009, including outfielder Nick Martini, who also garnered Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors, and Justin Bloxom (.361) and Carter Jurica (.353), who finished fourth and eighth, respectively, in the Big 12 in batting average.
The 2010 squad matched the success of 2009 season by also reaching the NCAA postseason, but the offense topped the previous season's totals in batting average (.323 in 2010; .317 in 2009), runs per game (7.6 vs. 7.4) and OBP (.426 vs. .399).
The offense was paced by Martini, who went on to be named Big 12 Player of the Year in 2010 and highlight a list of three hitters who earned all-conference honors. Although Martini was eventually selected during the 2011 Draft as a junior, two other Wildcat hitters, Jurica and Adam Muenster, were selected in the 2010 MLB Draft. Jurica's selection in the third round by the San Francisco Giants was the highest a Wildcat had been picked since 1969.
Before joining the Wildcats, Sawyers teamed up with former colleague and now Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress as a volunteer assistant coach with the Aggies for the 2008 season. While at Texas A&M, Sawyers handled the outfielders and assisted hitting coach Jeremy Talbot, helping the Aggies win a Big 12 regular-season championship and earn a berth into the school's second-straight NCAA Super Regional. He helped tutor Jose Duran to both the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Player of the Year awards, as well as five other Aggies who were named All-Big 12.
Prior to his appointment at Texas A&M, Sawyers worked with Childress as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator at Nebraska for the 2003-07 seasons. While in Lincoln, he helped the Huskers earn four trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a showing at the 2005 College World Series. Sawyers, who lettered two years at Nebraska, worked with 12 Huskers who were selected in the Major League Draft, including Alex Gordon, a two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, who, in 2005, won five national player-of-the-year awards before being taken as the second overall pick by the Kansas City Royals.
Sawyers took on all hitting responsibilities at Nebraska beginning with the 2006 season, when the team batted .310 - its best mark in four years - and ranked in the top three of the Big 12 in home runs, stolen bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He also served as the academic coordinator and worked with the catchers during his time in Lincoln. Additionally, Sawyers helped the Huskers recruit their highest-rated class in school history, as the 2004 recruiting class was ranked 16th nationally by Collegiate Baseball.
After serving as the volunteer assistant at Nebraska in 2000, Sawyers spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons as the head coach at Hutchinson Community College, compiling an 87-30 record and two postseason berths. In 2001, the Dragons went 40-16 and won the Jayhawk West Sub-Regional, while the 2002 squad set a school record with 47 wins and was ranked as high as seventh by the NJCAA.
Sawyers' coaching career began at Northwestern (La.) State in 1999 as a volunteer assistant coach. That season, the Demons went 38-21 en route to a second-place finish in the Southland Conference.
Sawyers first played collegiately at Point Loma (Calif.) Nazarene College in 1994. Following a year off, he played at Mendocino (Calif.) Junior College in 1996 before finishing up his playing career at Nebraska as the catcher for the 1997 and 1998 teams. He started 76 career games at Nebraska, including 59 contests in 1997 when he batted .268.
A native of Willits, California, Sawyers received his bachelor's (1998) and master's (2000) degrees from Nebraska. He is married to the former Dena Lindeblad and the couple have one child, Andrew James (A.J.).