AUBURN, Ala. – Seven year Major League Baseball veteran and 2000 All-America outfielder Gabe Gross and four-year letter winner and 2011 team captain Wes Gilmer will be undergraduate assistant coaches for the 2012 Auburn baseball season, Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski has announced. Gross will work primarily with the Auburn outfielders while Gilmer will work with the infielders and catchers.
"We are excited to have both Gabe and Wes join our staff," Pawlowski said. "They will certainly help us and be a positive addition to the Auburn baseball team. Our players will benefit from the experience and knowledge they have gained through their years of playing baseball."
Gross is returning to school to earn his degree in business management after leaving in 2001 as the first round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays. A three-year starter in the Auburn outfield, he hit .375 for his career, including a blistering .430 in his All-America campaign of 2000. He remains in the school's top-10 for career doubles (68, 2nd), extra-base hits (108, 3rd), walks (145, 3rd), RBIs (218, 4th), total bases (442, 5th), home runs (35, 8th) and hits (259, 9th). During his seven-year big league career, in which he played for four different teams, he hit .239 with 78 doubles, eight triples, 40 home runs and 186 RBIs. He is expected to earn his degree in August 2012.
"To have a player that has played at the highest level and been successful for an extended period of time will create instant credibility and knowledge for our players to draw from," Pawlowski said of Gross.
"I am excited to be back at Auburn and help Coach Pawlowski anyway that I can," Gross said.
Gilmer is finishing up his degree in exercise science after hitting .286 from 2008-11. His best offensive numbers came in the SEC West Championship season of 2010 when he hit .341 in 50 games. He finished his career with 18 doubles, three home runs and 59 RBIs, scoring 61 runs. He will graduate May 2012.