Pete Hughes, Oklahoma Sooners

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Pete Hughes is in his fourth season as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. Known throughout the world of college baseball as a proven winner, master motivator, tireless recruiter and charismatic leader, Hughes has guided his team through an injury-riddled 2017 campaign to go 30-16 upon entering the first weekend of May.

Through the early days of May, Hughes had earned 647 victories as a head coach, which includes stints at Trinity University in Texas (1997-98), Boston College (1999-2006) and Virginia Tech (2007-13). He was twice named both the New England Coach of the Year and the BIG EAST Coach of the Year as well as the 2000 American Baseball Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year while at BC. He recorded five straight 30-win seasons at Virginia Tech, including a pair of 40-win campaigns that culminated with NCAA Tournament berths in 2010 and 2013. He inherited a club that had not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2000 and proceeded to compile a 222-174 record with the Hokies.

Off the field, Hughes founded the 19 Ways Foundation that has spread to other programs and more than a dozen campuses across the country. Hughes believes it is important for OU baseball to be involved with groups and individuals beyond the campus. To conclude fall ball each year, the Sooners have hosted their annual ALS Awareness Halloween Game to benefit the ALS Foundation. The event has become one of the most popular in the fall season for the community to attend and in 2015 the baseball team joined forces with the softball team for the fundraising effort.

In three seasons, the Sooners have also participated in an annual Shave for the Brave event. The team shaves their heads and raises money to fight childhood cancer that benefits the Vs. Cancer Foundation and the OU Children’s Hospital. Oklahoma baseball has combined to raise more than $80,000 from 2014-16.

In the podcast Hughes discusses changes he would make in college baseball and what he and his staff look for in a potential recruit. He also discusses his early career as a football coach at Hamilton College and Northeastern before focusing his efforts on baseball. Hughes’ journey through the coaching ranks is one of the more eventful among Division I coaches, and he shares numerous in-depth and entertaining stories on the College Baseball Now podcast.

About the author, Bill

Bill Ballew has been involved with collegiate and professional baseball since 1983. He has been the Atlanta correspondent for Baseball America since 1991 and has served as the editorial content manager for Baseball The Magazine for more than five years. He is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).