Hunt named Rawlings-NAIA Coach of the Year
LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland University’s Woody Hunt has been named the Rawlings-NAIA Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to the second national championship in school history.
It marks the second national Coach of the Year honor for Hunt during his 29-year career as head coach at Cumberland. He was named the Rawlings-National Coach of the Year after the Bulldogs lost in the NAIA World Series title game in extra innings.
The award will be presented at the 2011 Rawlings-NAIA Awards Luncheon in Nashville, Tenn., on January 7. The luncheon is part of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Convention which runs from Jan. 6-9 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
“This is a very prestigious honor, but it’s really a team accomplishment,” said Hunt. “Everything we get as coaches reflects on our team. We were such a singular unit as a team this season and I’m more proud of our team than any individual accomplishments.”
Hunt is one of only six coaches in history to register 1,000 career victories in the NAIA and owns a career record of 1,284-523-3. The Bulldogs have appeared in 11 NAIA World Series, including five in the last seven seasons, claiming national championships in 2004 and 2010 as well as runner-up finishes in 1995 and 2006.
Cumberland has won 17 conference championships during Hunt’s tenure, including 10 in the Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference (TCAC), five in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) and two in the TranSouth Conference (TSAC). CU has four district championships, 12 NAIA regional titles and has played in five super regionals as well.
The program has posted 21 seasons with 40 or more victories in 27 years as a four-year program, including 17 of the last 18 campaigns, while registering 50 or more wins eight times, all since 1997. The 2004 squad set the school-record for victories with 59, followed closely behind by the 2010 club with a 58-9 mark.
The Bulldogs have produced 56 NAIA All-Americans, including 2010 National Player of the Year Matt Greener and Steve Green, the only three-time All-American in program history. Seventy-four of Hunt’s former players have signed professional contracts.
Hunt has also achieved individual success in the awards category, claiming 17 Coach of the Year honors. He is a seven-time Southeast Region Coach of the Year and has also been a finalist for the National Coach of the Year Award five times.